Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Will Mayo - As To The Origin Of Legends

You run like a bird in front of the wind. You hide like a mongrel in the bush. But still he stalks you.

His hair is long and gray and filled with pale flesh. His coat is muddy from the swamps of all the bayous. And he is taller than any animal you've ever seen. But still you are afraid to name him. For naming something only gives it power and power is the last thing you want him to have.

As you run, the weeds and vines and Spanish moss tangle up your feet, twisting them every which way, as they trail like entrails of the dead. And those dry patches amid the oceans of mud are growing more and more seldom; like oases of sand among deserts of swampy flesh.

Now and then, you glimpse an alligator or a snake, the snouts gleaming in the moonlight as denizens of eyes glow in the darkness. You are not afraid of their bites, however. For they belong to earth and sky and Known. And the thing behind you is beyond all that.

Above you, the stars turn in countless constellations between clouds like the wisps of ghosts. They pass by and in between each other, slowly and then rapidly like fire upon the starry eyes of a rabbit.

The clouds, too, are around you, pressing in, like raw meat. Drawing more water and spirit than it takes to stay alive. All for the bite of the Beast that is behind you.

Suddenly, and at last, you come to the last of the dry moss. Ahead of you is only swamp and quicksand, the muttering of the deep, waiting to suffocate you. Waiting to save one last morsel for the Beast.

You hear him coming closer now. Every footstep like the pounding of a dying heart, pulsating quicker and harder each time. If a tree falls in the quiet forest, you can be sure is there to hear it. You know that much is true.

At last, he is there, standing in front of you, twice, no, three times your height. His beard and hair and bulbous nose are clear as are the yellowing teeth between his cracked lips.

He raises his arm, leathery and sharp, as if to strike. And at last you overcome the fear within you, the denial of all. You see that recognition has its own power for the victim, the cursed and the cursing.

You name him, gently, and then loudly, your voice ringing the air, like a trumpet upon the walls of an ancient city. Darkness flies and scatters in all directions as a dream that is not a dream begins to end.

Your eyelids flap open, whip back and forth, before finally settling in an upright position. Staring about the cabin and its sparse accouterments, you blink a couple of times as sweat and tears blind then clear the sight of a life's work.

Memories cannot be forgotten. Nor can dreams be canceled in the middle of the night.

You scream at last and relief fills the air from its quiet sleep and you relive what is and is no more.

“Mastah!” you shout “No!”

A pause, then the following scream:

“Papa! No!”

A few more shudders, then begins the walk to a freer spirit within.


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Will! Glad to see that you are at Black Poppy Review again. :)