As I lay dying

I came into this world as a rolled piece of paper with heaven inside me. I think I was created normal. My height is ordinary, but I am proud to say that I am not like those skinny ones which were the favorites for a time. Instead, I am carrying the correct built for my being – not too thick to hold nor too thin to be fragile. I am perfect!

Soon, I joined my brothers. We all bore the same mark from the time of creation. Together, we stiffly stood, a proud lot eager to prove ourselves. In a blink, we were tightly bound to each other. Then came a sudden darkness – we couldn’t see! Excitement was in the air; everyone was giddy to find out what would happen next.

Adjusting to the darkness, my sight provided me of something that I couldn’t believe at first. We were locked! With four walls around us, we couldn’t move freely. It was too tight.

Then like a final blow, we felt, more than saw, a lid covering us all – our death sentence. Then, everything went dark. I didn’t know that would be the last time I could see the light.

Visually incapacitated, my brothers and I relied to our auditory senses to know what’s going on. We heard strange noises, like a mutated creature with an unusual voice. Then we felt being transferred. Whatever it was which made that move was so careless; we were dangerously tumbling. Caught off guard, we didn’t anticipate that the next could be worse.

We moved. And oh, how fast it was! Even caged in these five walls, we could feel it. We could even hear sounds that would only indicate on how high-speed we were going. It was so thrilling! I chanced to look at my fellows and was happy to find a similar expression on their faces. We were all exhilarated by this journey!

However, all good things must come to an end. Soon, we felt being lifted again, this time more carefully. I felt the surrounding changed from the one we came from. Perhaps it was the sounds, or the temperature, or just a feeling. Whatever it was, it made us more excited.

We stood there for a long time, long enough for me to stop counting. What was taking so long? Were we created to just stand here? A terrible thought came to me. Perhaps we weren’t made that perfect so our creator ignored us? A worse idea came. Did we do something wrong while we were in our most thrilling experience in our life? That’s it! Perhaps we weren’t meant to enjoy that.

I was in the middle of these gloomy thoughts when I first saw it.

“Am I hallucinating or isn’t it a light?”

I tried to twist my head more and sure enough, it was a hole in our prison.

“Aha! Light!” I exclaimed. At first, my brothers ignored me, afraid that I lost that single hold of sanity I had. But when they glimpsed in the direction I was pointing at, I felt a drastic change in the atmosphere. Hope.

Now, we could take in our surroundings. We were located in a huge place with lots of strange things piled in stacks. They were too colorful. There were many assortments of things: from supplement that could promise to fill one’s stomach when ingested, long sweet piece that could be put in one’s mouth and chewed endlessly, to colored liquid which claimed to freeze one’s brain when taken continuously. Seriously?

Suddenly, we heard a loud noise. It sounded garbled. Without any warning, we saw a giant! An enormous creature was in the same place and it was walking in our direction. Oh dear! Run, my friends!

Then one of us spoke, “I had this vision. My brothers, do not be afraid. That creature will be our savior. He is here to fulfill our purpose.”

Silence hung in the air after that speech.

“So this is it. I will soon to accomplish the purpose of my creation. Oh, how glad I am that this day has come!” I mused.

We watched the creature approached. He was really tall. One step, then another, and we couldn’t contain ourselves. We were silently screaming with joy. “The day has come, it has truly come,” we were singing.

He was continuously marching his way. One huge step, two more then he stopped to get something. He wrapped his left hand into a piece of equipment which created flames of red when touched. We oohed and aahed when he repeatedly tested the device. Looking satisfied, he resumed his walk. Left foot, right, left, right, and I couldn’t breathe.

“The anticipation will be the death of us!” I muttered.

Of course, I didn’t want that so I mastered controlling my breathing until it came almost normal. Whew. That was close.

The creature was almost in front of us. With one more step, his face was almost in us. He moved his head to the left, right, up and down, looking silly. He was still facing our left side when he suddenly turned right in front of the hole and exclaimed, “Aha! This one.”

With a slight upward pull in the left side of his huge mouth, he extended one of his extremely long limbs and reached us. We felt ourselves being lifted again, but this time we weren’t afraid.

He moved so fast until we were placed down again for a short time. He pulled something from his small compartment and produced a paper. He then gave this to another giant. Next, he picked us up and exited the colorful establishment.

We were outside. It was too loud. There were too many strange noises that it was hard to identify all of them. Then the creature stopped.

He picked us up once more and unceremoniously lifted the wall above our heads. Oh finally! We can see the world around us – it was too wonderful to describe. We just concentrated watching this being who was destined to help us reach our goal of creation. He was making strange noises again but in a good melody by pulling his two enormous lips together in a pout of some kind. We didn’t mind that.

Unexpectedly, his large hand hovered above us.

“What will he do? Oh, brother, are you sure this is our way of paying back to our crea—“

I didn’t have the chance to finish my question as he lifted me alone. I terrifyingly watched my brothers as I ascended.

“Help! Please help me, my brothers! Why am I the only one selected for whatever it is he has in mind? You must help me!” I screamed, my plea of help fell on deaf ears of my companions.

Holding me between his three fingers, the creature produced that flame maker device.

“Hey, what are you planning to do?” I yelled helplessly. “Don’t you dare put that thing near me!” But it seemed like he couldn’t hear me or just perfected a way of ignoring me.

He moved the scary thing near me, I almost fainted. “Stop! What you are doing is wrong!”

In an answer, he pushed something in the device and I saw the frightening tongues of the red flame. It was fire, rumored to be the most dangerous weapon. With it, you can instantly kill anything.

“Please listen to my plea! You are scaring me. Stop this at once!”

Did he stop? Sadly, no. Instead, he dragged my stiff yet weakened body near the blazing thing. In seconds, I felt my entire body tingling. I wasn’t yet accustomed to that feeling when he put me between his lips as he inhaled. The sensation was outrageous! I felt hot all over, yet there’s another feeling I couldn’t put into words. He continued doing that as the fire kept on licking me below.

“Please, don’t do this. Don’t you know? I have a purpose to fulfill! I must get going,” I reasoned to him.

He showed no mercy. I felt half of my body consumed by the flames already, the tears threatening to wet my eyes soon.

 “I will soon die. I am sure of it. All of the stories they said are true. Fire is a lethal weapon to be used.”

I felt hopeless. My brothers didn’t even bat an eyelid while I plead for my salvation. If my considered comrades didn’t, then who else would help me? I started to surrender. I felt my body sagged – I don’t know if it’s because of giving up or result of my incapacitation.

In those dim moments of my life, I talked to my creator. “I am sorry I’m a failure. I couldn’t live longer to fulfill what you had planned for me. I’m so sorry.”

While I talked to him, I was silently expecting a miracle. My creator would jump on this terrible killer and show him that what he was doing was utterly wrong. But no, nothing like that happened. The torture continued.

Then a flash of light. It was so bright, I couldn’t see. I was in a moment blinded by its brilliancy. I didn’t know why, but I felt safe in that moment, like everything was okay. Unfortunately, it was soon gone.

Realization dawned on me. This is my fate. I was destined to be selected from among my brothers to be consumed by the fire and this creature. When I pondered on this sudden enlightenment, I noticed it was only me who was unhappy. The giant was enjoying me. Oh, is this it? Is it my purpose to bring him joy in expense of my body? Is it? Oh, is it? I don’t know.

I could feel the end was coming. I could no longer feel anything from the neck down.

In resignation, I pushed my being nearer to his lips. I heard a sound of contentment. Of satisfaction. He took one more long drag of me then my last reserved of energy disappeared.

It was over. I made it. I fulfilled my purpose.

I was barely conscious when he threw my head in the pavement then left. Why did he leave so suddenly? Did I not satisfy him in the end? Oh dear, did I fail my creator?

I stayed there for quite a while, unmoving. So many thoughts running in my head. I was about to call my creator when I heard an approaching giant. I saw him lifting his foot directly above me. Then everything went black.

  • This short story is an answer to my friend’s challenge to write a fiction about vices.

7 thoughts on “As I lay dying

    1. Thanks though I have to admit it made me struggle for words used by a smoker. For instance, “he took a long drag…” Haha!

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