|La Miseria by Cristóbal Rojas|
Friday, June 12, 2015
Fevered Dreams of the Dispossessed Marching on the Nightland
Last night I trembled.
I laid in bed as my body shook from the fever that had taken hold of me and hallucinated in that nightmarish half sleep of fevered dreams. At first I found myself talking with Andy Jackson about the problems of dealing with ISIS while Willie Nelson picked his guitar absently in the corner and smoked a joint; but then a thunderstorm broke overhead, sending fat droplets of rain crashing against my windows and things began to change. Jackson stood up stiffly and walked over to the windows to watch the lightening striking the lake below.
"What do you see," he said.
I stared into the curtains and felt a cold hand grip me. "A line of refugees making their way across the foothills," I said with a tongue thick with fever, "The sky behind them was a roiling mass of black clouds with massive, dark shapes lit by lighting. The people whimpered as they heard the thunder and felt the shadow of the clouds move inexorably towards them. The women cried while children stared forward with vacant eyes. Men mumbled to themselves, pulled at their hair, and tore at their clothes as tears streamed down their faces.
"Behind them, in the darkness beneath the clouds, the ground seethed with millions of bodies. They struck, bit, and slew each other trying to get closer to the edge of darkness yet their numbers never seemed to diminish. I can hear their shrill voices in the distance. 'We'll be there soon children. Just slow your parents a little and it'll all be over.'
"They're terrible and I hate them."
Jackson sat down on the edge of the bed and said, "Then what will you do about them?"
"Kill all of them."
Hours passed as the fever wracked my body and pulled the muscles of my back as I coughed in uncontrollable fits. Yet Jackson remained by the window watching the storm as it sent wave after wave of rain against the house.
"How will you do that," he said after a time.
"Kill all of them."
I moved the washcloth off my eyes and stared at him. "With fire."
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