Here I am again. Yes again. Alone I stand upon the edge of my plateau proclaiming to the world that I am here. I am here dammit and this time things are going to be different. This time I will stick with my goals. This time… I will be better. Meanwhile between the gasping breaths and empty declarations, my hope remains as desolate as the valley below said plateau; for in this moment I compete with my echo in a blood curdling scream as the horde appears along the horizon.

There is an enticing edge before me as the breeze caresses my cheek playing games with my psyche again. For this plateau is more than a cliff, but a pedestal for indecision to display as if a billboard above the lonesome highway. Each time reads a different message. Each time is always something between the effect of “Last Stop Liquors Ahead” and “Jesus Saves so You Can Live”. The only question I have is whether anyone has an axe I can borrow because quite honestly, mankind and I have ruined both in my eyes.

Upon looking out, I gaze into the eyes of the dead. Zombies of every rock star, writer, engineer, innovator, singer, photographer, professional, poser, poet, and dreamer I ever thought I have ever been emerge as far as the eye can see. Their long and weathered faces hold a pale complexion as crooked teeth crack with clenching jaws releasing only to shriek in agonizing pain. Tons of empty shells, hollow and hungry await my demise. Watching them growl and commence to dig their flesh and bone into the side of the plateau reminds me that they resulted from every “this time” I have ever declared. The rusty smell of blood quickly fills the air along with their wailing as what were once hands grind against stone. I can’t help but wonder which pain is worse… the physical atrocity of my former doppelgangers, or their longing passion to gain a soul again. With a tearful eye and turned stomach I realize why I have to continue to find myself despite an inkling to learn how to fly.

As it usually does the wind begins to shift and change direction, lifting swollen and broken eyes upward. As if written in the sky it becomes clear that “this time” is as dead as the past beneath my feet. Never again can there ever be such a statement to escape my lips because it’s not who I am anymore; only an excuse for who I thought I would be. I take one last glance at the wreckage as a tear manages to leave my eye and disappear into the carnage.

There are no promises made where I don’t return to the plateau; for nothing is set in stone but the remnants of the horde. The remnants of what I will never be again. Thank you for lending me your axe and other tools. I am Shelton Fisher and I am rising up.

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