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qakelly Poetry and stories from within and out
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Traverse the shadows of the tyrannical dark in "Solemn Slumber."

Solemn Slumber

Deep within my solemn slumber sits a shadow in the darkness, an eclipse. It is in this spectral grasp I am withheld, consumed by shadows.

"Regicide! Regicide! Regicide!" I cry as I soar seventy stories into the sky, determined to find the end of the tyrannical dark.

Staring solemnly at the streets beneath, I see lonesome lights lingering, looking for the forlorn soul to guide.

The gridding of the streets become so obvious as the lamps that line them form perfect lines and angles.

From this height I find myself envious of the birds as they fly away, fly to the fabled "Anywhere Else.

" Envious of the clouds as they form and dissipate without a care only to be admired by those prodding about on the ground.

Envious of the Sun, a simple bystander, an idle observer of the life below. Though the yellow radiance must have been kidnapped, for dawn has not risen in what feels like a lifetime.

Instead the warmth of the Sun has been replaced by the cold white glow of the moon.

Despite the envy in the clouds, I feel at peace, being atop the city is a warm reminder of how small I am, how expansive the world truly is.

A reminder of the simplicity of my being in the complexity of the ever-expanding city.

However, this moment comes to an abrupt end as in an instant, I find myself among the dust and debris of the city street gazing upon the subtle orange glow of a lonely streetlamp.

The city is especially dark tonight, no lights shining through any windows, no signs of life.

The city itself has fallen into a deep sleep; no neon signs to paint the buildings in luminescent hues, even the traffic lights seemed to have dimmed for the moon.

My only sources of light, the single streetlamp I stand beneath and a soft orange flicker down the road.

I take a step out of the light, into the shadows and begin trudging towards the distant orb.

With each step I take, the world becomes blurrier, and fainter as shadows cover the towers and buildings like a gloomy moss.

As the darkness grows more intense, all I can see is the deserted streetlamp, a soldier of light making it's last stand against the shadows.

I begin to trek towards my beacon of hope and as it continues to flicker, so to does my heart flutter. Fear begins to wash over me, but not fear of the dark.

A fear of the faces I imagine peering at me through the night fog. A fear of the voices in the shadows that mock and laugh. A fear of my own demons.

I listen to the would-be Kings and Queens that wander the shadows screech for control of the darkness. How am I meant to hide from the dark when traversing through shadows?

The deafening cries of the specters surrounding me hasten my pace to the lonely lamp; and as I approach, a man, perhaps another wanderer beckons me forth.

The man seems to wear a golden suit, a suit of armor. Plate metal, forged from who knows where, but it glows with a brightness to rival that of the Sun.

No matter the source of this man's attire nor his identity, my pace quickens to a sprint.

Mere meters away am I from the golden-plated knight when a shadowy hand emerges from the darkness and rips the golden man from beneath the lamp.

There is a struggle as the golden-clad figure fights the shadows, and yet there is no screaming, no sounds of fighting.

Have the shrieking shadows left my ears deaf? Has the darkness consumed so much of my being, even the sounds of light are muffled? The man thrashes about in the shadow's palm to no avail.

For every fragment of darkness destroyed, two more take its place.

As he is dragged away, the glow from the armor that seeps through the shadow's grasp fade away until darkness has consumed the totality of the knight.

I pause beneath the streetlamp for a moment to ponder the perpetual path I find before me. Surely the something I seek lies at the end of all the nothingness.

For how long must I traverse the shadows of this place before the light at the end is even visible? At this point, the surrounding area has been engulfed by fog and darkness.

The world has become unrecognizable, and I know not where I am or where I am meant to go. The city itself has seemed to disappear with the Sun, consumed by the tyrannical dark.

Floating towards me on his throne of shadows is the silhouette in the dark. The closer he gets, the dimmer the world becomes.

As he stands before me, peering down upon my pathetic existence, I am engulfed by the void.

Before I can even think of running, I feel fatigue wash over me; not only my body, but my mind, my soul.

I can feel my body shut down and my eyes feel sewn shut, "Regicide! Regicide! Regicide!" is all I can think as I fall deeper and deeper into my solemn slumber.

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