The Call Of A Stranger

6 minutes read


One, one, one, one. Two, two, two, two. Three,three,three,three. Four.
Four, four, four, four. Three,three,three,three. Two, two, two, two. One.

The call of a stranger as he knocks on my door, internal I peer through the windows of my soul as I try to see the one knocking. It’s not until my door is open do I realize that I have already let him in; my door now ajar, and time has passed. I have no recollection of deeds done. I try to search, but my mind is not one of order or reason, large restraints over sections locking me out from myself. I can see images of myself struggling to get through the barriers as I try to claw my way in, never getting any closer to each other, forever missing the feeling of being whole.

I walk the large internals of my own self as I look for that who has no place; I search where I feel safe, visiting my other selves and the characters of my mind. With each one, they point me where to go, but each time I ignore them as I do not want to travel to where they say he treads. Eventually, I run out of familiar self to question and must look deeper; I must go out of my safe boundaries into the realm of the unknown and search with utmost precision.

The journey is never pleasant, as I leave the safety of my town to search the bile of the wasteland  that is yet to be cleared for those who live in my mental town. There are those that are me but are unused, the manifestations of those I see on the physical plane, and those of my own creation come to visit me and tell stories. For all of these, I have built walls and made safe a place where they may roam, but in my distracted absence, someone else has been making walls; someone else has been editing my home, making it dangerous to be alone.

I stand on the borders of mental safety as I do the first search into the unknown with my eyes; it is apparent the stranger walked through as their footprints were still deep in the muck. I took my first step out; I could feel the town drifting away as it shrunk in size; without me, it would fade into the black, taking everything with it. I had to be quick to make sure I did not lose my mind.

The further I searched, the greater the pit of emptiness swelled inside me, but I had to press on. I could not allow a stranger to invade my mind. Before long, I came across a home, one I had not built, so I knew it did not belong. It was small and poorly built, a rushed job by an unskilled craftsman with desperation on his hands. This was my stranger; this is where he was hiding.

I climbed the hill of filth as I tried to reach the rugged shack; I realized as I climbed that the building looked familiar. It had a shape that was not pleasing to the eye, but it was a form that brought back memories. It was not until I had reached the peak of the hill that I realized that the reason it was familiar was because it was mine, I did not build it, but someone had tried to recreate my home in my mind. Worst still, they had started the construction of the whole town; once I had reached the top of the hill, I could see the construction below.

This stranger could not have done something this big by themself; they had only just arrived they could not have constructed something so great in such a short time. I could not see a single person, so maybe it is possible he has gotten through before.

He started his fractured empire that is an empty shade of my well-crafted town of safety. In the center of a fractured town, I spied the central town clock rising by the hand of many, pulling ropes and strings.

I descended as fast as I could; I needed to get to the bottom of this; I could not let these intruders corrupt my mind. I have no idea how so many got in; the door was only left open for a moment. I arrived as the tower stood fractured in the near center of town, a testament to the fractured name. To my surprise, I was there along with a hooded figure. Multiple versions of me had taken sides with this stranger and was not interested in returning to my perfect town of safety.

“You gave them everything they could ever need; now they crave more, not in substance but in life. They look for chaos as they have been deprived their fair share; more and more of yourself come here every day to seek the thrill of uncertainty.”

I had no response to the hooded stranger that had made their way into my mind by cunning.

“Even your creations have started to help as we grow in size; soon, you will be left alone in your perfect town. There will be no one there for you as it all slowly falls down, soon to become part of our fractured kingdom.”

My body shook; I was surrounded by myself and my own creations. None of them were capable of anger, just unwanted gratitude towards my efforts. I was worse than not enough for them; I was too much. I ran back to my town, away from the muck and mire that thrived outside my walls. I crossed my barriers to come back to an empty town; the streets were barren of bodies and rich in an undesirable amount of space.

All of a sudden, I had to run the entire town by myself; the food needed farming, the stores restocked, the walls guarded, and the gardens tended. I was so busy making sure everything was right that I did not realize that I was losing control; I started to notice things that were not there. Before long, I was talking to the creations that were long gone, only to finish my sentences to the walls in front of me. I had gone from everything to nothing, from a thriving mind to one under maned having to handle every task at hand with only oneself.

I started to lose parts of my town that I could not maintain; I let them fall to the fractured town, expanding their control over my mind. Eventually, I was left with my home; the grounds were well kept, the walls painted, glass as clean as new, but the inside was darker than the wasteland. My creations now roamed the waste with the stranger looking for a way in, but I made sure that the outside looked clean. I made sure no one had a chance to suspect that I had been failing. My exterior is always clean and pristine as the interior rots into the earth from whence it came.

One, one, one, one. Two, two, two, two. Three,three,three,three. Four.
Four, four, four, four. Three,three,three,three. Two, two, two, two. One.

The call of a stranger as he knocks on my door…