A dusty carapace curls silently in the shadow of a small seed; an enclosed and organic shroud among many hundreds; each enclosing other such insect-like creatures, though some have yielded the organisms into the dour landscape. The seed is sealed shut yet inside the moth-like creature senses movement as vast lines of the emerged make their way in an inexorable procession. It isn't his turn yet to emerge into the night, though he is filled with immense dread at the prospect. He tries to lose himself in his dreams.
The others are heading for the wall. The edge of their existence sweeps in a steep purple arc all around, a brooding and severe cliff face rising into the night sky. The grey creatures twitch, wriggle and climb, each clutching a single teardrop stone, robotically proceeding as they are commanded.
He supposes it will be his turn soon, to be birthed into the dusty air, and to carry the dark stones up the wall, and then vanish from existence.
Yet more beings will twitch and hatch to take the place of the gone, and the wall will continue to grow ever upwards.
I hide in the wardrobe on top of where the clothes go. It is a small, dank space with two doors, and I can fit up there with my things; my school bag, pillows and a blanket. I also have a comic and a torch. I am eight.
Sometimes I am six, or twelve, and sometimes a grown-up – though he sits curled-up like the six year old does – as a sorry child. When I am six I can’t climb up to the space as it is too high, so I hide under the bed and wait.
There is a door, and the presence of a vile visitor who never knocks, but instead shuffles slowly up close enough to breathe foul breath against the wood. I know it is a she, but that is sometimes lost in the buzzing that begins, and when the room spins and spins I can’t think of anything but the awful sound. When I’m under the bed, I can hear the bubbling grot breath behind the door when it arrives and also see the silhouette of wide feet in the narrow slit of light. The buzzing becomes the rasping and flitting of indescribable things that sleet and gnash against the door like ghostly piranha, but I don’t think they are real.
It is at the door again now. The bubbling breath is slimy and clogged. I blink away the rain and watch the shadow again at the foot of the door. The buzzing eases, and I get up and walk over in a frozen and transfixed state to turn the handle because that is the dream and it always goes this way as the dream always goes. So, I clasp the handle, twist and pull, the door swings and so it is there; a dark and malevolent shape with a crown of spidery legs that shake and rattle and stink of chemicals. I call it the Malice, it was my mother.
The crown spider clicks and quivers, and I look up there at the blood glow between thin white fingers as the light blinds my eyes, and I catch it suckling at the rotten teat that goes into the ear of the Malice. The liquid is pure white, but the crusts are black and clotted as they move sporadically along inside the tube and into the spider. The buzzing ghosts suddenly return, and I know that I step backwards, then the door slams shut tight.
I crawl away and climb up to the wardrobe where I hide in amongst pillows and blankets. I sleep and try to dream of Moth. He is in the dream and he knows me.
It is dark. The window glows blue through the pebbledash droplets of rain, and I can see across the road, but barely. The girl might come today as she does each day after work, though the weather is too bad I think so she might get a bus today. The girl visits the window of the jewellers most days on the way home from work, and stares at a particular necklace for a long time, as I admit I admire her in the same way. She presses on the glass with her hands, a delicate frame of thumb and fingers. I wish I had the courage to go out, but I can’t leave my apartment for reasons I will explain.
She doesn’t come today. And tonight, the rain is worse. Thoughts about the child are unrelenting – he is alone and in danger. These dreams consume my days. The other dreams about the Moth are more curious and I have begun to draw him. He is trapped too, and in perhaps the same way we are all trapped in our own harsh reality. I'll stay in the room, it is safe.