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Like a Raven in the Rain

By Vincent Lakes All Rights Reserved ©

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Chapter 1

Like a raven in the rain, I wrap the cold darkness around me and nurture the despair in my soul. In the thick drizzle I watch beyond the blurred horizon, not sure where to go from here. The road seems forlorn and dead with nothing but uphills and disappointments to offer; thousands of miles in the snow, frozen fingers squeezed together, too numb to feel the touch of skin. The brightness of spring mocking my mere existence, deepening the shadows of my core. I watch, but I cannot see the beauty with my glazed eyes, for me there is no more. Like a bad dream, the world flows by with the pretentious smiles and polite gestures of people I do not know. Scared of what once was life, I cower beneath the black feathers, wishing if only I could die. The screeching wind in my ears sings about broken dreams and lost chances; the verses are bored and old, the chorus worn out and tired. I am tired, so very tired. The weight of my worries feels crushing, the bones of my back are bending and cracking. I am ready to fall, and yet I am forced to continue on this empty road - alone. The friends I once had are long gone, the slithering snake that is my tongue still feeds the lies even I once believed in; the good mornings and good nights, the happy birthdays and merry Christmases. I live, but I am not alive. I have lost faith in people and to my own ability to carry the burden of life. It has become an unbearable annoyance that I have to deal with every day. I put on a mask and pretend, and as far as I can tell, it works. No one has noticed my sadness, no one has noticed my pain, and I could swear that even if they did - no one would care. The realization of my own mortality and ordinariness has not been the ride of a lifetime but a letdown, killing the rest of the still slightly twitching ambitions that have been hammered into the ground. When I see an old man crossing the road with a bent back, painful grimace upon his wrinkly face, I do not feel sorry or pity, I feel envy. And when I see an injured hedgehog on the side of the road, squirming in agony because some half-blind biker did not pay enough attention, I do not bother to stop - I am letting the bastard suffer like I have suffered. The bird clad in black, the raven in the rain; the reflection of my ill soul, the thorn on my bleeding flesh. I walk away to walk back again, crying inside while trying to find a way out, but there is no way out, not a way like in the department store during sunday sale, I cannot just walk out. I am buzzing around the same rotten flower that is my life, unable to break free, unable to breathe. And yet I linger here, tolerating one day at a time, trying to remind myself that it is just a grand inconvenience before the great downhill into the grave. There I can rest - please, let me rest. Sleep forever and never wake up, dreaming of silver skies and golden wisps as I ride the welkin on a perfect day, and my feathers would not be black but shining white like them wings of the angels. Let me feel that happiness - that freedom. Please, let me rest and reach that dream, the neverending dream that would go on and on. But as I open my eyes and see the ashen landscape, the filthy puddles and dirty streams the rain creates on the sidewalks, I am instantly drawn back to my disgusting existence in this grey vision that offers me nothing but crumbs of hope that dissolve into the dark waters before I have the slightest chance to taste them. Here I stand on a decaying branch of a pine tree, the brown needles scratching my skin as I gaze upon the mounds of dead trees. This is my dream - colorless and without solace. The branch is a windowpane, and the mounds buildings made to last, but I can smell their sickness. I can smell it out in the streets, the fancy restaurants and clubs. Death, everywhere I go, and there is not a single place to seek comfort - a shoulder to cry on. Like a raven in the rain, I wait for the last day when I can move on - and perhaps gain redemption for my stained soul. But until that day, I'll be sitting here behind the dirty glass and watching that raven, admiring his tenacity to defy his ill fate, and somehow that relentless strength helps me to stay sane as I keep struggling through this two-faced and utterly deceitful world.


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