Based on Dante’s inferno I wrote and illustrated this small piece. The story is base on letters that you would never write and hence it is called Dead Letters.
This is also a pastiche of My name is Red.
I am the lost man, not knowing who I am or where I come from I am lost.I look at my reflection on the surface of water and see a middle-aged man I do not recognize.I see a ghostly dark forest, no path, no beginning no ending.I have no desire to move yet I must, but in which way I do not know. Have I been here, have I circled this place many times I do not know. I desire a past I do not remember. A past that never existed.
I am the she-wolf. I am the one that desires your flesh.The hunger never satisfied.The one that forced you to move.I chase you in your darkest hour.Haunt you whenever you find peace. I send you in circles till you become breathless. You see me in the shadows till you reach the end of your time. I am your fear. I am your foe yet I am your friend! You are who you are for who I am.
I am your uncle. I am the poet. The one who had it but lost it all.The envy of all others but destined for the dark abyss. I wrote poems.It was left unread when I burnt my books in my rage. I am the letter you sent to the past, somewhere where there are long carefree summers before they turned to dark winters.When as a child you held my hand, I gave you a toy gun and said, look we’ll shoot whatever monster comes your way. Follow me and leave this forest. Learn from my demise. Your home will then show its way.
I am your home land. I am the lion.Old and angry I roar in pain.You hear my roar and the sound echoes in the forest.I am the letters you write to save me. The letters in which you tore your heart caring for my children. Your love for me turns your head back but I am not the one who holds you back.
I am your faith. I am the blind childish faith that you once had.You left me here as I was. A boy standing here praying, amongst the ruins and to whom I do not know!Do not look at me, I was of no use to you then I did not make you lose nor find your way! I am the letter that you sometimes miss. It is when you ask would it not have been better?
I am your mother. I am the one who abandoned you.In time you learnt why I made my choices. Now I live in a place free from blame. When you became a man you saw me as a girl. But still seek the smell of my milk in the world and in everything that you seek. You have learnt to let go so I am not the one who holds you here.I am the letter you write for every woman you love. Each with blue eyes, or brown. Each a reflection of me.
I am the hostage taker. I am the image of you that the world sees.I am the mask of your skin.I am your “TH” becoming “T” or “D”. The foreign man who could not be trusted.The one whose language is the second language no matter what tongue you use.I lurk in your shadow but I am not holding you back.I am not you. Do not write to me. I am not you.
I am your future. I am the future of all men.Before me there is darkness.After me there is darkness.Learn to live or lose your moment. I do not hold you back. In your letter, I push you forward till you embrace me as a friend, but all in good time. All in good time!
I am love. I make you blissfully free any moment.When you are with me there is no you and I there is simply I. With me you are not in a place and you are not yourself so you are not lost. What has held you in the forest is losing the sight of me. Let go! I am the care in your beloved’s eyes. The smell of your daughter’s hair.A kiss on your bold father’s head. I am not a letter, I am not lost. I am with you always! Go from this forest and live with me!