Monday, July 20, 2009

Story: Until my days are done

This story is inspired by a beautiful sim (specifically by the incongruous part captured in the included photograph) by AM Radio. Here is the slurl if you are interested in exploring it.

It was just when I was beginning to anticipate the triumph of erasing my life that they first appeared, the five violinists. By then it had been several months into my coming back to the desolate island of my forefathers to die. I had dragged the small boat that brought me there from the beach to the only man-made structure on the island, a spare but functional cabin; the very structure where long ago the wailing of a newborn had heralded my arrival. This was the place I meant to erase, the whole island, and not just from memory but from existence. Each day I would get up and wander about systematically willing my exhausted body to focus its remaining energy to my final task. I made it snow incessantly, the white of the snow leaching all the color from the land, obliterating every feature, slowly fading the mass of the island blurring it into the white snowy background, as in an ancient and fading black and white photograph. The living things, mostly trees and grasses, were harder to deal with. I would tend to each tree and clump of grass in turn, using whatever magic remained in me of my forefathers, to bleed the color of life from them. I had worked feverishly each day for months in the bitter cold until the color was gone from the trees, leaving faded bony branches, more skeletons than trees, and the air was thick with the space between these trees. Each night I would try to sleep, my body racked in pain but caring nothing for it because I could taste success. And then they came, they came at night, the five violinists. I did not have to drag myself out of bed to know this. Even in my delirium, I could feel the terror every note from their violins lashed on my mind. I could hear the five strands of music, rivers of color and warmth, extending outwards from where they stood. I writhed and cursed all night consumed by the knowledge that every note from their violins breathed color back into the island. They were my nemesis, whether angels or demons I cared not, for they were there to thwart me in death as they did in life. At daybreak, when the terror had finally subsided I staggered out of the cabin and saw that the heat of their music had melted the snow where they had stood in the night, and in turn the bitter cold of the morning had frozen the melt into a glassy pond of ice. There, right under the glassy ice were their violins. I raged against the gods, wailing, throwing my fevered naked body against the ice in the pond wanting to smash the violins to pieces so that they could never be played again. At long last when there were no tears left in me, and the cold had turned despair into resolve, I turned to the new green leaves that had sprung up in the night on the bush growing on the boat nearby. I knelt, cradling the new leaves, turning my mind to their color, coaxing it out of them as I had done for so many months. I knew then, that the battle was joined, they will play their infernal music among these trees every night, and every day I would grow the space between these trees, at least until my days are done.

1 comment:

  1. I had to read it twice. Such a tragic beauty to this. I don't want to leave my comment without the sense of hope, it is there. Yes, I think I know what it is you experienced and if I don't, that does not is a difficult thing, one in which there are often no words...I smile as I realize that you did however find them.