Sunday, 15 November 2009

Falling Gold: A Dream

‘Heaven and Earth are not humane; they treat the people as straw dogs. The Sage is not humane; he treats the people as straw dogs.’
-Dao De Jing

The totalitarian government is a monster with many faces. Somewhere, behind the metropolitan sheen of the city, lies a terrible, deviant power. The people are afraid. But out in the village, the city could be another country. They just don’t bother us at all.

Until now.

I am summoned to the city- by whom, I don’t know. My guess is, they realised there’s no point fighting fire with fire. Why not send in me, a nice guy who won’t pull any tricks?

I leave my family behind, abandoning the simple barbecue and all the day’s serenity. The city needs me.
I am taken to a building much taller than I realised existed there. We don’t have much money back home... Nobody does. Who built this thing?

I’m alone in the lobby when the lift behind me pings. I turn around: the lift is pure gold. My yellowed reflection parts vertically as the doors open. The interior: more gold. The walls, floor, and ceiling all connect into a sickeningly opulent prism that I feel compelled to step into.

The elevator rises with a jerk. I’m lifted so high and so fast that my guts slam into my pelvis, and I swallow hard, ears popping.

The door opens. I can hear the sound of construction- a distant, clanging sound from below. Am I safe? Gold bars are stacked all around me, and these piles stretch down much further than they should. I realise there is no floor beyond the lift.

Silently, like the door, the floor of the lift retracts, and the infinite reflections of the floor and ceiling start to narrow. It’s a trap. I back myself to the wall, but soon there is nothing underneath me.
I fall. The clanging gets louder, and rows and rows of gold blur upward into each other.

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