Pictures from my latest visit to Linda Vista Hospital
Linda Vista Hospital - Boyle Heights, CA
Monday 26th of November 2012
Alright forgive me for not using a read more but I felt like breaking it up ruined it.
Somehow, miraculously, precisely 1,500 words. About 72 straight hours of figuring out what the hell I wanted to say.
Written to this piece. (highly recommended by me that you play it if you wanna give this a read, which you probably don’t anyways as fair warning)
White light of dawn shone bleak and barren down through the cracks. It was cold and infertile, sterilizing everything it touched in a searing, clinical divinity. Beyond it there was only a blank brightness, an impenetrable light, pulsing with energy. Beyond it was nothing, before it all that existed, confined within the old greying wood, the dust covered floors, the moulding remnants of the bed sheets in the darkened rooms.
A chorus of angels called her. She had been hiding in the corners of the darkest attic room, hidden in the dust that filtered the blind light commanding its way through the boarded window. There was the sense of waiting, and the hush of baited breath, as though the morning knew what was to come. The moment was pregnant with purpose, an immaculate conception breathing life into a barren shell. She could hear the sound, beautiful and heavenly, turning her blind as light is to all else. The chorus called to her, hands of dust and dew and bone ash beckoning to the child and so she rose, her hair caught with the webbing of the darkness, her grey face upturned in the rapture of the haunting voices.
She followed the high, thin flute of a solitary voice through the darkness, guided out of the room by its sweet note. It was gentle, and she wasn’t afraid, though the shrillness carved away at what could have been her soul. She felt weightless, carried by the chorus, her footsteps light as feather over the thick dust covering the wood beneath her feet. Her hand brushed over the railing of the staircase, stirring not a mote of dust.
The voices urged her along, their sweet song shoving her sight away from the relics of the downstairs rooms. Treading lightly, she passed silent over the layers of memory, careful to avoid disturbing them. She passed a broken dish, a porcelain washing basin, cracked and coated in webs of sorrow and age. The broken wing of a white butterfly, of whose kind had once feasted in the fields of lavender that could be seen from a bedroom window. A child’s doll, dropped in haste and kicked away under the leg of a toppled wooden chair. The canvas toy was preserved by the dryness of it all, the stagnant air still carrying the faintest trace of lavender and sage. It stared up towards the unforgiving sky, black button eyes forlorn and mournful, the stitches in its side, broken from the violence those vacant buttons had seen, spilling the stuffing of dried herbs.
Fumbling in the darkness for the door handle, the voices whispering to her raised to a crescendo. Her bony fingers closed over the frosted metal, its shine untouched by rust. She turned the handle, the slow keen of hinges adding to the glorious rise of the angelic chorus, crying out in release of a broken seal. Light flooded in, outlining the tall rectangle of the door before her. She closed her eyes, smiling at the sweet beauty of the voices washing over her with their holy light. No need to be afraid any more.
The world outside was as hushed as the old townhouse. It paused at the emergence of the girl, her foot seeking solid ground with hesitancy, as though she would fade under the full view of the light. She closed the door, her tiny hands lingering on the aging wood, reluctant to break the strings that had tied her so long to the dust and the decay.
The angels tugged at her; she could feel their invisible hands pulling at her clothes and at her heart. She turned and stepped down onto the old stone of the street, carried along by the current of light flowing around her, lifting her soul along with the voices.
Ahead of her, all she could see of the world was monochrome. People rushed along, dressed in the sharpness of the midnight palettes in her dark eyes, pulling their jackets up against the bleak cold. The urgency of the voices tugged her along; she couldn’t stop to watch them shy from her path. Her tiny steps pattered behind the melodious passion of the chorus.
The townsfolk stopped to watch her pass, pressed to the sides of the road by her presence. The silent girl, her dark curls bouncing and drifting with the hurry of her pace like dark smoke, and on her face the rapturous sweetness of their sins. With her went a heavy hush, the grey world holding its breath as the whisper of a secret passed through cold, blue lips.
They turned away from her empty gaze, but she was not looking at them. The shades fell in behind her, shambling after their cruel salvation. None could look away, their guilt etched in frightened agony behind shallow eyes. She could smell the sweet, familiar fragrance of fear, shrill and sharp; she inhaled deeply, sighing in content. Memories of old wood and iron and the deep grime of coal-dusted hands, black as dead button eyes. Once they had caused what was left of the girl great pain, but now they carried only a memory of life, and even the faintest memories of pain brought joy.
Her reminiscing had brought her to the white steps of the church, its tall stone facade stretching above her, a tower to heaven, both terrible and lovely. Behind her the people gathered in a sea of apprehension. She was their judgement, the release they had both prayed for and dreaded. The collective conscience of their silent mass compelled each individual to look on in horror and wonder at the child whose existence was both a miracle and a sin. They had lost themselves, and now the child that would be an angel would take what little they had left.
She reached for the door, oblivious to the crowd, still pulled by the voices. The closer she came, the more insistent their song, and the less resistance they met within the tiny human shell.
None of the gathered onlookers moved, though the tension between them wove like webbing from person to person. They felt powerless to stop their fate, and although they couldn’t hear the singing, each one of them was familiar with what it looked like to be called by the angels. They could imagine nothing else that could hold such power over a soul.
Behind her she could hear the whispering of their thoughts, the tiny fluttering of Luna moths, each their own tiny source of light in the dark, tracing their own tiny trails of memory as they gathered to her flame. For a moment she hesitated there, strung between the thin threads still tying her to the people behind her, and the tight cord of heaven pulling at her. It was with a sense of falling that the strings behind her broke, and hands that were not hers opened the church doors, revealing the blinding light within. They couldn’t see it, but they averted their eyes. She was created from them, and now she would fade into their judge, while still they toiled on alone, forgotten. The light that touched her would never touch them – both a relief and a deep longing that endured beyond all other senses recalled.
She stood, unseeing eyes staring into the vast expanse of brightness. It burned but she smiled, letting it wash over her and sear away that which was left. For one single moment, the voices stopped. Silence, silver and pure, surrounded her.
She breathed life. The silence exploded.
Someone nameless stepped forward to catch the fragile thing as it fell. To be nameless was to know oneself, while around the others languished and clung to themselves in desperation and pitiful grovelling. They were afraid of disappearing, afraid of being erased by the cruel light.
This one’s was grey, like the rest, but the eyes there were not yet as washed out, still dark and filled with more than empty thoughts. Still on the cusp of the capability of grief. Wrapped in his coat he carried the shell of dust and bone inside. He could not yet see the source of the light that had been reflected from her eyes, but he could feel it pulsing here, the energy that had kept this bleak place intact long after it should have vanished.
The dawn that morning was beautiful, shining down through the high windows, covering the pews in silver gild. He lay her down with reverence on the cold altar, and brushed the matted hair from her bruised face. Her tiny body still held the scent of lavender and sage, but it was stale and distant. She was no more than a relic, a remnant of what they had done to her. What they had done to themselves.
No white butterflies of a distant memory of this place would feast on her corpse, for butterflies are drawn to nourishment and life. Neither of which was left to offer here.
Pleasant nightmares! :D
oh god oh god oh no
More nightmares! /o/
This made me smile because his voice reminds me of the crypt keeper from Tales From the Crypt. >u<