The Open Wall

Randolf is an outcast in the world he lives in, he's not the only one. With the help of strangers like him, he begins to realise there is something dreadfully wrong with the world around him.
Inspired by 'Numb' by 'Portishead'

I woke up today with the sun in my eyes, it was burning the dust around me, I was alone in a wasteland desert, the sun was so hot, it burnt into my skin and my eyes, the image of it hanging there in the sky, so huge and perseverant, a force of nature burning everything to dust and further, it's been stuck in my head ever since.

Then I woke up again.  This time in my bed, staring at the sun out of my window.  My eyes were so heavy, I didn't want to sleep though, not like most days, I was content to stare at the sun in it's magnificence for the rest of eternity.

"Don't stare at the sun Randolf, it'll burn your eyes out."

My mum had come in to get me up.  I turned from my window and saw the time, I had about 20 minutes until I had to leave for college, I just wanted to sleep now, curl up in my bed forever, not because it felt good, but because getting up felt horrible.  I knew I had to though.

So I got out of bed, what happened to the desert, that huge sun, where did it go, I could have sworn I was just there, it didn't feel like a dream, though I rarely had dreams any more, so I couldn't be sure.

It took me 10 minutes to put on my clothes whilst in a zombie-ish mood.  I went to the bathroom and washed my face, I hadn't had a bath in days, oh well, it'll have to wait until after college, when I'll be too busy to have a bath.

I took my pills then left the house, the sky was too bright, my eyes were still adjusted to the dark despite having been staring at the sun.

I made my way down the road, I looked up every now and then, I was the only one who did.  Everyone else was staring at the ground as they walked.  My eyes unadjusted to the light made everything look a greyish colour, everyone's faces looked sunken and melancholic, or just blank and empty in their expressions, they all interested me.  I liked to see how the crowds moved and the different ways everyone walked, no one else would look up though, it was like a secret world on the way to college, all these people probably couldn't remember their way if they weren't looking at the ground.

As I was walking through an underpass under a road, I saw something etched into the wall on the left, I stopped walking and looked over to it.

'I want something more'.

I sat down and rummaged through my bag, I found a pocket knife I always carried with me, got it out and etched a circle around the words.  When I had finished and was satisfied, I put the pocket knife away and got back up.  I looked across to the end of the underpass, there was a man standing there, staring at me, this was very strange.  I stared at people sometimes, people rarely ever noticed because they rarely ever looked at me, when they did notice, they would walk up to me and grab me by my collar, harshly whispering to "stop it".  My mother had had talks to me about my staring at people, about how I was violating them, and drawing attention to myself, I never much understood her, or anyone else.  That, among other things was apparently a symptom of my illness.

'Lucidia Syndrome', the doctors diagnosed me as a child, apparently I spent my nights awake all the time, staring out at the street and the stars and talking to myself, I didn't do that any more, I was always too tired.  Apparently if I had went undiagnosed I would have gone insane in the end up, roaming the streets or killing everyone or something...
I took the pills now every day.

I digress.
Now, due to the reactions I usually got from people I stared at, I found it very unusual that this man was staring at me.  I decided to just stare back at him.  He was wearing a particularly large bowler hat, I couldn't tell if it was brown or black due to the light outside the underpass.  He also wore a scarf and long trench coat and was carrying an umbrella in his right hand and a suitcase in his left.  He had sunglasses over his eyes.  There was a flicker of acknowledgement in his eyes.  Was he like me?

Then he did something I rarely ever saw people do, a big, creepy, grin.  Showing all of his bright white teeth, or was that the sunlight?  He left, opening up his umbrella and walking away with his face now hidden underneath it.

I started walking after him, this was the sort of thing that usually got me into trouble, but something told me this person wouldn't care, I rushed a bit as I came out of the underpass, but couldn't see where he had gone.  I looked off in to the trees on the right hand side, trying to see if he had gone in there, was he really crazy enough to go in to the trees?  Was I?

A girl walked passed me, about 15, she looked up to decide which way she was supposed to turn now, then saw me staring off in to the trees.  She had a scared expression on her face, tinged with confusion.  She began walking up to me.

"What are you doing?" she asked.  I was used to this sort of thing.  I sometimes liked to purposely antagonise people, and today felt like a day I needed some fun, so I just smiled at her.  She stepped back in horror, then walked away quickly saying "You're insane" under her breath.  I felt like laughing, that was going a bit too far though, everyone within hearing distance stared at me when I did that, once I found the sight of a whole crowd of people turning and staring at me all at once so hilarious, I burst into fits of laughter, and actually cried a bit, the doctor doubled my dosage for a few months after that.  I felt so horrible for those months, I was late for college every day and spent all of my free time sleeping, I had only recently convinced my doctor to lower my dosage, I did not want it to go back up again.

I continued on my way to college, I will probably be late now, but my teachers are sympathetic, they all know about my condition, and so late mornings are usually forgiven as long as nothing happens in the lesson.

I reached the college entrance, I decided to look up at the sky and take one last glance at the sun before I entered another torturous day.

The End

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