I am pleased to welcome Sophia as today’s guest writer. Not only has she left some wonderful and thoughtful comments for some of my stories, but she’s written vivid and spiritual compositions that blend prose and poetry beautifully on her own blog. Those writings can be found on Essorant.
“The Hotel” is a wonderful tale of awakening from a long forgotten dream. To feel the inkling of a memory emerging. And once the memory surfaces, the doors of acceptance are open.
When the mist cleared around me, I found myself in a grove of cypress trees. Sheer blue mountains rose around me and I knew that I was standing in the sacred grove of Delphi. I remembered that I came from the sea but I could not remember why I was there and how I came to be there. I inhaled the resinous fragrance of the trees. A soft breeze whispered through the trees. “Thyia, Thyia …” and in my mind images unfurled of sacred fires smouldering beneath the oracle’s seat and then were gone. In the valley below I could see what appeared to be a forest of blue gray olive trees.
Olive trees are the memories of the earth.
Memories … I vaguely became aware that I am searching for something. The ground around me was covered with a thick carpet of leaves, cones and seeds. I scratched amongst leaves and cones trying to remember what it was I had to find. The scent conjured strong feelings of loneliness and sorrow inside me, yet I could not connect to their origins.
What is it that I have to find? I peered through the dark cypress trees and saw a path snaking down to an old red hued building. I knew instantly that the building was a hotel and that I have been there before. I followed the path to the hotel. As I opened the large wooden doors I was filled with recognition but I could not remember when I was there before. The hotel appeared abandoned but I felt that perhaps I will find some clues in the rooms.
I opened door after door and was surprised to find that in each room there were heaps of empty white shells. The shells were piled on top of chest of drawers, and I even found the shells inside the drawers and inside the cupboards. It was the same in every room that I entered except the last room that I came to. Inside this room I found long lost clothes of mine. There were however, also the same white shells scattered amongst the clothes and in the cupboards. It felt as if I left it yesterday, and I wondered when I left it and why it seemed as if I left in a hurry. I picked up the clothes and folded it intending to take it with me. Why could I not remember? The shells puzzled me.
I went outside on the balcony, and saw that it was overlooking a sports field. On the field school children were rehearsing for a parade. I heard my name being called. To my surprise I saw that the instructor was calling me from the field to come and practice. I immediately had a guilty feeling that I was bunking the practice but then I thought, “Wait a minute I am not a child anymore. Thank goodness I do not have to do that stuff anymore. How strange, I must appear as if I am a child to them.”
I heard my name called again and I looked around to see who was calling me. A beautiful ebony skinned girl with hair braided with red, black and white beads lithely jumped from the balcony above me to right beside me. “I remember you,” she said, “we used to have such fun together.” I could not remember, and I was pretty sure that I would have remembered her. However, I thought that if she knew me, perhaps she will be able to tell me why I had to leave so unexpectedly. Maybe she will know what the hidden secret was.
We went back inside the hotel to her room. Bubbling with laughter, she recalled our days of mischief and what fun we had. I observed that her room was not full of shells like mine. I was still straining to remember what she was recalling, hoping that her stories would spark some remembrance in me, when suddenly in the ceiling I saw a small vortex appear. It was swirling like a universe. Out of this appeared what looked like an orange sea anemone. Intense fear seized me as I suddenly remembered why I left in such a hurry. I tried to warn her but the thing just sucked her up before I could grab hold of her. I remembered that it only took live things and I held out some red and white flowers that were in the room to give me enough time to escape through the door. I now knew why there were so many empty shells.
I ran down the passage banging on all the doors as I went, just in case there were any other people there, and shouted, “Get out, get out of here.” I made it outside into the open air and sat down on the grassy bank and sobbed in the horror of it. I thought to myself; “No one will believe me.”
Suddenly I found myself as an objective observer. I felt nothing, as if I was listening to a history lesson. First there was a picture of a house overgrown with ivy; behind it were swirling clouds of vortexes, like the ones I saw in the hotel. The style of the image reminded me of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. I heard a deep masculine voice explaining that the vortexes were time portals. Seers, he further explained had to enter these portals, but if they were not properly prepared would disappear forever, or would be returned dead or mad with hideous burns.
I found myself back on the grassy bank, my fear had dissipated and I knew what I had to do. I had to go back inside that hotel and I had to face the thing. I walked with deliberate slowness down the passage to the room, steeling my resolve with each step. I entered the room, and now there were also empty shells scattered in the room. I looked to the ceiling and saw that the thing was no longer there, but I knew that I could summon it. I closed my eyes and silently summoned it; “Come, take me.”
Almost instantly I felt myself sucked up and felt the clammy, yet surprisingly soft tendrils close around me. Then I was in a swirling tunnel spinning me with a dizzying velocity until I was whirled out into an ocean of darkness. It was absolutely quiet. I felt as if I was drifting in a vast endless starless space. In the distance I could see and feel the far off rumbling of thunder and flashes of light. The light flashes sent out tendrils of light that came closer and closer to me. At first just light touching me but as it came closer it increased in intensity until I was completely enveloped in the swirling tactile light.
Out of the light a voice spoke, and although it sounded like one voice, I knew it was many voices synthesized into one. It felt as if the voice resonated in every cell of my being.
“Do you remember now?”
And I did.