Local Bears

I ride in an unfamiliar SUV through my old neighborhood. Two people are in the SUV with me. One of them drives. Through the window I can tell that there is something going on in the middle of the city. There might be snow, I can’t remember. The SUV parks at the edge of a cul-de-sac, a place where the residential road intersects a larger street. I can see a traffic signal from where we park. It is just outside the neighborhood’s reach. We move a little farther down the street. We park again. We get out of the car. I feel that one of my companions tells me that someone has lost a bear. It is running wild. It is also a grizzly bear. The most dangerous bear. I hear it from their mouth. It is what they tell me. It could be a Montana bear or a Wyoming bear, or a local bear. The last is unlikely. I have seen those bears and they do not exist.

It strikes me that there is music coming from down the street. We walk down the road. We are becoming more residential. We reach a bend in the road. We did not walk or run to it but we are in a rush. We peak around the bend. The corner of a house is in our way. That is why we peak. We see the bear. The bear is massive. It is the type of bear that looks like it is a grizzly bear. It looks like a bear that is more aggressive than the rest.

It is down the street and I see the bear beating against houses and sheds and cars with big pine needle tree branches. The bear beats the branches for the rhythm of the music. The music is fast. It is lively it is delicate it is loud it is soft it is not easy to play I am sure of that. I remove myself from peering around the corner. I consider what I have seen. One of my companions moves a little farther around the corner. That companion disappears. My other companion moves forward to see what has happened and disappears as well. I am alone. I am still, I am not close to the corner. I know what has happened. The bear has taken them. I know it is coming for me. I can confront the bear or let it come for me.

I decide to confront the bear even if it means certain death. The last thing I will ever own. I brace myself and tense my body. I fling myself around the corner. The bear is there. The bear takes me up in gigantic clawed paws. The bear transports me to a library. I do not know where this library is. There are no windows. There are no mirrors. I feel suspended above everything. I unshelve books and ruffle their pages. The bear is here. The bear is on the other side of some bookshelves. The bear selects a book and approaches me. The bear hands me the book.

We may have spoken, the bear and I, but I cannot remember. I am reading the book but I cannot remember there being words inside of it. I feel excitement after reading. The bear points me toward a set of books. I read the books but I do not feel as much as before. I do not remember there being words. I understand those words less. I feel overwhelmed. The bear and I are alone. I can barely feel the memory of my companions. The lighting in the library is pleasant. I decide to find the darkest spot and sit there.

I walk to the darkest spot in the library. I find no place to sit. It is not really the darkest spot. It is the emptiest spot. Empty of darkness. Empty of the pleasant lights. Empty of places to sit. My senses failed. I am asleep. I drive a stagecoach pulled by one grey horse. The terrain I drive is rocky. It is filled with basalt. There is not much sound. A noise downs out any sound. I feel the wind. It is a night with no moon. I reach an inn. Someone is waiting, it is the innkeeper. The innkeeper helps me with my stagecoach. The wind is very bad and I need the help. I am told that there is something farther along the road. It has been a problem for the innkeeper. I tell them I will deal with it. I walk farther down the road. There are large rocks and boulders scattered about. I locate a river. The noise becomes water. The river is well below me.

The edge of the road becomes a basalt cliff. As I lose sight of the road I can see that there are also large boulders in the river. I brace myself against the wind and continue to walk. I make myself low to the ground. I cannot walk while the winds are blowing. Beyond the rocks I see something in the distance. It is the only thing beyond the rocks. Everything else ends. The wind is pushing me. I move forward, closer to something. The wind pushes harder. I try to resist but I am swept over the edge. I know where I am falling will not be into water. The basalt cliffs extend farther and farther up. I am certain that death will have no words for me when I collide with the ground but if there are words I will not remember them.