This has nothing 
to do with you

︎ Sophie Soukias
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          Upon disembarking the plane at the European city, the young man, whose flight had almost not departed, decided to bury his past.

          In the most out-of-the-way reaches of his memory, he started to dig, with hands shaking, a deepening pit: a sunless receptacle for the remembrances of a youth stopped in full flight.

          Beneath the pit a magma chamber began to form, pressure mounting with eruptive force, the floor of the pit fracturing.

          Alert to the tremors if not to their true threat, the young man did not so much as cover over the crater of his memory. He would visit the pit he had dug whenever the need arose, finding comfort amid the burning vapours and fumes that, each time he would go, scalded and scorched his skin a little more.

          At times, it was his hole itself that would come and visit him, its breath expelling from its depths the spirits of days past.

          On receiving a visit from these revenants, the young man would not chase them but would take care not to disclose their existence to anyone.


          To his offspring, he passed on only “happy memories”, generic images of a fantastical Orient. The furious dance of wild horses. The scent of olive trees in the spring. The blue sea,
waves breaking on the sand with resounding nostalgia. “The dead ought to be respected”, he would murmur to himself. “Especially when they have not hurt you”.


          The man’s children, haunted by ghosts whose smell or faces they did not know, were met by an enigma their instincts prohibited them from solving. “This has nothing to do with you”. These the words heard from the mouth of that man whose whole heart went into building around them a fortified enclosure, indestructible ramparts against images he should not have seen.

          So it was that, in secret, in the pitch of night, the children followed the difficult path leading to the pit, to its mists.

          There they recognised the spectres, their outlines blurred, and undertook to domesticate them.