Chapter 5: (v.2) The visions of Athanasius

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 241

  The visions of Athanasius



This space I have reserved for an event which has marked me for the remaining of my days to come. Is of great importance that I write these things before they leave my conscious mind.
Alone in my chamber was I ill with a high fever & chills. Verily awake & yet dim with a heavy sleep, in my delusion some rare mirage appeared.
From the deep slumber in which I found myself a curious flame ignited in me. ‘Nurse’ said I in a whisper. ‘Art thou that same prophecy who dwells in man's heart? That same passion which makes them raise their own flag & march the unrighteous war to claim virgin land?’ She moved her head side to side as if replying ‘Nay’ A step closer she took, her looks I could inspect. ‘Calliope!’ I exclaimed ‘Thou art indeed!’  Wilt thou instruct me on my art? I pray to reveal what is to come. I have done thy bidding. Liber Quartus is complete by a toll which I have paid. Muse! Behold my weary state & marvel to what strain of pain have I placed my body. Transcribing those scripts into four volumes have severely weakened my health. My sight fails me regularly. Being lit by the dim candle flame in dark. My eyes have grown costumed to darkness, the suns rays of noon, have blinded me, robbing me of sight, verily I can see but shadows passing by. What curse is this agonizing blindness.’ My patron damsel upon hearing those words, her eyes grew damp & slowly enough liquid build in the loveliness of her eyes to form tears. They ran through her cheeks as little river streams, until they cascaded from her cheeks. Before they broke on the ground as crystals, she would catch them on her palms, creating small ponds. This holy water she then rubbed on my eyelids. She then dries them with her perfumed breath & beholds my sight was restored. ‘Blessed one!’ I can admire thy exceeding beauty. But lo! There’s more to which I must say. My lungs are dormant deep inside me. Their snores echoes through my coughing. The causation of my illness is from breathing the dust & dirt of old pages infested with fungi, my insides are a growing forest of champignons.
I must tell thee muse, the hand which completes thine arduous task, trembles incessantly, I can hardly hold my cup to my lips, without bathing myself in my own medicine. Behold my fingers, how tar & black they appear. & yet my beloved one, my earthly concerns tear not my will to continue.’
Her naked arm she raised, in my mind a voice I heard which said; “What thou seest, thou must write’ A darkness covered my world. Then only then, laying still on my bed I could hear the calling of their arrival. I heard from afar the conch shell being blown, followed by a second & third calling. Twenty-five there were in total. Then silence conquered once again. In the far distance clearly, I could hear a flute being played. Its player appeared before me & vowed. He paused, suddenly great shouts, various sounds of whistles & drums being beaten. I heard a huehuetl being played to a great rhythm accompanied by a teponaztli. As they played the vibrations of their instruments, cracked & broke the walls & wooden frame of my room until they broke. They shattered as if they were made of ceramic revealing an infinite & empty nothingness. Still laying intact on my bed. A mount of rocks rose from the ground, they towered not far from my bed. At close distance, a magnificent grove of red maples sprung forth. From my rear, the musicians & dancers which wore dry hollow casks with seeds insides rattled at the rhythm of the movements of their wrists & ankles.
They were divided into three groups; Those who wore green garments, those who wore white & lastly those who wore red. At first, all three groups of dancers gathered around the barren mounts of rocks, where a nopal which bore three prickling pears, crowned that mount. Above the arid plant, a brown eagle wrestled against a green viper.
At times, the dancers who wore white would command themselves to dance their way to the grove of red maple trees. Where a lion & a unicorn rested on the shade.
There is more which I would like to write but as time progresses my memory fails me, soon I will not remember the many things which I saw. Thus, my fading thoughts have already abandoned the vaults of my brain.
I know not where they came from, nor with exact precision, I recall their arrival. Fourteen nymphs which at short distance paraded towards my bed, when they were at close distance I was able to admire them better. In that instant, I was astounded by their fairness. Their hair was black, their eyes brown & their complexion tan. They all wore a plain mantle, embroidered with stones which formed flowers & stems.
Never had I seen so much beauty gathered in a single space. The first lady came forth with a walnut in her hands, running & dancing to the tune of that music. Twice she jumped & landed before me kneeling, enticing me to caress her hair, I abide to her request & seven times she kissed my hands.
Retreating a few steps, she placed that walnut on the ground. I heard a dim cracking sound, which emanated from the walnut. This one shortly after breaks & a majestic oak tree springs upwards as a backward cascade. Once it reached maturity, the tree ignites in flames, it burned a grand fire. Then from high above, where the branches reached the highest heavens, a scream of horror, then silence. I was witnessed of how a man leaped from a great height.
Oh! How terrible was his fall, woe unto that poor soul which found itself in such place, I know not what crime he committed but I do know of the strange nature of his punishment? When his body hit the ground many coins scattered everywhere, but as for the man his body vanished as soon as he reached the solid earth.
Calliope clapped her hands & the tree, coins & muse they all vanished away.
The second nymph danced her way before my bed, she planted the seed on the ground. A mighty statue emerges from underneath the earth as if it was buried by generations long past. A knight it was armed from head to toe with his visor uplifted, mounting a black horse. Its four hoofs touching the base.
Suddenly a great multitude of peasants appeared before the aforementioned statue, they threw flowers & jewels even a grand monarch arrives to see such marvel.
He was being carried by four servants on a throne of ivory & silk. I saw how that king holding a scepter on his right hand, points the statue & yells;
Bring forth the evidence! A banner is brought with a coat of arms imprinted on it. I clearly saw its fine work. The blue field with a pine of sinople outlined. Its two lions rampant, opposite to forehead & their paws leaning on the trunk embroidered with gold. Above them a stamp of a closed helmet. Its cimera holds a flag of gules loaded with a red banner which bares the cross of Jerusalem. All mounted on the shaft of a lance. The fine lambrequins which are gold & blue in colour contrast each other in excellent balance. Oh! I can see that banner stained with blood, as it is brought forth before his majesty, King Edward the second. He called for order among the unleashed chaos, the angry mob reproaches him & claim justice. I saw how fifty-nine gray parchments of mail are thrown at his feet. Coming to see the piles & piles of papers, the mob's anger erupted & with great violence they toppled that statue, destroying that statue as they chant some strange words which I can only make out to be “Wad I hijra”.
Calliope then clapped her hands & the nymph, statue’s rubble, mob, king & banner, all vanished away.
The third nymph presented herself slowly, procuring not to evoke fear in me. Truly her manner of movement enticed me to admire her with great care & closely admire her every movement. What a magnificent work of art is women, sublime & frail but with a hidden resilience, which many men envy & wished they could possess. As her previous sisters had done before, silently she approached me with holding a walnut in her hands. She cracked the tough shell & proceeded to swallow the edible flesh. She then sat at my bed's end, slowly she turned her lovely countenance away from me. She disposed of her garments, so I could admire the loveliness of her bronzed back, shoulders & neck. Her long black hair draped over her left shoulder. Indeed, it was a splendour that I could admire yet she would not turn to face me.
Calliope then clapped her hands & she vanished away. When she left I must admit I felt a terrible agony, a sorrow which ran deeper than any wound or any poison which may travel through my veins. Executioner, wilt thou take pity on me & aim the well-sharpened tool of death through my bodies weary state? Can a dart pierce my entrails? Aye, it may executioner but for pity’s sake leave my heart intact.
The fourth & fifth nymphs arrived promptly at the same time, side by side carrying each their respective walnut. Their movements were so well coordinated, they mimicked each other so perfectly, as the reflection that follows its caster on the mirror. They planted their walnuts on the soft soil, we waited in silence a moment when from the walnut which the nymph on the right had planted, a pillar of smoke violently spewed a great cloud of dust & ash. From the nymph on the left, a grand vine which towered my head by many leagues grew rapidly, that vine yielded ripe grapes of vibrant red. The nymph plucked a bunched & squeezed their juice into a golden chalice, inviting me to drink, but before I could reach that chalice to quench my thirst with the sweet nectar.
Calliope clapped her hands & the nymphs, the smoke, vine & chalice all vanished away.
The sixth & seventh nymphs arrived alike their predecessors, carrying the respective walnuts they presented them to me as gifts. At first, I did not accept them, but they insisted they even cracked the tough outer shells revealing inside a golden ring & a jeweled crown which grew exponentially larger. I was tempted by such marvelous craftsmanship, that I humbly accepted their generous gifts. I extended my hands to reach them, but they transformed into poisonous snakes before I was able to touch them. Those snakes were enraged & mad with choleric instincts to harm me for they attempted to bite me. Several times they were sure to achieve their goal but in a quick response, I slapped those venomous creatures from the nymphs’ hands. Then Calliope clapped her hands & the snakes & the nymphs all vanished away.
The eighth nymph accompanied by Cupid, she places her walnut on the ground & proceeds to stomp it with her heel until its shell breaks. Cupid then steps forth, from the quiver on his back he reaches to grab an arrow. He relentlessly attempts to break on half with the aid of his knee. His weak body impedes him to succeed in his act until at last, he achieves his purpose & the shaft of the arrow breaks in half. The cherub places the broken pieces beside the walnut. Then the two of them staring down at the ground, as if just realizing the severity of their acts & wishing to repent for their wrongdoings, they weep in silence as little streams of tears flow down their cheeks.
Calliope clapped her hands & they all vanished away.
The ninth nymph reaches her place & gently leaves her walnut on the ground before disappearing. Through the thick fog, I could distinguish two figures approaching me, their pace was slow & unprovoked of any threat. When they came closer, I then recognized them. They were a man & a woman. The man who was of some well-built body carried with him a large mace which he rested on his left shoulder when he stopped his pacing. He wore a lion’s skin to cover himself. I immediately knew that man was the magnificent Hercules. The lady whom he was joined by wore a white dressed very similar to the one that calliope wore. She was blindfolded, being guided by her mate’s strong arm. She carried a sword on her left & a balance on her right. I knew her to be lady justice. They said nothing to each other but in perfect sync, they exclaimed; “Let right prevail”.
Then Calliope clapped her hands, Hercules & Lady justice vanished away.
The tenth nymph, the slowest of all her counterparts, approached me in a similar manner. But before she could place her walnut in its place, an old hermit from the mountains descended & stole that nymphs walnut. His beard was long & white, infested with lice & some other undiscovered parasites. His limbs were thin & dirtied with filth. Regardless of his poor decrepit state, he was swift, for he ran far away in great haste being chased after by that nymph.
The eleventh nymph took her sister's place instead. She threw her walnut far in the distance (for fear of this hermit to steal it? I know not) where an army appeared. Marching through the field they halted & in a single voice they praised their lord; “Salva Lumus Maximus”. The very earth before their feet started to crumble as if their heavy march tore the earth crust, & through the recently formed cracks, they fell to an abyss.
Calliope clapped her hands & they all vanished away.
The twelfth nymph silently approaches me with a subtle mien, she was the loveliest of them all. (Even the two who are still to take their turn ahead of hers) She swallowed that walnut whole & from her mouth, eyes, nose, & ears disgusting black spiders crawled out. I was horrified by such morbid scene. I then prayed to Calliope to put a stop to that torture, but she ignored my request. When the last spider left her body, all that remained was a bag of skin which bore the semblance of that nymph.
Calliope clapped her hands & that agonizing image vanished away.
The thirteenth nymph plants her walnut. A large building rises over me, then another followed by another one until I found myself surrounded by a small city.
The last nymph with her fourteenth walnut paves the street with the pieces of the shell. She creates a path where the dancers once more journey their way through dancing to some unknown place.
Calliope bids me farewell before transforming into a raven & flying away.
I awoke this morning, healed & revitalized with great life force in me, I dare say that I have been healed of my ailments & pains. Now at present, I am writings to which I consider them valuable & add them to this book, for after I have concluded I shall rest until the high sun of noon. Once the clock strikes the true hour I shall pursue after the task by which Calliope instructed me to complete. The story of Lumus the knight.

Athanasius Aegypticus.


Submitted: July 28, 2018

© Copyright 2022 anonymous 1520. All rights reserved.


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