Dreamlongdead – Arisehowlingdarkness: Of Cyclopean Masonry and non-Euclidean Geometry - Review

The late night desert wind was howling. The thick sand was hitting my face, even though I had already covered it with my keffiyeh and I could feel my thobe getting heavier as the time passed. It is at times like this when a caravan needs to stop and settle until the sandstorm passes. But what made us all stand still, unable to move and make the necessary protective maneuvers from the sand, was the deep screeching voice that was carried by the wind. It was a barely audible voice but I saw our guide, an old man who knew the dessert by heart, with terror in his eyes, mumbling and looking at the deep south, to where the night was lightening up around what seemed to be a swirling blue fluorescent polygon of light. That made clear to me and to everyone else there, that this was no ordinary sandstorm. The inaudible voice became clearer and clearer and felt like it was coming closer to us.

After some nervous adjustments that we made, so that we could protect ourselves from the menacing sand, I sought after the old man and found him praying next to an ancient and once holy pillar, with his eyes shut tight, mumbling a well known prayer. ‘Subhana Rabbiyal A’la.’ I heard him saying and then he jumped right up with his hands towards the sky as the voice that was carried by the wind was heard with clarity from our ears and from our terrified hearts.


Never before had I heard a similar sound, a sound that made my body shake with terror. The old man turned at me, repeating with a whispering voice what was just heard. ‘Roba El Khaliyey. Anung Un Rama. You know what this means?’, he asked me rhetorically. ‘The empty space. He is the gate.’ I looked at him perplexed, unable to understand what that meant. I knew we were at the Empty Space, the southern Arabic desert, but who was he and what was he a gate for, was unknown to me.

Thundering sounds of doom started rolling through the sky and the sandstorm appeared to withdraw away from us, staying in a distance and creating a big hollow cylinder around us, rising up to the sky. Unable to escape, enshrouded in the darkness, I realized with the outmost certainty that this was my last night alive. I saw with sheer terror, my fellow merchants turning from peaceful and kind men to hateful and insane berserkers, screaming and attacking each other with their bare hands, like they were possessed by demons. One by one they were falling unto the cold sand with blood spurting through their fresh and violently open wounds. Their eyes sucked in, as if an internal vacuum collected them and their mouths gaping open like they were singing a sinister and dark chant.

Around me, the sand hills were rising slowly and forming great riffs of doom and below me appeared a pit of death and swirling chaos. Dismembered limbs and rugged clothes were gathered in the center by an unseen force, building a tomb, and I was left alone to be entombed alive with the Pharaohs.  I, a merchant and a family man, realized my destiny as it was made clear to me.  I, the only one left alive, will lay in the darkness forever more, doomed and undead.


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