Descent into darkness
Darkness! Darkness that stretches out to infinity and eternity!
And then my eyes open to darkness of a lesser nature. Darkness of mere mortal night, of mere mortal death.
I know not what sleep, death or spell brought me here. I lay supine, my eyes open staring at a lightless emptiness, my body unwilling to stir. Sediments of stupor cling to my tattered raiment. My chest feels heavy, crushed as though some impassioned lover held me in her desire’s embrace. It suddenly dawns on me that I am no longer breathing. I panic into a voiceless scream that is swallowed up by whatever succubus sits on my chest. Fear lends my body motion and I sit up in cold sweat.
I am still not breathing.
I rub my eyes and try to pierce through the darkness. With no light to ally, my eyes beat a hasty retreat to the cave of my soul. My sight broods there in silent defeat. I see vague memories of a summer sun, fair open meadows and love’s sport.
My love! My love!
Where is she? My goddess with shimmering robes that could barely contain her budding charms. My verdant spring with hair of sunlight, eyes of lilies, breasts of bounty and fertile hips that welcomed the ploughshare. Joyful love seemed to me when in her keeping was my heart as she lay asleep in my arms. And now I am but alone.
I try to cry, to give voice to pain and loss. But nothing happens. It dawns on me that I can’t cry because there is no pain, no loss in my heart. I am only aware of her non-presence. No feeling. Only vague mirages of memory.
Now the spring turns into an autumn night. I feel a fierce pain in my chest, as if it were rent by the tusk of a monstrous beast. I hear the gurgle of a river that I cannot see, the harsh voice of a sordid man with his eyes like the hollows furnaces on fire, a hungry monstrous worm…
Then all fades away. Like fresh rain washing away the muddy earth, I recall naught.
Then I see her. I see her eyes.
They shine like a lone evening star in the firmament of a moonless sky. From the light of her eyes mine get sight.
She stands by a window of frosted glass. Her majestic height is a striking counterpoint to the infinite langour of her poise. Her skin is the shade of an afternoon sun under an ancient tree. Her tresses are luxuriantly black rippling down in sable streams. She is robed in naught but this rayless cascade of night.
But she is not a vision of beauty that is. She is beauty that was. Her eyes shine with the light of a star that has been long dead. Her breasts are full with youth as the defy the downward pull of age, and yet the heave with sighs of unrequited desires. Her lips are luscious red flower petals, but even without kissing them I know they are cold to touch and yield no sweet nectar.
And then I see her hand.
Curled like the tremulous tendril of a creeper that holds a flower of beauty too flame-like her hand bears a pomegranate. A ripe red fruit whose every seed bears the immense allure of sadness.
I lick my lips as an immense hunger comes over me. It seems as though I have never eaten, not since I was born, not since the universe was born. Hunger now pushes me forward as I move on my knees to her.
She looks at me with infinite pity in her eyes…and yet…and yet…there is a hint of malice in them. That spark of malice travels down her supple shoulders to her lissome fingers. Her cruel nails cut the fruit open in tantalizing agony. The fruit bleeds crimson juice.
Then it dawns on me.
I breath no more…
The monstrous beast and its hunt…
And finally, the alabaster tusk ripping through like a pomegranate cut with an ivory knife…
I have no heart, I have no life. Cold is my body and wan are my thoughts. She holds my heart, my living heart, this goddess. Her cruel finger pries it open even as it nestles in her loving palm. I look on ashamed as her baleful eyes gaze into my open heart. She sees it all.
And then she turns my gaze on me. I tremble in fear for I know what is coming. But there is still hope.
For one moment she looks at me with great kindness. Her eyes cool to a moonlike pity as though she would spare me. But as her slender arm stretches out, I know it is not the pity of the tormentor that spares the victim, but pity of one victim that knows what another endures and yet inflicts it without mercy.
Her arm droops like a dying flower, the fruit hanging like a laden cloud above me from the very skies.
“I bid you eat this burning heart…” her icy command resonates off the darkness that engulfs us.
I know all that comes now. If I but refuse, I may go back to light, to spring and the summer sun. Even now, despite the aeons and leagues that separate us I see my goddess of light, her breasts leaning forward to my lips calling out to me, warning me not to taste what is offered. Fro one bite, one taste of the tiniest seed of darkness from this heart fruit would bind me to this sable goddess forever. The world shall still walk over the cool grass and drink of the living stream, but I shall remain here in eternal repose, buried deep in the cold loins of this queen who carries only memories of innocence.
A moment passes that is longer than the eternity of any god.
And then I stumble forward sinking my teeth into my own burning heart. She draws me close as I feed. I look up into her eyes and see that I am now suckling on her soft breasts. I am on her lap, her hands on my head guiding me into those ripened fruits that spew sweet bile, tears and blood into my hungry lips. Her hand ruffles my hair and her eyes shine with the pity of the Virgin Mother.
And then she cries. She doesn’t shed tears for she becomes tears. She is now a river that washes over me cleaning the dregs of memory that remained. The furious screams of my spring goddess who has been cheated of her love, her prize are on longer heard. Life itself which just a while ago seemed like a nebulous dream is now erased without as much a trace of its existence.
All goes silent now as I clutch and drink of her breasts. Rest, repose and peace. Nothing stirs.
Nothing except for the faint echo of my queen’s voice that is at once hateful, sad and triumphant.
“My prince… my prince…”