Hamlet’s Other Apparition
Hamlet’s Other Apparition
I was lying in on a hard cold floor. My head was reeling with a thousand bright lights – stars everywhere. Is this another apparition? The ghost of my father beckons me? I realized the cold floor along my back. The incessant throbbing in my head echoes a swosh, swosh sound ringing in my ear. The cold permeates me, my body is chilled but it does not move. The somewhat forgotten heaviness of responsibility returned and settled like a warm heavy cloak. Ah! what relief to shake it off. I lie there with the wet cold soaking through the wool and velvet of my coat and clothes to me and in me.
I was wrong; there were no bright lights, only darkness. The sound receded to the distance, the throbbing in my head traveled to my temples and stayed there, as if to remind me that this is no apparition, as I had hoped it was, setting me free from this cursed mission to set things right. The knowledge surprised me into sitting up. The cold retreated somewhat. I knew now the source of the chill. It was the stone floor damp by the winter night’s mist. The dark did not retreat as everything else had – the pain in my head, the ringing in my ear and the cold. It was still dark – blindingly so.
Suddenly, there appears a glow of light in front of me like a white dot from afar, visible only because of the total darkness. Ah, the apparition. It reminded me of a star in a dark, moonless night. Only it was lonesome, like I usually am standing in the tallest turret of the castle watching the heavens. Only now, I am not in the turret warmly surrounded by a million stars of the heaven, I am in this long dank corridor guided by a lonesome star. I felt around the floor for what I do not know. I did not summon the servants, for some reason I sat there in the damp stone floor feeling for something.
No such luck in the dark. The light was merely a white dot and not a confirmation of a long held suspicion. I became aware of a flowing wetness in my neck, leaking from my ear. I touched it. It was sticky. Blood? Mine? Where was I? I feel that I should be wearing something in my head – my, mind, perhaps? I felt around some more, forgetting myself and crawling around in the dark like an animal. A poor animal not gifted with night vision. I stopped. Am I now mad in fact and not just in act? I stood up. The sudden movement sent me spinning.
Was there an abyss in the castle? Why am I falling and spinning out of control. The bright lights threatened to come again. I closed my eyes fiercely. My head was pounding now. The swosh, swosh ringing in my ear threatened to return. I feel like I would embarrass myself as I keeled forward. Is it possible to embarrass oneself while alone in the dark? But what of embarrassment, have I not met with some maiden unkempt and uncouth to breathe deeply in her ear? Ah, madness, is it you? With closed eyes, I tried to stay still. The abyss, the pounding, and the ringing receded.
They still threatened from a close distance but at least they were bearable and I was able to stay on my feet. Gingerly, I took a step forward, towards that white dot in the distance. The nausea came back but I conquered it. I took another step, and barely stayed on my feet. I raised my hand from my side and found a wall. Finally, support for my unfamiliar body. I made baby steps toward the bright light. I heard sounds. Is the ringing in my ear coming back to hunt me? No, it was different. It was like the rumblings of the sea from the distance. Am I still in Elsinore?
As I draw nearer to light the sounds became the roar of waves. I remember the crash of waves in the moors. I could almost taste the salt in the air. I anticipate the fresh salty smell of the sea. It is what I need. Suddenly, I feel as if the hallway was suffocating me. The dark was closing near. I tried to make my way to light faster. My steps were small, but hurried, propelled by need to breathe in the sea. A soft breeze came to me. Ah! The sea, it beckons temptingly. The light became bigger. It became a slash, instead of a dot. It was long standing white line in the distance.
The crash of waves became rumbles. The sea was gone even if the cool breeze remains, becomes more constant. The rumbles became murmurs. The words rush and tumble with each other, like a hurriedly spoken prayer, a long one from the sound of it. Little by little I hear a voice… The light… The light… It was gone and a barely open door stands in its place. What is wrong with me? The whimsy of it all came back to taunt me … my father’s ghost… stars… abyss…sea… a guiding light… Must kill! Must Kill! Was that me? No, it was the voice, a long familiar voice. I know that voice.
I know that… I did not rush to open the door. I peeped inside, trying to fit my vision in that long white line the door allowed. There was movement from inside. Then, before me is a face, a familiar face, familial face. I know that face. I know that face. You! Then, in came the abyss. There was dark and then, light – extremely bright light. Ah, the sun. It warms me, it bathes me. It seeps through the covers, to my night shirt, to my body. My frail mother, shifting sheets again? Ophelia? I was lying in a wonderfully warm bed and covered by wonderfully warm sheets. Where has the winter gone?
The corridor! The room! The face! Where had they all gone? My head was reeling with a thousand questions. The light of day does not illuminate the dark corners of my suspicion. I pray for the throbbing in my head, the ringing in my ear. For then, there will be no questions, only answers and – vengeance! The doubts forced me into sitting up. The warmth retreated somewhat. The cool winter morning penetrates the sheets and touched my skin bringing with it wakefulness and resolve. I touched my ear and found something sticky. Slowly, an eerie smirk made it way into my face. It must be so… It must be so…