Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Voice


Using first person narration, logically describe something that is crazy........

The drums pound rhythmically. Heaving sweaty bodies dance and swirl around me. The night sky is electric with energy from the music and the massive throng of people, chanting, dancing and cheering. Fifteen feet of blazing white hot coals lay in front of me. I cannot see anything else. My breath is calm and measured.

I had been cold a few moments ago. I had seen the flames leaping higher than I stood and I had still been cold. “I am the voice” echoed around the leaping flames and thronging bodies. I began to sweat. The heat from the flames was one thing – but the voice of seduction; of command, demanding I take my destiny in my own hands – it was what was setting my core on fire.

Visions of misting cool moss layering and caressing my feet and I walked confidently forward.

I had heard of these freaks, charlatans, tree huggers who walked on fire enmass. I came to observe. To watch how five thousand people who normally would never look one another in the eye, never truly say what was in their hearts to a loved one ; could be transformed within a few hours to beings of light and love; willing to do what was necessary to change both themselves, but the environment around them for the better.

My family didn’t hug. We didn’t kiss. We never got involved emotionally. I came to watch. As always, I watch and observe. I was tough with a skin so thick no-one dare come near. So independent and confident, no –one ever saw how frightened and alone I was. I brushed off some of the icebreaking workshop type exercises, confident that I could fool everyone around me that I was engaged, secretly kicking myself for wasting thousands of dollars on this airy fariy fluff. Within moments, the voice spoke to me. Spoke truths I had not dared think about. He looked at me and spoke directly to my heart. I wept. Tears surrounding my unmet dreams, of abandonment, of love never found or explored, of loss.

The sensation of walking on something soft and crushable – like popcorn - met my feet as I strode forward. The fire and coals were just metaphors for all the fear I have held inside me all my life. They represented the fears about my undiscovered dreams; locked away from freedom by a heart made from ice. It was so simple. Face your fears and they will diminish so dramatically, so quickly that you would wonder why you had allowed them that space and energy for so long in the first place.

Fear was only real if I gave it energy, allowed it to exist in my world. The heat from the coals was only real if I accepted it for what it was. Instead if I accepted that it was only a representation of the guilt, of the ugly anger and self hate, then I could also accept that I had control of my beliefs and of my physical body.

Crunch, crackle. A cool misting breeze with the promise of pine forests fanned my body. I shivered and felt the cold again. Crunch, crackle. The popcorn seemed to be laid out for miles ahead of me. The darkness and silence enveloping me as I walked.

Strong arms captured me and a kiss landed on my cheek. I liked that. A sweating, muscular body held me.I defiantly liked that. I began to scream in pure joy. The drums burst back into their rhythm and the chanting and cheers continued as if they had never stopped. Had it stopped?

”I am a force for good. Step up.” I walked across fifteen feet of white hot coals. What can stop me now?

The voice,so powerful, so loving. Step up. Stand up. I am the voice.


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Jodi Cleghorn said...

This is really powerful writing Annie ... I'm there, Im wiggling my toes and my feet ... I'm wondering if I would have it in me to stride across the white hot coals.

Congrats on a really wonderful piece.

Tricksy Pixie said...

I LOVE your description of something soft and cushiony being like popcorn. That is such an amazing visual and works perfectly.

I would steer clear of using "has been" or "had been" as it removes the strength of the verbs.

"I had been cold a few moments ago"
"I was cold a few moments ago"

Just comes out more confident =)

ChefDruck said...

Wow Annie, these are incredible images. I love the sounds "crunch, crackle" and the visualization of popcorn and cool mists. I was actually tapping into your character's empowerment as you closed with "I am the voice". Inspiring!