Tag Archives: Isolation

Crime and Punishment?

October 17th, 2017

…or at least I think it’s the 17th. Maybe it is the 18th and I’ve miscounted? Oh, I’ve tried my very best to keep track of how long I’ve been in here. There are calendars available in the dining room, but there are so many different years scattered upon the table. I don’t have much of a reference point; I don’t know when this all started.

The house seemed to be permanently snow bound. I found that I could shimmy out the kitchen window with a little bit of effort. It’s not much of a victory though. I can’t go out much more than a half a mile without losing my sight of the structure. It’s simply a barren wasteland! There are no trees, no houses, nor anything else that would identify civilization within sight. I’m seemingly alone here.

For as remote as the location is, oddly enough I still get amenities. There’s running water, power, and climate control. That’s a nice creature comfort, as the cold burns me instantly the moment I venture out of the house. My refrigerator is always stocked, too. I can only assume it’s by some kind of human intervention, but no matter how hard I look, I don’t find anyone. I’ve scoured this house, too. There has been enough time for me to view the contents of this house in detail. It’s almost as if I were left here to die, but not by conventional methods. It often hurts to think about that. So, I turn my attention to this diary and the books from a bookcase in the living room.

October 30th, 2017

I found a HAM radio in the garage. How I missed it, I’ll never know. I don’t know how to operate one, but what is the harm in trying now? Maybe I could find someone on a frequency that could help me get out of here? My lips trembled at the thought of finding someone. To talk in earnest, to express gratitude, to share in conversation, to delight in the warmth only physical contact could provide all swirled in my head with speed. I couldn’t think straight! Maybe… maybe it would even be someone special? It could even be some dramatic romance I could relive with tears in my old age. The odds were against me, but it made my mind wander.

“Stop it! Stop daydreaming and work!” I told myself. I flicked on the terminal, and grabbed the receiver with force. “Hello? Is anyone there? Can anyone here me? I’m trapped in a house far from anywhere. All I can see is snow. There are no trees and no roads. I don’t know my coordinates. Please! Someone hear me!”

My response was the hiss of static. “Maybe I should try a different band?” I muttered. I moved to another frequency and repeated my distress signal again. There was little improvement. I’m not entirely sure how long I sat there in front of that radio, but it was enough to see the sun set and rise. After the last band was tried for the hundredth time, I gave up. It was all a cruel joke.

July 30th, 2018

It’s funny and sad to see snow in July. I can remember a talking head on television cracking a joke about global warming whenever there was snow in non-winter months. I can’t remember the face anymore, but can certainly remember hearing them. It’s crystal clear. It was a typical morning show with perky hosts you’d like to tag with a rock. Vacant and happy.

Speaking of voices, I thought I heard something the other day while reading a new book. New books spontaneously show up in the bookcase periodically. For the longest time, I thought the shelves were full and that I had read every last volume. On closer inspections, there never ceases to be a time when I would find one or two books I didn’t see there before. If this is from someone else stacking the shelves, I’d certainly love them to slip up and show themselves. They deserve to be punched in the face for what they’re doing.

I had out a copy of The House of the Seven Gables, and was slowing sipping some English breakfast tea when I heard it. It sounded like a whisper at first, and then became more audible as I paid attention. I heard a faint “he’s creepy,” and in reply “yeah, he’s pretty creepy.” Bolting upright, I grabbed the first thing I could lay my hands on. In this case, it was a decorative urn at the base of the bookcase. Slowly, I crept around every corner, every nook and cranny needed to be searched for the source. The living room, kitchen, dining room, garage, bathroom, and bedroom were thoroughly inspected for any sign of life other than my own. I found nothing.

In a fury, I flung the bedroom window open and screamed, “Show yourselves! You cowards! Why are you doing this to me? Why have you left me here?!” I finally collapsed to the bottom of the window in despair. The sill was cold but felt good on my hot forehead. I’m not sure how long I can go on like this. I didn’t want to die, but is there a purpose in living like this?”

Scared out of my wits at not only the audio hallucinations but the contents of such, I cautiously took my seat in the living room and picked the book back up. I was too shaken to read any further though.

December 29th, 2019

The concept of howling wind never hit home until recently. Snow whizzed at lightning speed past the windows, as it was yet another snow storm. They usually come in every two weeks or so. After sitting in front of the living room window for the longest time, the sound came to me. Most of my life it sounded like someone blowing air into my ear. That’s way too high pitched to be a howl. This time it was different and distressed me something awful. It reminded me of the family greyhound. It would howl at 5:00 each morning for its food. I can remember pulling my pillow over my ears to muffle the piercing sound of that dog. It never worked, though. I always got up and fed the loudmouth.

For the here and now, it was an appropriate memory. This place was hungry. It was hungry for me. It was waiting for me to die to share in the spoils of my death. It played with me like a cat does to a spider, and laughs at the anguish it causes. A tear rolled down my cheek at the thought of being the subject of such torment and ridicule.

May ?, 2020

Dammit! I fell asleep while the power went out. I have no idea how long I slept, as I’ve been known to stay in bed for days on end. All of my counting, now useless!

September ?, 2020

A new method of torture was introduced this morning. I awoke to the sight of a black tube pointing straight at my head. I was so startled at the sight of it; I fell out bed with a loud thump. Collecting myself, I moved in for a closer look. It was a turret camera. The noiseless half sphere stared at me with a blinking “rec” light on the side. My face went pale. “How many other cameras are there?!” I said, and without much delay, went running through the house. Sure enough, there was a camera in each room, including the bathroom, all with blinking red lights.

“You’ve got to be joking!” I yelled. “This has gone too far! Show yourselves! Now! Someone’s here, or can hear me! Stop this! You can’t do this! This is horrible! You’re horrible people!” Throwing myself on the bed I rolled up in the sheets. There’s a philosophy that tells people to live in the moment. The moment is now, but am I really living?

August ?, 20??

I could hear a tone in my sleep. It’s the high-pitched sound of silence. There’s no rest and no relief with it present. I think it’s coming from the camera. They all stare back at me expectantly, as if I need to put on a show for them. Entertain them, for chrissake! So, I put on a pair of briefs and hobbled into the garage. It has to be here, somewhere. Aha!

“You like to watch? Well, watch this!” I drew back and smacked the lens in the bathroom. The camera crumbed under the force of my framing hammer.  This energized me, and I ran into the other rooms for a repeat performance. They all had to be destroyed. The vultures! If they didn’t want anything to do with me, why were they doing this? This is torture! This is painful! If that’s all they had within their hearts, then they should genuinely leave me alone.

My satisfaction and vengeance wasn’t to last, as I woke up the next morning to brand new cameras in the same place they were before. It was all for nothing.

?, ?, 20??

Hot tears welled in my eyes. It had come to this? It wasn’t going to change for the next ten, twenty, thirty years. Not that I could tell, at least. I would end up right back here again, only with a different noose. The noose of age and ailment. Humans are such a pitiful, wretched, inexcusable species. Smart enough to see a cell under a microscope, but not smart enough to see the cell they’ve made for the likes of me. With such contempt and broken will I shouted at the rafters. “This is unjustifiable! This is the worst punishment Mankind has ever design to inflict upon humanity. It had no trial. No conviction. Yet it was carried out like a sentence! No contact. No help. No compassion. No clemency from some governor. Simply locks and bars and silence. I curse you all to your own design! I hope you wake up one day trapped in this house! I hope you all find yourself as isolated as you’ve left me! YOU ALL DESERVE NOTHING BETTER!”

Shortly before this all happened, I took the hammer and knock the drywall loose in the ceiling of the bedroom. There I flipped the rope over the exposed beam, and slowly lowered the loop on the other side. It felt so comfortable between my forefinger and thumb that I rubbed it for a few minutes. After the noose was around my neck, I put one foot on the bed and proceed to stand on the table. The air was still. The howling wind had stopped, and for one moment, everything felt peaceful. With the power of my front feet, the rocking motion sent the nightstand backward.

*******

A smooth, hot pink, Hello Kitty laptop was pried open on an economy-sized bed. The sisters of the Beta Delta Beta were gearing up for a Friday night out. Before the night’s festivities, one sister was eager to show her friend an obscure website she found on the Internet.

“This is some kind of art project. I think.” She explained. “From what I’ve seen it’s one guy, and he doesn’t seem to interact with anyone. At least, I never see anyone else in the rooms with him. It has been going on for years. Look!” A woman with the highlighted hair ran her finder down the video index off to the right. “Let’s see what he’s up to tonight.” A few muffled clicks of the laptop brought up the camera service.

Cam 1: Living room

Offline

Cam 2: Kitchen

Offline

Cam 3: Dining room

Offline

“That’s weird.” The woman with the highlights spoke as she was starting to look bad in front of her friend. “This has never happened before. They’ve never been down like this.”

“Maybe he finished the project?” Spoke a brunette.

“Maybe. There are three other cams. It won’t take long to check them out. He must be having technical difficulties today.”

Cam 4: Garage

Offline

Cam 5: Bathroom

Offline

“That’s a little creepy. Having a cam in the bathroom? You watch him in there?” Switching moods, the brunette became the critic. She was now bored with the whole idea and wanted to go out to a club. Maybe some kind of shaming technique would speed up the process.

“There’s one more cam. Just wait a minute! I want to see what’s going on.”

Cam 6: Bedroom

The video buffered and then snapped into dark hues. “It’s working! See? You need to stop being so impat… *GASP*!” Both women pulled away from the laptop as if the image would pull them in. The battered lamp on the floor still provided some light to the room. The bed had been a sufficient anchor to suspend a darkened figure in the air. As if to sense their presence the shadow slowly turned to the camera. The light was just enough to catch contours of a face and accusing hazel eyes staring directly at the lens.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Winter of the Mind

Crunching snow is satisfying. Oh, water, you curious thing! Expanding as you freeze, your artistic statement touches all that is winter. Beautiful flakes, only to intensify in magnification, glide through the air with swan-like peace. I wonder if that’s dismay I hear in your voice as I bumble over your canvas? No matter, I suppose, firewood is needed from the back forty and your appearance is deceiving.

Winter’s play is unmistakable. The stage is set in white and won’t be changed until the final act is played out. That would take three months, easy. Such a length of time, forever frozen in the present! Maybe this trek could be my critique of such drudgery.

Eventually, it’ll retort. I’m sure of it. I’ll make it to the house, slip, and feel the antiseptic sting of chilled indignation. Then I should make it to the living room where its preferred state will mock me from the soles of my boots. Philistine!

It’ll be several minutes before I can relax. Red faces and numb feet are on their own clock. They go in their own time. What tenacity this season has, with its aloofness and misery! Trees become veins in the sky, clawing to feed life once again. Their icy jailor’s bidding is sleep. Silence. I imagine them longing for the youth of spring like I do.

Spring, now there’s a season for the living. New starts, green and lush, push the envelope of elemental confinement. It’s a chorus of the awake and alive, all shedding a load of stiff ideas. I yearn to curry the sun’s favor somehow for everything and everyone.

The cord seems lower than it should. Have I used more that I ought? Was this season colder than others? Was my want higher? I can’t afford to run out so soon. There’s so much left to endure. I shudder to think what I would do without some crutch.

I can see myself frantically splitting more logs from some unlucky tree. Slapdash clothing and burning feet would not prevent me from saving my refuge. My escape. Paul Bunyan would kneel before me as I let fly swings fit to cleave sky. The Spirit would move me and nothing short of the Divine could lay me to rest. I would be warm or die trying.

Two, four, six, eight… oh, can’t I put them all in the cart? No, it needs to last. I can’t be foolish now. I have to keep it together. One more log, and I’ll make it through the night. I think I can make it through the night. It’s so cold. I’m so alone. I’m as lifeless as this snow, and it’s killing me.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Johnny Come Lately

The bar wasn’t too crowded, which gave a sense of relief to Gary. A crowded bar wasn’t what he needed, although in any other situation it might have. This would do nicely. It was low-key, with a nook to sit and think. The anxiety of “making your own fun” was creeping in again. He didn’t want to go back home, but was hard pressed to think of alternatives.

Leaning forward, he felt his anxiety build. This anxiety was also making him want to use the restroom. “Being this high strung sucks,” he spat and adjusted his posture on the seat.

“What the Hell do people do around here?” The question wasn’t original. He had heard it from more than one person, and found it a valid enough question to adopt after they all shipped out. What did people do? To him, there had to be more than met the eye… a gem of an idea that would be worth hiding.

The cell phone told him it was six o’clock, which provided some comfort. “The workers won’t be piling in here for another couple of hours.” He was proud of himself for remembering the habits of those wretched line workers, and his ability to adapt to it. His beer sweat it out in front of him, almost terrified of being drunk. He would not be drunk though. Oh no. He knew that the Otterville police would be out en masse on a Saturday night. The notion that he knew the schedule of Otterville’s finest also made him feel better. He could easily outmaneuver anyone in this town. “Wouldn’t they like to ride me out on a rail,” he muttered and frowned at his drink.

With a handsome job offer in hand, Gary moved into this sleepy little town just shy of two years ago. The economy was garbage, and still was to this day. Anything that glittered was gold to him. Had he known of the abject isolation he was in for upon arrival, he would have seriously reconsidered the move. There was no way he could have known the company turned down five of the locals for the position. It was obvious they were bitter about it, but would never be confrontational. Cowards.

Virginia was a much better place for Gary and hindsight is, of course, 20/20. At least he had people to talk to back home. The jury here was still out on Gary, and probably wouldn’t return for a few decades. Even if they did, it would be hung, no doubt. Rough, rough, rough.

In a moment of frustration, he slammed his fist on the table, which caught the attention of a few townies watching the football game at the end of the bar. They only took a few seconds to identify the source of the noise and resumed watching the game. They kept their air of disinterest well.

Looking out the window, Gary could see the smoke from the Miiratek factory rise into the 5 degree Fahrenheit evening. Winter was such an obvious presence in Otterville. There didn’t have to be any snow on the ground to know how cold it was at any given time. He felt the wind burn on his cheeks just thinking about it.

Gary finally finished his beer. The lack of a successful resolution to his problem made his pint hard to swallow. “Damn it all,” he said aloud. He didn’t care who heard this time. He was frustrated with his equation: no life, no wife, no home and alone. It all amounted to nothing. With bitterness and townie envy, he picked up his possessions and and left.

As the door shut, a group of guys each gave one another a sick smile. At this rate, they figured it wouldn’t have to worry about the transplants in a couple of years. All the beer mugs clinked together. Let the good times roll!

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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