by Catherine Marinelli
I came upon it just after the storm clouds had finished their duties. I could taste the mildew and mist at the back of my throat. The air sat still and damp in the bottom of my lungs. The calming wind that whistled through the trees mocked that which would blow through a wind-chime. I imagined your ribs dangling off the corner of my front porch.
I slipped when the grass transformed into concrete. Some grass peaked up between the cracks of the slabs, which appeared darker than the clouds due to their soaked state. It only made their age stand out even more. Sandwiched between these relics was a relic of its own, a treasure, a bright sun against the dark space surrounding it. I recognized the bunker from history books and midday documentaries. I couldn’t resist the gravitational force pulling me towards the entryway, as if trying to absorb me. My mind wandered towards all those who got caught in its orbit.
I stepped in with my left foot first, my hands braced on the sides of the entrance. I had to duck my head, set it equal with my shoulders. Despite the emptiness and vastness of the bunker, I found myself continually shrinking, shriveling and curling in on myself. I stared around with eyes wide like a child’s. Every thought I had seemed to float out of my ears and bounce off the walls, reverberating back to me time and time again.
The more I shrunk, the quieter I thought, and the louder the echoes became. Before I knew it, I was sitting on the bottom of the cold, unforgiving floor. My legs were pressed up against my chest, my hands clasping around my ankles. They would be useless against my ears. I was simply just trying to stay grounded; however, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shut my eyes. They kept wandering, drifting back and forth, trying to absorb every paint chip and stain of time, but some outside influence always contaminated my line of sight. I couldn’t escape the shy chirp of a bird, the sigh of the dying wind through the grass, or the quiet rush of escaping rivulets. I wanted to shut the door, isolate myself; I felt so tempted to do so.
I wondered if this was what it was like to be inside your head. I wondered if, in the waning hours of the day, you felt trapped in this fortification. I began to understand your inability to escape it, despite all the efforts of others. I began to understand.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'Times Slow Release'
'Air Raid Shelter '