once there was a boy who fell down a hole.
some say he might have had a little help there
but some say he was playing too close to the edge.
no one really knows.
it was a profound nullity
and soon he found the limit of the void was wholly
beyond his reach.
it was dark and lonely and over time he noticed
no one was looking for him. if this went on it could
be a long time until he was found or could figure a
he became hungry but had to subsist off what he found
in there. over time he learned to survive.
he even learned to be somewhat comfortable.
he got used to it.
acclimated to every day being just like every other.
used to living off the same sustenance, the same routine.
he was a survivor and since there was no alternative,
he was forced to be one.
his eyes adjusted to the dark
his ears adjusted to the silence
his mind found things that it could occupy itself with.
the trouble with that is,
if left to having to take all the burden of stimulus,
the mind often goes wondering into places not quite so pretty
but it does it just to keep itself stimulated and working.
if it didn’t, then the truly dark would almost automatically
take it away from him.
then he wouldn’t be him but he felt,
who was he anyway?
once he had a world to play in. now it was just him.
so he had to become everyone he needed.
was he him anymore?
some of those he was becoming weren’t what he was
but he was them now.
what was he going to do with them now that they want
what’s his or was his?
he found that even this could be adjusted to.
so this too became him.
the days weren’t days anymore.
the nights weren’t nights.
everything was slowly becoming
he was becoming all there was.
there was no interaction to learn.
he longed to go back up to the world but he wondered
what would he do there now?
would it be the same?
would they like him now?
what would he say?
he noticed he didn’t know what to say.
all of his conversations have been silent.
could he have lost his voice?
there wasn’t any real way to know for sure.
his ears could be lying to him if he shouted.
making him feel better by fooling him that he still sounded the same.
also, since every day and night is the same except for what his
mind imagined, he didn’t have any topics or experiences to
talk to anyone about.
they surely wouldn’t understand any of the imaginings of his mind.
nor could he even explain most of them.
He certainly couldn’t explain what they did for him or how they made
him feel or carried him through these days and nights.
he was starting to become used to this though.
he had his ways and they were settled into their routines.
he felt comfortable.
it was now home.
what would he do now if someone came down?
yet he wanted them so badly to come down.
this didn’t make any sense to him.
he was afraid of them and
he wanted them.
then one day he noticed a noise!
he listened carefully.
what or who is it?
could it really be a noise?
it almost sounded strange.
it was strange!
it was unrecognizable.
he strained to listen.
he thought it could be voices but didn’t really know what they sounded like.
it’s been so long.
there was something that appeared like it could be light
or something up there.
who or what could it be?
then it passed and it grew silent again.
he was sad.
but it was then that he noticed something new.
he was kinda happy it was gone!
he noticed he was kinda scared of it.
while it was here he didn’t realize it.
he did know at the time, he was really nervous.
he now knew he was frightened of it.
later he heard another and this was louder
there was something up there!
he noticed the dirt falling and heard it from above
he heard what sounded sorta like shoe leather scuffling over dirt and stone.
anyway, that’s what he imagined this scuffling would sound like.
rocks came down that were loosed.
his ears had become so used to the silence from his days in the hole
that, although he couldn’t really see them,
he heard them fall all around him
and he could actually hear them clearly as they whistled through the air.
He could even tell where they were coming from
so he could avoid them but he had to be quick.
he realized someone was coming down!
he was frightened and shouted “go away!” “go away!”
he heard it more clearly now although
he couldn’t see a thing but it sounded closer and closer
he thought maybe he could frighten it away
if he threw the rocks up at it.
so he began hurling as big rocks he could find up at the noise.
this didn’t stop it and really only caused the rocks to fall back down at him.
he tried to avoid them but sometimes they would hit him and hurt him.
the noise continued its scuffling down.
he yelled and tried to sound angry and really he was
because this noise was making him very uncomfortable and scaring him.
he shouted “go away or I’ll hurt you bad!”
he wasn’t sure what he could do to hurt whatever it was
but he was trying to get it to go away and leave him alone.
it didn’t work and it kept coming down.
so he picked up the rocks, even though some he threw had fallen back
down to hurt him badly and didn’t do anything to stop
this thing from coming down. he didn’t know what else to do
and he MUST do something or he will not get it to go away.
he started to throw the rocks again.
and again they fell back down at him.
again and again.
he became determined that this intruder had to be stopped
and he was very frightened of what it would do.
his mind began to tell him of all the scary things it had been imagining.
he became so frightened he started to cry and shout again and again.
“go away you evil thing! I hate you! I hate you!
You’re going to hurt me and I don’t like you!”
then he found a really big rock and with all his might he hurled it up.
this time he heard a thud
he listened very carefully.
for a while there was nothing.
then all of a sudden he heard it again.
the dirt started falling again around him but he noticed it started to sound
quieter and quieter.
“IT WAS GOING AWAY!”
it worked! it was leaving!
he felt happy for just a second.
then he realized what he had done.
then the dark was suddenly so much darker.
he couldn’t see anything before but now it seemed it crept inside him
and a cold lonely ice slid its chilling fingers around his little heart
and started to constrict tightly.
he realized he chased it away.
what he longed for he chased away!
he was frightened, he told himself. he knew why he did it but that
was no comfort to him now.
what was he going to do?
the sound was getting very quite now.
he could barely hear it.
instinctively, he began to shout at it.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to hurt you!
I’m sorry! I was scared. I won’t do it again. I want to be with you!
Please come back!”
he shouted over and over.
finally it was completely quiet again and the only thing he could hear
was his barely beating heart trying to beat through the icy fingers
that gripped so tightly now.
he realized it was gone and it was never going to come back now.
he tried to console himself with the reasons why he did it.
he knew why.
he was scared.
he was used to being there all alone.
“I guess”, he said, “I started to think this was the way
it was supposed to be. this was what I wanted”.
none of his reasoning helped.
he fell down and wept uncontrollably and he cried out to God
but all he heard was his own sobs.
no one would ever want him now.
surely they would tell everyone to stay away now or they will be hurt.
no one would come now.
after a long while, he was back to his thoughts again.
his routine was secure once again.
safe and secure.
he forgot about the strange scuffling and the falling dirt.
it was almost like it was never there.
all a bad dream.
he was safe now.
as he began to relax his ever wondering mind went back to his companions.
those dark things that had kept him company all this time.
all this time his mind never stopped. being down in that dark place
for so long, it adjusted to feel safe with the dark things.
after all, they were the ones that had been faithful to him all this time.
they were the ones that never ever deserted him and were always there
even though everyone else had left him for dead.
he was back among them now and they were there for him.
as they always had been.
they were his friends and gave him something to hold onto.
he needed someone.
he couldn’t just be all alone.
always, forever more with
but then suddenly he heard a noise!
it sounded so strange he couldn’t tell what it was.
he listened very carefully.
he tried to make out what it was.
it was a strange noise
he wasn’t sure if he had ever heard such a thing as this before.
it sounded something,
he wasn’t sure.
he became scared.
his mind told him scary things were going to happen.
he strained to hear.
it seemed like it was starting to get louder
like it was coming down
he heard something like shoes scuffling over dirt and stone.
anyway, that’s what he imagined this scuffling would sound like.
dirt and loose rocks began falling all around him!
he began sweating and his heart began beating quickly.
straining hard against that icy grip
that had always threatened to make it stop beating but somehow
he was always able to keep it warm inside but now it strained to beat
hard against those icy fingers.
the noise got closer and more dirt and rocks
were falling all around him now
his mind told him that he had to do something fast or it was going
to get him and hurt him really bad!
his thoughts were racing out of control and he was frightened
and couldn’t think clearly.
a big rock fell close by in the darkness.
suddenly, frightened for his safety
he reached and picked it up,
stretched back his arm to hurl it….
Written by Scott Schoffstall
© February 20, 2011
all rights reserved
*You may wish to first read “Hole” as a companion piece to this.