He had spent the night chasing after an elusive sensation, running through the alleys of the city until he didn’t recognize them anymore. That was the goal. To get lost in the place he called home and surrender to the night. To run past the point of no return and get away with it.
He left his dorm room shortly after 10 PM and followed the cold concrete to the neon-lights district. Among connoisseurs, these parts went by the innocent name of Neola Town – a place so desperately confusing, a maze of small pathways that split up like a never ending river. These claustrophobic alleys unfolded into a kaleidoscopic variety show: gravity-defying cabarets saw strippers dancing on the walls, avant-garde eateries presented dishes imbued with the memories of others, while bioluminescent bars poured intoxicating drinks shimmering in deep-sea hues. There was something here for everyone.
From the moment he arrived, it was like an external force took hold of his body. From a distant part of his mind, he could watch himself from above as he flowed with the river, moving from moment to moment with no regard for the toxicity levels of his body. As the moon rose high above Neola Town, he became a yes man.
No act was too perverted, no substance too strong, as long as it brought him closer to the edge, to that moment where finally, he felt something new. Lost in a world of light, color and pleasure, he followed the neon maze for as long as he could.
The beast was waiting for him, somewhere in the outskirts of Neola Town, blocking his path through a forgotten alleyway. It was quiet around them. In these last hours of the night, every living thing had crept back into its hole.
This thing was much bigger than he remembered. It could barely move on account of its unnatural shape. It had morphed into something unholy, transformed into a godlike abomination that could hardly breathe. The creature’s once-lush fur, now covered in debris, bore the discarded traces of human excess. Its color had changed as well. Somewhere along the edges of the night, a band of high school kids had spray-painted it pink. There was no doubt about it, this thing had been hitting the town just as hard as he had.
And yet, it was the eyes that told the true story of tonight. They were empty of any sense of direction, filled with a scorching liquid that morphed into whatever you needed it to be. There was a force behind these eyes, the raw nature of possibility, a power that was too great for any living being to control.
Pure, unadulterated serotonin. Borrowed happiness from a future that would never come. And they kept borrowing, accumulating a lifelong debt that would drive them right back to this alley night after night. He was captivated by his own reflection in those glowing eyes, lost in the beast’s haunting purr until the mist of the morning washed it all away.
You’re currently exploring the narrative world of Whispering in Color. Each tale in this series delves into the relationships we maintain with our inner monsters. These creatures are manifestations of our fears, insecurities, and past experiences that often go unseen. These stories bring them into the spotlight, giving them form, color, and meaning.