Friday, February 3, 2012

Through the Eyes of the Dead (A Minnesota Story)

Opening: “I’ve held this story back somewhat, had put it into limbo for the most part, for most people do not know of my experiences in the way of Second Sight, or indeed of the phenomenon itself. Neither in Europe nor America does such a belief prevail (although they believe in a God they cannot see, and miracles of long ago, and the devil made me do it axiom). Most folk’s think, something has turned the brain, when someone shares such an experience. Therefore, I shall not try to convince the reader one way or another, let it rest under science fiction if indeed it gets better reception. But nonetheless, I shall place it under fiction, for my own journals. I shall try to write it in a form of poetic prose, thus allowing the reader to feel the depth of the story.” Dlsiluk

The Story

I could never again by closing my eyes, have seen anything of which the eyes of my soul had rested upon, and they were open, it was death.

It was strange indeed. It all seemed composed of dark patches of fog like crystal. In and amongst the trees I rested, the darted mysterious unexplained dark, moved ceaselessly outside my shell, within the bleak winter branches of a tree (it was December, 1963). I could not see–but rather feel and sense, even lightly hear, the water of the river below me, the wind above and the current below the ice—invariably, moving on their course. All was clear, as though I was looking out of a bubble. Every sound was laid bare; yet awareness sank deep into my mind.
It all appeared to be a dual consciousness.
Whatever I was before the accident was not plain and real. Yet not for a moment did I lose my identity: I knew I was where I was.

My automobile had crashed onto the thin, but solid ice of the Mississippi River, over rocks, down an embankment of thirty feet, through trees, now it rested on the river under a cliff. And my dead body lay halfway out of the crashed vehicle on the driver’s side.
There was some divine guiding element which had taken hold of the event; guided from the moment of impact—so I believe.
I took careful scrutiny of all things: the bright lights that passed, on the narrow road, to the far-off left of me, the very road that had brought me to this point in destiny, or providence, or call it luck—although that road felt evilly, and if it was, if the devil himself had planted that patch of ice the car slid on, and zoomed straight forward over the cliff onto the river, again I say, it was fate, saintly fate, that took over, it was a perfect outcome that is, for a deadly disaster.
The moon’s position, crude as it was with its light, likened to an oil lamp—with its thick smoky wick, made the night gloomy.
From this I passed forefront, that is to say, halfway outside of the dilapidated 1953 Desoto. At this point my body was lying halfway out of the front seat of the car onto the ice, and halfway inside of the car. To my far right, lay Ralph, my comrade, asleep, more like knockout. He looked pale and wan. It made my heart dreary to see his body crushed in-between iron and steel and fabric. The old Desoto was half the size it originally was. But there was breath coming out of his mouth and nostrils; fixed resolutions. Knowing him as I did, I cried, silently, “You’re alive,” burned into my lungs and heart. I did not need to guess.
His side of the door was locked. The inside door hinge or bolt, was stuck. The key did not open it. I would have lingered, but the cracking ice and the freezing cold, and the drifting snow compelled me to find a crowbar in the trunk of the car, forcing the door open. Whereat, I moved him out. He was of medium frame, with a light wound on his forehead.

A fog hung thick over the top of the trees, was seeping downward, dropping to several feet above the ice, all around; the vast cold air, and the rising depths of the cold water below me, were freezing the upper and lower parts of my body, I had lost one shoe also.
So far as the mind can think, in such situations, possibilities lay open.
The floor of the river still under me, my iron and steel-bound automobile, my Desoto lying heavily on the ice, the ice cracking, making designs like a giant spider web, all such marked a bleak picture, perhaps an unwelcoming ending.
Then as I had pulled Ralph from the car, he awake.
Far away were several car lights—headlights. A few miles out, were house lights—windows lit up, like dots. Slowly we moved off the ice, a tide of relief, for surely the car would sink sooner than later. But that which drew my eyes, once on the road as to a magnet draws to iron, was the clumsily shifting, the zigzagging of smoke from chimneys. Outwardly, only a few hundred yards away.

#845 (12/29/2011)