The Silent Halls of Illusions and Mystics

The dark hallway of the IT department at Jimma University

I was heading up Cedar’s pass around one o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.

There was a slight breeze, but the glaring sun kept it far from cool. I had been on the trail for about two and half hours when I came upon a small shack. I had passed a few before—abandoned, torn up, close to caving in. I hadn’t given any of them a second glance, but this one. . .1 couldn’t help, but to stop for a minute. There was some kind of noise coming from inside and a faint light (probably the sun, was my first thought) coming through the cracks in the door. I turned to continue my journey, but found myself heading toward the shack. There was a broken sign hanging in three pieces above the door. I pulled the door open, and entered the silent halls of illusions and mystics.

I closed the door and looked around. Out of nowhere came a brilliant flash of light. I shut my eyes and raised my arms. Blinding, it was. When I opened my eyes I saw an infant and her mother, crying. . . weeping. A lost innocence of greed. Beaten by the lust of man. Lost in the paved fields of thoughtless enactment. The mother sat insanely babbling, head turned to the sky. Blood dripped from her eyes and nose. Running down her face. Dripping from her chin. She reached out for the infant lying still at her feet. Motionless. Fragile. Helpless. She is raging within a diaphanous shell. She is . . . no longer. Or was she ever here, in the silent halls of illusions and mystics.

II 

I turned for the door and found it was not there. I had moved, yet I hadn’t moved. Another flash of light, but this time it was bearable. Red. Now my blood began to rush through the veins at an alarming rate. From the shadows came the demons of darkness. Crawling on their knees, yellow eyes glaring into the blackness. Their claws clicked relentlessly upon the red tile floor. Screams echoed loudly. Laughing mad, drunken songs. Dancing inanely in a plague ridden room. Fear and hate mingled outside the fire, created for the ceremony. The celebration of the forthcoming of the new millennium. Souls

Swung from the pendulum, crashing through the walls of life. Tearing apart time and space and … there was nothing. If anything was here to begin with, in the silent halls of illusions and mystics.

III 

No need to move. I was sure another light would come, only I was trembling with fear. The second room certainly was an ugly compliment to the first. I couldn’t imagine what was next. Bearable light again. Soft, in fact. A gentle blue. In front of me appeared a girl, smiling, full of effervescence. Clothed in white, with the soft skin to match. Full of love. A sweet soul surround by an aura; gentle to the touch; warm to the mind; healthy to the heart. So soft, so divine. Ecstasy in the flesh, the angelic face of the dawn. Flawless. Glowing. Innocent. Calling. Beckoning. Searching for the one true majestic love; Her knight in shining armor. Her soul mate. Her eternal…

I stood outside the silent halls of illusions and mystics. Where you never know what you’re getting, what you’ve gotten; what is good, what is rotten; what is real, what is hidden and what you feel is forbidden. if you’re traveling the world in search of something, don’t bother. Nothing can be found where nothing is. If you’re living day to day to enlighten your mind by listening to the rhythmical droning of wisdom, don’t bother. There is no sound in an empty abyss. Only here, in this shack, can you propagate your mind and organize your damaged thoughts, walk down memory lane, straighten up all your

I continue up Cedar pass. So hot, even with the breeze. I take one look back and bid farewell to silent halls of illusions and mystics.

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