TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 5, Episode 3

TheNeverPages - Series 5, Episode 3

Master G_ entry.

We were almost gone, buried up to the head. Swallowed by the dune. Pulled in by the slipstream of dissolving memories we were holding hands as we sank slowly down. Our heads were tilted back, facing the azure sky, the sun bright and the air crisp. Grains of sand began to creep into our vision, their harsh forms grating against our corneas. We were falling into an hour glass. Into our mouths, ears, nostrils, sand trickled.

Breathing became painful – dyspnea - the pressure of the dune crushing against our chests. Malfunctioning respiratory system. Then apnoea. Lungs still. No air. No movement. Like holding your breath. The sand had an iodine taste. Our eyes began to water as they tried to wash away the grains of sand. Only served to create a muddy sludge that pooled around the corners of our eye sockets.

Deep within the belly of the dune, I felt something grip my arm tightly like a vice. It moved down until it found my wrist, then my hand. It wove into my grip and a voice came into my head. It was my own voice. The other version of me was holding my hand and talking to me. I could not turn my head to look into his eyes, I could only hold my hand and talk in my faltering mind.

We told each other not to worry, not to fear and together we began to count, hoping to fall asleep before the pain of suffocation overwhelmed us. We longed for a peaceful end, we longed to forget our failings, and we longed for sleep.

We never reached our end. I was about to close my eyes and resign myself to the NeverLasting when a figure filled my vision and blotted out the sun. The figure stood over us and looked down at our disappearing faces. The figure sighed. An involuntary pang of recognition flared up in my mind. I knew that sigh! And as soon as that recognition fired, several more detonated, my memory alive like a fireworks display. The shoulders, the neck, the gentle slender arms, I knew them. The figure bent down towards us, the face being revealed at last.

It was Lucy! She was perfect. No scarring, no sores. No pain, no tears. As she was. And she smiled at us.

This time, the water in my eyes was not produced to combat the sand infiltration; it was produced to echo my shame and sorrow. I had forgotten her, I had failed to find her. I had given up on my Lucy and resigned myself to the slow suffocation in the desert of my memory. I tried to speak with my eyes, to say that I was sorry and to tell her that I loved her. She must have understood because she smiled that luminous smile, shook her head, kissed her finger, and then wiped the sludge from our eyes. She leaned into my face and spoke, the words bypassing my now defunct ears, and blossoming straight inside my mind.

She said, “We are not over yet, you still have fight in you, come my darling, there is work to be done, there is journey to be made. You are not falling away from me yet.”

I became resolute, I became energised. I felt fierce and volcanic. I felt my other self tighten his grip on my hand. Lucy stood up and took a step back, the sunlight now dappling her face. She began to sing a love song, one of her favourites, the one whose name I could not recall, but whose lyrics spoke of her believing in me as I believed in her. With each passing phrase, softly sung by my love, I could feel air returning to my lungs, I could feel my blood beginning to circulate. I could feel sand falling out of my nose and mouth. I could feel the dune receding. Soon, my face was free and I gasped in air and knew that never again will I taste air so pure and vital. Those breaths taken in those moments, under the sun and carrying Lucy’s song may well have been the only real breaths I have ever taken in my NeverLife, and in my real life and also in every life across every reality. I was breathing. 

I moved my head and looked over at the other me; I looked back at myself, the same energy, the same conviction behind my eyes.

Then, our necks and shoulders were free and we could feel our hearts beating again, hard and powerful in our chests. Lucy finished her song and began it again. The sun still danced across her face. Her white cotton dressed swaying in a gentle breeze.

Next came our chests and arms, then our waists and finally our legs. We were back, standing on the surface of my memory. The three of us. Myself, myself and Lucy. The final grains of sand fell out of my ears, my hair, my sleeves and my trouser legs, each grain seemingly weighing a universe, each one freeing me all that much more.

Lucy finished her song and began to walk away. I called out to her. I asked her to stay. She looked back, shook her head and walked off into my desert memory.

I called out to her. I said, “Tell me something!” And just before she disappeared from view, her voice appeared in my head once more.

She replied, “He seeks the answer to his question. He seeks and seeks. You will give him his answer and he will rest and rest.” My other self called out, asking her how we would get back to the world. She said; “To go back to the world, look to the sun, climb up to it, and pull it from the sky. The sun is a window!” The voice fell away and the speck on the horizon vanished. Once again we were alone in the desert, but this time we were elated. We were inspired. I looked over to the other version of myself. I smiled at myself, I smiled back and then we both turned and looked up at the sun.

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