The Promise

Rob Harle
by Robert Maddox_Harle (aka Rob Harle)

      I promised my friend I would visit her.
I had promised and promised and promised.  She
probably didn't believe I would ever really
visit her.
      Clang     clunk,  clang/clunk the train
pulled out of another station.  Clickty  clack,
clickity clack, clickity clack.  Speeding
along, faster, getting faster,faster,clickity
clack,clickity clack,clickityclack.
      This train, this terrible trembling train
had tortured me too long. I decided to get off,
had to get off at the next station, next
station, next station.
      Didn't care where just had to get off,
had to get off, had to get off.
      I got off.  Ran down the platform, across
a dirt road, across a farmer's paddock, across
a bridge, across a creek.  Running fast, fast,
running as fast as I could run.
      A way in the distance I saw a forest.
Had to get to the forest, had to, had to.
Running fast, faster,faster. The forest was
very close now, close,getting close,closer.
      My heart was pounding fast, faster,faster,
thump/thump, thump/thump, thump/thump,
getting closer, thump/thump, thump/thump, my
legs were hurting, thump/thump, thump/thump.
      The green-ness was soft, very soft.  I
slowed to a walk, thump/thump,  thump,   thump,
slower,    getting       slower.
      Tall tree ferns full of green-ness, full
of green softness surrounded me.  Soothed me.
Delicate maiden hair nestled secure against a
weathered rock.  A silent weathered rock.
Everything was calm, everything was still,
everything was soft, everything was silent.
My soft s - l - o - w  breathing, silent,
still.  Silent soft.  I sank slowly onto the
silent weathered rock drifting into dreaming,
drowsy drifting, drifting, drifting.
      When I awoke it was dark.  Hiss-siss,
hiss-siss, hiss-siss, the strange noise was
getting louder. HISS-SISS, HISS-SISS.  I jumped
up to run, HISS-SISS, HISS-SISS.  Suddenly the
noise stopped.  Now it was silent,   not     a
sound.
      I needed to get out of this black dark-
ness, the gentle green-ness had turned to
frightening blackness.  It curled around my
face and rubbed against my hand.  Crash, the
twigs crushed under my step.  Crash  crash
crash  crash.  The crashing was deafening I
tried to walk softly.  Quickly and softly.
      I started running, running fast, faster
than I'd ever run, crashing, crunching through
bushes running faster.  My heart was pounding
thump/thump, thump/thump,thump/thump, crashing
through cold grass, thump/thump, thump/thump,
thump/thump.
      A faint light appeared in the distance.
I slowed,  slowed down,    slowed to a walk.
My lungs hurt, bursting as I tried to grasp my
breath err/herr, err/herr,  err   herr,   err
herr,        err          herr.  My breathing
and walking were slowing, the light was getting
brighter and BRighter and BRIGHTER, then it
became two, there were smaller orange lights
following the searing white lights, it roared
past, THUNDERING the ground around me.
      I didn't know where I was,  couldn't
remember which station I'd left the train at.
      I didn't know.  I climbed up onto the
edge of the highway and started walking in the
direction of the disappearing lights.
      The roadside gravel pushed up at my tired
feet, crunch,  crunch,  crunch,  crunch.  I was
getting hungry.  Crunch,  crunch,  crunch,
crunch.  My breathing was loud against the
still night air, ERR/HERR, ERR/HERR, ERR/HERR.
      I walked on and on.  I was very hungry.
Crunch,  crunch,  ERR/HERR,  ERR/HERR,  crunch,
crunch.  The road was becoming steeper.  The
walking was getting harder and slower,  crunch,
crunch,         crunch,                 crunch.
My breathing was getting harder and faster,
ERR/HERR, ERR/HERR ERRHERR ERRHERR ERRHERR.
      Suddenly my eyes were glared by hundreds
of lights; street lights, coloured lights,
truck lights, shop lights.  I saw a late night
cafe half-way down the hill.  I started walking
faster, crunch, crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch my
hunger was overtaking me.
      The fragrance of frying food and fresh
flowing coffee drew me to the cafe like a fly,
music cascaded out the door.  "She loves you,
yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you yeah, yeah,
yeah."
      My hamburger oozed warm wetness down my
wrist, I sipped coffee, more hamburger, more
coffee, more hamburger.
      Try some chicken, `Flash'.  Try some
chicken, `Flash'.  Try some chicken, `Flash'.
The harshness, the cruelty of the neon flashing
seared my eyes.  Three pieces of golden crumbed
chicken, gently fried chicken begged me to gulp
them down.  Try some chicken `Flash'.  Try some
chicken, `Flash'.  My hunger was almost eaten
up as I chewed the last piece of chicken.
      Pain shot through my throat.  Help!
Can't breathe.  Help!  Can't breathe.
      The music faded with the lights. Spinning
fading, pulsating.  My ears were buzzing,
bezzz, bezzz, bezzz.  My head was exploding
boom/boom, boom/boom, boom/boom.  Spinning,
spinning, falling, drifting into dreaming,
drifting,  drifting,   drifting,    drifting.
      White-ness surrounded me everywhere,
white-ness, white uniforms, white sheets, white
walls.  A trolley with red all over the white
hurtled past the white door.  Click/clack,
patter/patter, click/clack, patter/patter,
getting faster, click/clack,patter/patter,
clickclack patterpatter clickclackpatterpatter.
      "Paging Nurse Green!"  "Paging Nurse
Green!"  "Emergency!" "Emergency!"  Click/clack
patter/patter, click/clack, patter/patter.
"Paging Nurse Green!"  "Paging Nurse Green!"
"Emergency!"  "Emergency!"
      I sat up grasping my throat, I could feel
the pain inside,  my breath rasped, gerr/gherr,
gerr/gherr, gerr/gherr, gerr/gherr.  My head
sank back into the soft white-ness of the
pillow.  Every time I set out to visit my
friend something like this happens, but she
never believes me. 

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