I woke up and all I could see was the star-filled sly illuminated by the warm light of the full moon which ruled heaven.
Obviously, I was lying on my back and I didn´t know what I was doing there, so I stoop up and looked around me trying to find something familiar. I found nothing, literally nothing. No buildings, no cars, no people, no life.
The first thing I felt was an incessant wind on my face and the creeping sand moving under my feet. There was sand everywhere, a never-ending landscape made of sand. Then, I started to feel cold, but whoever left me there, left me with a coat and a backpack with a canteen, a knife and food within it. I didn´t understand anything but I could not stay there waiting for help, so I decided to move.
First of all I had to decide in which direction to go, so I checked the sky and there it was, the North Star, which meant that I was in the northern hemisphere. Knowing that, I had to decide what course to take. Suddenly, in the distance, up in the sky, I saw a vague flying figure which I deduced was a bird, and I like birds, so I started to walk on that direction.
The path wasn´t at all regular. My starting point was plain but what I had in front of me was a rollercoaster made out of sand. But that was not the worst part. The worst part was when I reached the summit of the dunes. While I was climbing the dunes, the moonlight allowed me to see what was to come next, but once I reached the peak, the shadows bathed the dark side of the dunes. It was like an abyss where I had to plunge in order to reach the next one.
I don´t know how long I was walking in that desert, but the moon seemed not to move from its place. It was as if it was never going to be daytime.
My eyes had already become used to seeing under that dim light what allowed me to see something in the distance. At first I could not understand that spot on the horizon, but as I approached, I could distinguish two figures, a dog and a woman.
I shouted, they listened to me and stopped to wait. The dog was a female Golden Retriever, and the woman, well; she was the definition of beauty.
When I reached them I introduced myself and when I shook her hand I felt something weird but at the same time nice and warm.
Her name was Love, and she told me that she didn´t know what they were doing there either, but she had decided, just like me, to walk in direction of the bird.
Suddenly, Moon, the dog, barked. We looked in the same direction as the dog and saw two more people. We ran towards them hoping they knew something about that situation, but nothing. They didn´t know anything.
They were a nice old couple a little scared and obviously lost, so they decided to come with us.
It seemed like we had walked for days but the moon was still anchored in the same place.
We met each other. They were all good people, the dog too. But I always looked for Love´s company. I was starting to feel something for her.
We were approaching the bird when a burst deafened us, and out of nowhere a hole as big as Central Park arose. And there, staying on the edge of the hole, we saw her, a lady in black. She told us she was our hostess and begged us to follow her inside that stone structure that seemed to descent to hell itself. We descended through that hole for a long time until we reached what seemed to be the bottom of it, where there was a single door that allowed us to enter a huge room carved in stone. There was only one table and five chairs in there, and all made of cold stone.
She asked us to sit down and then she said:
-Do you have any questions to ask me?
-What are we doing here?
I looked around. I was alone with her.
-But, where have they gone?
-There´s no “they”. They were just a product of your imagination-
-What kind of nonsense is that?
-Where is your backpack?
Again I looked everywhere. It had also disappeared.
-Don´t you find it strange to not have been hungry or thirsty during the entire trip? That backpack was what your mind needed to undertake a trip without fear of dying of hunger or thirst, and those people were necessary for you to get here. And, by the way, do you know who those people are?
-No, I don´t.
-They are your parents, your dog and your wife.
-You see, when you arrived here, you were dispossessed if all your memories, and now you have to make a decision.
-But what was my family doing here? Where have they gone?
-There are no more answers. You must decide if you cross that door behind me or if you want to recover your memories. If you come with me, once you cross that door, you will vanish forever. On the contrary, if you prefer your memories back, you will be left alone in this desert for all eternity.
-Well, I choose my memories.
-Are you sure?
And then, in a fraction of a second, I was back in the desert and the lady in black was by my side.
-Was it worth the decision?
-Yes, it was worth it.
-You know what awaits you, right? eternal solitude.
-Quite poetic, but remember you game me back my memories, so they will always be with me.
-That´s true, but now that you´re beginning to remember, you will realize the kind of monster in which you have become. You will feel all the pain you have done to your loved ones. You know, I knew you would choose the option to recover your memories, you´re predictable. And now you will pay suffering forever.
And here I am, alone, as the monsters are, in the sands of time.
Rubén Pareja Pinilla