It started when I looked back. My footsteps had turned black. Then I noticed that wasn't it. They were holes - bottomless holes. Anything that fell in never came back out, stuck in the center of the world pulled equally in every direction by gravity's eternal presence. But this only happens when I look back. I'd have to look forward the rest of my life to prevent this tragedy from happening further.
I walked forward. I couldn't resist looking back like the pillar of salt that I am. Again, my footsteps turned cavernous. How can the earth survive this? I had to stop this from happening. I concentrated all my energy on preventing this curious curse, curving the forces of the universe best I could. I felt I had no choice though it drained me terribly. But then something else happened.
My gravity lightened, I was walking in a floating motion like a man on the moon. I realized I was out of step with the rest of the world but what could I do to not leave the tragic holes? Then a crowd gathered, watching me in surreal horror. Fuck the world! I need to walk normally again! But still I couldn't stop and break my moral promise. I skipped away to hide amid cries of "Freak!' and "Witch!"
My friends weren't glad to see me. They said it's a relief when I leave. I said it's a relief when I leave too. Except when I need relief. The bottomless holes left by my footprints made the news as scientists speculated on their occurrence. I could tell them the truth but few scientists want a truth they don't already know. Another fine mess I got me into.
I ran to the isolated countryside. I could hear rumors in the wind. Rumors of me. It was said I killed a man. An Egyptian, like Moses had. But I knew they said this because they only wanted an excuse to kill me because they feared my floating walk. Hell, I fear it too. Then my cell rang. A crowd was on the other end, vicious in their accusals of my alleged treachery and certain of their facts beyond unreasonable doubt. Despite the anger in their lynching voices I could sense a vast swell of pleasure behind it. At last, they could do their worst and have it sanctioned.
The only way to kill a rumor is to replace it with a wilder one. I told them it was not true I killed a man. I had, in fact, killed twenty, then pissed on them afterwards in contempt as outlined by the NRA handbook. The voices went silent, then paused, then hung up. Now they were truly angry. Some because they believed me, some because they did not.
But even in the outlands I was not safe as I found a woman staring into a stream. She was of shimmering light and the water sparkled in her reflection. No part of me could resist. She said she was an East Dallas Voter. I told her I was a Gravity Floater but unlike the others that did not scare her off. She I would need for life.
She asked me what I was going to do. "I have worlds to conquer and loves to honor." I said this because I have neither. But I had to give a political answer to a political person (which only causes a cover-up). I couldn't just say I wanted to spend all my living time with her. I couldn't put her in the presence of a freak and a witch. After that it became harder to talk until she said, "I can't talk to you anymore." She ran back to east Dallas but I knew I could never return to the city in my condition. Later, I heard she voted herself off the island in a tragic misunderstanding.
At that point, I had to go underground, deep into the darkest depths of Mordor where the wails of men cannot be heard; lost creatures like me, seeking out the dark, craving only an end. I descend a stairway to hell to see the world's underbelly where even the eyes of God do not penetrate. After doing so, I understand the Fear in Man.
Snaking cave corridors twist the mind so there's no finding your way back to the heart. I hear the clanging of iron upon iron, birthing weapons of war. Sickly muscular creatures with blazing orange eyes see nothing but what is before them. The war machine is their everlasting god since time immemorial. Standing over the creature is a warlord washing his incarnadine hands in a bowl filled with the murdered tears of children. Though constantly scorched by the burning heat, the iron creature has no fear of their only enemy: peace. In the above world is dithering and debates of war. But here is no doubt, having never known anything else. War comes because war always comes.
Further on I found another room, this one of splendor and luxury with walls plated in gold inlaid with diamonds. The furnishings were of the finest the world had ever seen. I should have been amazed but I thought: "Lot of good this will do you down in this hellhole never seeing the light of day." Gold without luster. Then I heard a vast scurrying of clawed feet heading towards me that made a long inbred instinct kick in to avoid it. It was rats.
Rats invaded the room of gold, gorging on food, making themselves miserable in their gluttony, berating the world above. But their sour faces didn't match their words of happiness. It was obvious they had a mutually agreed illusion of success, wallowing in the "victory" of self-betrayal. But they knew never to be seen, claiming that that would be betrayal. They live in a prison of fear of the above-worlders and want only their destruction. For the rats, that defines freedom. I slid on past.
In the communication room I saw a nude masturbating pig screaming lies into a microphone. "Poison is preservation! Freedom is death! Love is futureless!" After every proclamation it squealed in adolescent glee, shocked and amazed it was allowed to openly broadcast its garbage to the above-world. It was a disheartening sight but it did solve the mystery of where the White House recruits their spokesmen.
Talk everywhere was obsessed with the above-world and how to destroy it. They know they can't destroy it from below, that they must deceive it into destroying itself. But the beasts also know their hell has no hope in the end, that they live by vicarious means trading weapons for food and assuaging the unbearable loneliness of being cut off from the light by feeding off lives swindled from above. This gives the underworld a strength of conviction rarely matched above and many weak minds fall into their word traps of blaming and flaming.
But I knew I could never fit in there as I live between both worlds in my gravity floating state. Sure enough, I was spotted as "not one of us!" and taken to the rats for disposing. But rats are simple-minded because they believe deception makes them smart.
"We should kill you for spying!"
"Being pure and innocent souls, you have nothing to worry about then."
"Exactly! But you must be killed anyway."
"Because you fear me!"
"We fear no one! But you must be killed anyway."
"Because you can't handle the truth!"
"Only we speak the truth! But you must be killed anyway."
"Yeah, you keeping saying that. So you want to kill me because you have nothing to hide, fear no man, and are one with the truth?"
"Yeah, that's why. Plus it's fun killing people."
"Then you must not kill me."
"Why?? No way we want to die alone."
"Because I've been writing about you and since you are the good and moral people you say you are the above-worlders need to hear what I have to report. Unless, of course, you're not really what you say..."
"No, no no. We are the bestest most moralist people ever! You can record our words all you want. Good job. Can't wait to read all about it!"
The morons then happily escort me back to the light, giggling at having me do their bidding as far as they know. I found myself by the stream again, stuck in the same position - back to the same pain - as I was before only this time without the fearless Shimmering Woman. By this quiet shore I must wait and wonder in woe of who I am. But then I realize: it's only in writing that I become myself.