The Other Side (prose)


other

~

You see something you want… something that seems always to exist on The Other Side from wherever you stand now. So you push, you pull, you learn to make your way through the crowd, giving them smiles… smiles and smiles and smiles… in spite of the quietly clucking tongues, the sorry sideways smirks, and the daggers cast on behalf of the particularly unpretty ascent to… well, anywhere.

~

You shine for the believers and avert your gaze from the naysayers. You make peace with the critics, strip bare the saboteurs, and disarm the prophets of doom with more of those smiles, more of that feigned happiness ~ as unholy war is waged upon your direst doubts and deepest fears. And all the while, you’re trying to get better and better at what you do. Better, better, better. Good enough to one day finally make it to the ever-elusive Other Side. And the hours go on and on like a chain of echoes down the jagged walls of a fathomless canyon.

~

The smiles are as thin as the armor now. The whipcrack-quick glints of the eye faded to dead stars before they had the chance to fall. The weaponry sits in a rust-covered heap. Your heroes are dying.

~

These are the days they’ll tell you you got lucky ~ that Fate, in its brute favoritism chose you as a representative for diligent daydreaming while they, the Forsaken and the Forgotten, were left behind to keep the cross warm. Fuck them. They don’t know you. They’ll first fall silent and they’ll hate you for their own cowardice. Then they’ll actively seek to dissuade you, to divert you, to dis-entitle you. They’ll tell you now, as they always have, that there is no Other Side.

~

You’ll shut your eyes  and cover your ears… but you’ll keep walking because for each of them comes a believer ~ someone who recognizes the truth of who you are ~ someone who has walked the same thin line ~ someone who, when the sounds of empty lust and ill-will have been muted by proof, will turn to you… and welcome you to the Other Side.

~

© Alistair Cross

For more: www.alistaircross.com

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