top of page
Clay pottery with table linens_edited.jpg

The View from Halfway Down

Blanka Pillár

The View from Halfway Down

          Now, floating on the shining altar of nothing, I have a confession to make. No longer will I seek fine excuses, no longer will I escape into the warmth of a benevolent gloom. Here I stand against the blinding azure cool. Below me, above me, beside me, emptiness. There is no trace of humanity, only I breathe faintly. I prepared this speech when I knew I was coming here. Or rather, that I was prepared. Or maybe I was being made here all along, made to be here. The freezing winds of the cloudy night blew the thought into my ears that I must go. I took out this paper, full of ideas. It didn't say this then, just sketches of crossed-out roads. Now the paths are filled with curved stones, silent footsteps, and thoughts. Now, this blue light is twisting every bone in my body, I see my torn tendons, my missing heart, and my weak body slowly turning to dust. So, I must confess, yes, it is the only right thing to do. I know someone will hear this now, I feel it in my relaxed muscles, my liver, my kidneys, my toes. There must be an angel somewhere because I deserve better than this. With all of my promises, I only wanted better. A hut in a gale, a fireplace in a snowdrift, gentle darkness in a bright flood of light. Here, however, my pleading tears turn sour, my accusatory answers bounce off the wall of infinite space, my dew-shy wavering is futile. 
          Have I ever sent anyone else here myself? It is because of them that all this has happened, I cannot help this repeated fatal misfortune. They were swallowed up in their own swamps. I had to let them all go. Except for Last. When I pushed him there, he tried to climb out of the thick swirl of dirt, but I pushed him back. I did it for him. Yes, for him. It was better for both of us. I no longer heard the muffled edge of his words, his constant, nerve-wracking complaints, and then, perhaps for the first time in my life, I felt good. And after all, it was a nice place to be, wasn't it? It's not so bad here. I'm getting used to ice flowers on my marrow, and it's nice to be alone. 
          Now I'm waiting for someone to show up. I listen to the quiet click of the clock of nothingness. Nothing moves. Time doesn't flow, and the stifling air doesn't move. Let me go back where I belong, to all that is wronged, to another martyr's struggle, to the embrace of bitter happiness, to the soft quilt of silken regret! I have no place here, nor ever shall. I wish I could have loved more, in fact, that's what I know best. I knew. Perhaps I was too good for the land of swampy mud, shedding too many tears in the dust of dry sandy deserts. No, that's not true. Nothing is.
          I don't even know what I was going to say anymore, even though I've been preparing to tell you all this since birth. I've told everyone I've ever been around the planet that they'll regret it all when they look back on it at the last dawn. That my greatness would one day be repaid, and they would stand alone in the burning pits of a burning hell. Behold, I was the mire, the marsh, the mud. I was destined to poison, to creep unnoticed into the veins of the mind and heart, to wear away the fragile sparks of joy that seemed eternal. I have fulfilled my sublime destiny, I have done my best, so why am I here? I only did what I had to do, what I was asked, what I was begged to do.
          I am paying for them again, this time with my own skin, the whiteness of my teeth, the beauty of my face. Why is no one here to pity me? I am the most wretched of all the broken-winged cicadas and blind hawks, nor do I have the reward, the comfort, the wing or the eye that I deserve in this place. Now I lose everything, as the earth turns around the extinct light of the black stars. Ever since I first opened my eyes, I have wanted to enter the azure ring nice and clear, but my body and soul grow more impure with each passing moment as the thread of life joins between the fingers of my stumpy hands. I can lie no more, as I have always done, Nor would I have anyone to deceive with the bitter ode of my own sorrow. Only one thought emerges from the depths of my skeleton as the claw of emptiness slowly reaches, and the blue light breaks the remnants of my glassy eyes. All I think of is what Last said before he was swallowed by the bottomless swirling cruelty: "Now I hope we both die".


BLANKA PILLÁR is a seventeen-year-old writer from Budapest, Hungary. She has a never-ending love for creating and an ever-lasting passion for learning. She has won several national competitions and has been a columnist for her high school’s prestigious newspaper, Eötvös Diák. Today, she is not throwing away her shot.

bottom of page