Red City

I was drawn to the Red City even before I knew it existed.  I was haunted by dreams.  Dreams were an escape from my misery of suffocation caused by working odd jobs just to stay alive.  No one cared about my negligible existence.  When I lost my part-time employment as a dishwasher I had to give up my small room.  I moved into the streets.  I begged.  At night I slept in dark alleys under the shelter of plastic sheets and cardboard.  Children shrieked when they saw me – small boys threw rocks.  I was only twenty-four but I looked like an old man.  At twenty-four I had already forgotten my name and the promises that were told to me as a boy growing up in a middle class suburb.  I spent my days in a walking-delirium.    The only release from my tedium was sleep.  I discovered the Red City in a dream.   In the beginning there was only a mist that appeared like a fine spray of blood.   With each dream the blood became more visceral.  During the day the dream stayed with me like a metallic taste in my mouth.  The City began to ascend from deep below the moorings of reality.  It shimmered like red meat beneath the thin layer of human skin.   I realized how deeply connected I was to the Red City.  Somehow I had the power to wake up a city that lay dormant for thousands of years.  I followed my dreams into another dimension.  I could feel the blood of the city pulsing in my veins.  I felt powerful.  I began to live in the Red City  — at the same time, I was disappearing from the world of  starvation and homelessness.  I could be many different people, angels and demons, when I traveled in the Red City.  I had many disguises.  I was learning the secrets of ancient magic, secrets that explained the workings of the world.  I sought the Philosopher’s Stone, true immortality.  I learned that life was sustained by blood.  The Red City was a crucible of blood.  The other world where I was born was nothing.  The people in that world were selfish, greedy bugs that were less than nothing – they were flimsy images flashing on a screen of make-believe reality.  The Red City was the only reality — my true home.  Whenever I skinned one of those false people the blood gave me life and the Red City flourished.

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