The traveler screamed.
Then he ran and ran and ran.
The road became as straight as it had been crooked before.
Still . . . he could not escape from himself.
He understood that.
The woman thing was gone,
but it still lived as surely as he took the next gasping breath,
it did so because it was him with all the warts.
A forlorn, solitary howl interrupted the traveler's perverse musings.
Such a sad and lonesome wail it could only come from a hound.
The traveler took it as a warning.
A cautionary howl directed at the stranger
who walked among the remnants
and distasteful ingredients which make up mankind.
Plop. Plop. Plop.
One foot in front of the other.
It should be night.
It is not.
It is twilight.
He needed to find . . . Shelter.
He startled himself with his audible question.
He needed shelter because he was,
or would soon be, cold.
Shelter to hide his nakedness.
He was ashamed of his slightly rounded stomach,
his old man sagging breasts;
his rapidly receding penis.
Shelter to hide his imperfections.
The howling hound was there with him,
pressing his cold, wet nose against his bare leg.
The hound walked ahead of him.
of course, not a hound.
A beast though.
He was that.
A beast that spoke.
I am here to take you.
The traveler did not see the beasts' mouth move when it spoke.
”Where are you taking me?”
The beast began to lope.
The traveler did not run after it.
Soon the hound was out of sight.
The traveler continued walking.
What else was he to do?
There was no where else to go.
Each step he took he was met with Ethereal Images from his past.
Only they were not really ghost-like,
they were eerily delicate real matter.
These wraithlike images could touch and feel and bleed.
They sobbed and screamed into his face angry words,
screeches and clawed his back and front side
and attacked his genitals,
especially his genitals.
He could not defend himself,
for without him being aware,
his arms had fallen from his body.
There was no blood.
It had not hurt.
Was he at the mercy of his past sins?
Were they infiltrating themselves into the very pores of his being?
He walked, and as he did so he decided to forgive his persecutors
even though it seemed they were holding onto their grudges.
“Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Actually, he believed they did know what they were doing
He knew most of them.
She was the worst.
She was the worst.
Unrelenting in their desire to hurt.
Payback is . . . Toughtittie . . .
Reap what you sow . . .
Yes . . .
What goes around . . .
All That Jazz!
He was being hit and poked, jabbed with sharp fingernails,
bitten with filed-down teeth and kicked,
he would surely fall to the earth and be beaten until he died but . . .
His Mother's chest burst open,
her heart fairly flew from her bosom onto the ground and split into.
The rest did the same.
Everyone he had known,
everyone he guessed he had hurt
in ways he could not remember now,
lost their hearts and minds and love and joy,
all to be strewn alongside the dusty road the traveler walked.
Now he understood.
©February 20, 2017 / Jerry Pat Bolton