Original Manuscript Copy: This is not the final version. You are welcome to read, like and comment. Do not copy, cite, or distribute without the express written permission of the author.
© Perry A. Simpson 2022
Published by The Lemon Zest Project
Written by Perry Simpson
Knockmonlea, Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland
(Tel: +353 (0)86 109 2836)
by Perry Simpson (Who Am I Series)
I stirred from felt like a fall of some kind. I wasn't sure what had happened. There was semi-dry blood on the side of my head. The pain was bearable but made his eyes water.
I was in complete darkness. There was no visible light in any direction. All I could hear was an occasional echo sound coming from somewhere in the darkness. I had no idea where I was. What scared me more was that I had no idea who I was either. To top all this, I had no idea where I was or how I got here. All I could surmise was that I was in a dark hole somewhere.
The only clue that I had to go on was this occasional echo. If I could work out what it is, it might trigger something in my memory.
I tried to stand up. Both of my legs hurt like hell, but it didn't feel like I had anything broken. As I sat there gathering myself, I looked around in the darkness. I tried to recollect something. Anything that would provide me with a clue about where I was.
My mind was a complete blank. I had to assume that I was suffering from temporary loss of memory. Most likely from the fall.
The surface beneath me was gritty. I reach out with my hands to touch it. The ground felt loose, gritty and damp. The air had an earthy aroma. So, it suggested that I was underground, in a hole or a cave.
It felt as though I was in a vast space. If there was a ceiling of which, it was a long way up. My clothes were damp and musty. I could taste the grittiness in the air. There was like a dense and foul vapour surrounding me.
I wanted to take a few steps, but how could I be sure that I was going in the right direction? Then, I remembered the echoing sound in the distance.
I sat back down to focus and listen. It was deathly silent. I could only hear my breath. It was steady at first, but the more I thought about the sound, it increased. My pulse appeared to rock my body as I sat there waiting in complete silence.
There it was again. I shifted myself to look in the general direction of the sound. It was faint. I sat and listened again. Each time I paused my breath, an oppressive feeling of being in a huge, open space took hold. There was a loud buzzing in my head. This also went up in volume with each pause of my breath.
There it was again. It was a short double pulsating sound. Two short high pitched bursts. It echoed around the space. It was fainter by the time it reached me. I had a better fix on it now and I was ready for the next one.
It was freaking me out that I could not hear any other sounds. If I was underground I would have expected to hear water.
Faint memories of a similar situation surfaced. My mind played with the thought of being in a cave that could fill up with water. I have been in this situation before. My mind started to play with this though. Harnessed it. It made it seem more plausible.
I slammed my fist on the ground to kill my thoughts. It hurt. Another bruise to add to the list.
I closed my eyes to focus again. As I did so, I sat crossed-legged as though I was meditating. This felt very familiar too. This was something I did. I was sure of it.
I let calmness take control of my body and mind. It was a familiar feeling of control. I allowed my focus to explore my mind. I searched for something, anything, that would tell who the hell I was. What was I doing to end up in this oppressive place?
My heart rate slowed along with my pulse. My breath shorted. I was back in control of my thoughts. This felt like a part of me. I used to practise meditation on a regular basis. I was now sure about that.
I could see myself sitting in a spacious apartment overlooking a vast city. It was nighttime and I was admiring the oasis of light that glowed in the distance.
In my mind, I looked around the apartment searching for clues. A pair of tatty trainers seemed familiar. They were mine. I am wearing them now. There was a pair of blue Levi jeans placed over an armchair. The TV remote rested on the arm of the chair. Next to it was a blue collarless shirt. I was getting ready to go out.
I continued to watch myself getting dressed. There was a glass of whisky on the smoked glass coffee table. Half empty or half full? Did it matter?
It did. The bottle beside it was empty. My movements were unsteady and slurred. I was drunk. Dead drunk. This was a memory lapse from excessive alcohol drinking.
Sharna had broken up with me the week before. I was about to go out on the town. I hadn't taken rejection well. Alcohol was helping me manage the situation, or so I had thought.
Music was blaring around the apartment. I was feeling very sorry for myself. It was all my fault. I had been a fool.
Sharna was everything I had hoped for in a woman. One act of stupidity and weakness had destroyed everything. The memories of the wonderful times together were only that now, memories. She was gone. I was alone wallowing in my sorrows. On the coffee table next to the half full, half empty glass was a silver ring. It was over.
I felt the ring in the pocket of the jeans I was wearing. I had those very tatty trainers on my aching feet. The blood-stained shirt was on my back.
I had left the apartment and planned to do something terrible. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. The only thing to do. To end it all, there was a bridge not far from the apartment. A tall, strong old Iron Bridge that spanned the river. No one survived from the fall of that bridge.
I wanted to hit back at her. I wanted revenge. I was in a rage.
My name is Kenneth Pascal and I was on my way to that bridge when everything went dark.
I opened my eyes. It was all coming back to me now. The headache was due to excessive alcohol abuse. As was the temporary memory loss.
As I walked towards the bridge, I felt the ground wobble beneath my feet. I thought nothing of it. Then the ground in front of me opened and swallowed me.
I could hear the double vibration echoing along the passageway in front of me. I dragged myself to my feet and hobbled toward the sound. This time the vibrations repeated. The sound became louder as I ventured deeper into the darkness. I could see it was a mobile phone a few metres from where I had landed. It was my phone.
I dropped to my knees to retrieve it.
Sharna had called dozens of times. There was also a stream of messages of love, affection and apologies.
The rain descended down on me from above. As I looked up I could see stars. At least that's what I thought they were. Then, I realised they were torchlights searching in the darkness.
'There's someone down there, an excited voice shouted.
At that moment, I felt like the luckiest man on earth. The sudden appearance of this sinkhole had saved my life. What I planned to do would have hurt so many. I felt foolish and ashamed. The cuts and bruises would remind me for days to come. But most of all, Sharna and I will be back together again.
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