Collective Rapture: A Fictional Narrative Essay

Pain is a harsh reminder that one is still very much connected to the collective rapture called existence; a belonging which often resonates radially as it does its utmost best to alert one that to continue with the chosen action, to continue along the chosen path, is not without harsh yet definitely quantifiable inauspicious consequences. It was this pervasion of ecstasy, one which she had rejected sometime in the past, that finally forced her to open her eyes, and which saved her from permanent oblivion of her last, true self.

Stars spiraled then faded in her torpid gaze, revealing to her clearing vision a shoe a leather-laced shoe flopped over on one side, its heeled scuffed, its toe slightly peeling, its ornate seascape design along the side faded from age. It needed more oil; it always need more oil. A light breeze alerted her to the existence of her body, and all the distress which such awareness invoked: one of her cheeks was cold, yet the other was colder, the numbness seeping into her jaw.

Her coldest cheek was laying on something rough, grainy and a dull gray color. Raising her head her body protested made her whimper. She gave it another try after a deep breath, only to realize odd angle she was laying necessitated she rotate her body around to sit up. Except for the pale blue glow of the full moon that flowed in from the window the room was otherwise dark. As her eyes adjusted to the ghostly blue light of the waning full moon, she began to see the room.

The walls were marble, speckled with peach swirls; she’d always found it odd, considering the rest of the make up of the building was limestone and granite. She paused at the stray thought Her mind didn’t bother to explain her how she knew the dark streaks in the marble were peach nor did it bother to inform her how she knew it was marble she was looking at. These things were fact to her and couldn’t be disputed. On the left wall facing into the room hung a fairly dusty old tapestry of a sunset overlooking the sea: Napoli dal Mare. ~ ~ ~ ~ She loved it as the sun settled beyond the limestone cliffs, as the sky lights becomes the colors of a well used embers. She imagines she could touch it and lift it out of the sea which would eventually blanket it so tight. She settled into a state of eudaemonia as a welcome arms surrounds. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The memory stabbed her so sharp, so real served to do what the sight of the shoe did not. Something inside her was now awake. She groaned, blinked back watery tears and continued to survey the room.

Directly across from the door was a window, cavernous by scale to most other windows. Salt air snaked its way through the open space, accompanied by the gentle and repeated swooshing sound of waves breaking against a shallow beach some distance away. To the right of that window was a large mahogany bed, outlaid with designs and a carving of the sea and its creatures. Since the bed was so close, she surmised the one thing which currently made sense: she’d fallen off. She unsteadily pushed herself off the floor, and stood on shaky legs.

Taking a moment to right herself she reached for the corner of the bed, and gasped as she grasped the bed frame: a sharp pain shot through her hand. Yanking it away she massaged the calluses. Calluses? She examined finely manicured hands and delicate fingers, at least delicate from the top. Both palms sported heavy, weeks old calluses, and wrinkled pasty water damaged skin. What had she been doing to get them? The juxtaposition of careful grooming and hard drudgery was lost in a storm of newly fearful thoughts: Am I a servant? Did I fall asleep, what was I doing?

This managed caused a bit of unnecessary panic. She now wondered whose chamber she had decided to nap in, for surely such luxury was not hers. The fear of being in the wrong place caused her to move to fast, and she was suddenly lightheaded. The sense of disembodiment pushed away the throbbing pain from her bruised body. But there was something else. A growing awareness, and familiarity with her existence, servant she wasn’t, and for no reason, she was sure of it, but anything else, any other memory save of Napoli dal Mare refused to come when called.