Himself

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Love story - based around the precepts of existentialist philosophy (there is no meaning to be found in the universe and therefore in our lives except the meaning and purpose we bring to ourselves) - story is about a quest for something incredibly precious.

Submitted: February 05, 2009

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Submitted: February 05, 2009

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HIM

Part 1

He awoke from his reverie the recidivistic beating of his heart a familiar indication of a “something” which had occurred without his memory – he had lived with the affliction now for so long that all else had been immolated in its wake, scouring the canvass of his thoughts with its incumbent agony and rage allowing for little else.

Each sunrise he woke in the cave, his heart fired, the scent of terror and exhilaration exuding from his every pore – the affliction was his only platform for release he thought despairingly as the darkness of his surroundings encroached upon his unconscious. This nadir was his waking life; he stretched out his hand and clenched the digits tightly, tendons straining in his forearm, but grasped nothing. Slumping back against the cold rock he realised the cave was his only recollection – it was old beyond memories, forged as a cell, a nonchalant father but today was different somehow. Shards of light penetrated the black of the ceiling briefly, the droplets of water refracted the reprieve and the trickles upon the floor caused iridescence to spring up and burn away the shadows in an instant – a conclusion perhaps, an answer to this formless screaming query within his heart, to late, the night had marshalled its power and again had swallowed the light.

The night did not swallow him though, it could not, for he had seen the sun, he had seen it if only in part, but enough that he could begin to understand – he knew now that freedom existed and not so far away.

Part 2

The sun had died again some minutes previously and the stirrings began, the darkness was taking him and he raged, exhilaration washed over him, then black.

As the moon yawned into life from beneath the clouds, undulating moors stretched out before him, ghostly hands washing it in their pale hue. Purpose had returned as he charged toward his goal, driven by the shell of the question, ravenous in need of the answer. The wind howled as did the night itself as mountains and fields were traversed – he knew the route well, it was old beyond memories and older still.

To the town upon the cliff he went, drawn to the scent of souls the revenant of his only memory  – boarded doors and windows paid homage to the horrors he had inflicted upon this place, the focus of his rage. The people knew that with the moon came Him. So through doors and windows he plunged rending, tearing, biting, slicing a physical catharsis through the town, the blood and bone and pain of every man, woman and child was his focus now  “let them die to sate my hunger!” he bellowed ,  but tonight was different somehow, the rage drove Him forward close to the cliff. Here he had never been and here he stopped.

A small shack stood out against a backdrop of ashen clouds and the roaring of the sea, a single solitary light, minute and yet powerful enough to blot out the moon and seemingly illuminate the horizon called to Him from within. The rage had not yet subsided and the moon called, he tore up to the door, hesitated at first and then angered by his own trepidation burst through to take the blood price he knew was his own.

A Woman with flowing red hair and eyes of azure blue stood before him, for the second time, in what seemed like an eternity, he hesitated as she stretched out her hand – his heart raced with something other than rage, he had begun to remember the answer and perhaps more importantly the question, but as is so often the case, fear took him and he fled.

Part 3

His eyes opened to blackness, the memory of a woman quelled the verdant pace of his heart, grimacing he fought to tear from the clenched fist of the shadow her features; her eyes shone now, in this place, gazing into his soul, urging Him to make something of this limbo he found himself in one featureless day – her love had been seared into his heart, older than memories and older still, her essence was with Him and his with her, but there was something else – loss, loss of beauty, loss of purity, loss of purpose, loss of her.

Prone upon the cold wet rock he hammered his fist against the ground until it throbbed and bled weeping all the while “Why am I made supplicant!!” he screamed “prelate of my anguish, your loss makes you that only now for I am halved without you, An open wound!, why did you leave me Siento?!”, he knew now the question.

It was then a single solitary light cracked the bleakness about Him, warmth touched his face as he gazed, squinting in an attempt to find the beams source but through his tears he could not, an abyss opened within Him which he filled with his confusion, his pain, his loss, his agony and finally his rage – the fire which razed all else.

The stirrings began, then Black. 
Part 4

The barren moors stretched out before him once again, anodyne, bereft of shape. The mercurial lineaments of nature flew past as the maw of the moon opened his path, stentorian bellows echoed from rock, to tree, to heaven, to Earth. This once bountaneous providence now a veil sundered by his atavism, “let none sleep tonight lest they wish for the eternity to take them, I shall be the cut that opens their eyes and the shadow that darkens them thereafter!” he bellowed again as the wind howled “Siento why did you leave me!?”.

Into the town upon the cliff he charged, battened portals marked his passing as the moon marked his way, the shack was his memory, there lay the truth and the open arms of solace, that was his focus.

The single solitary light beckoned Him, unwavering against the darkness, a preponderate horizon that filled his heart beating away the moons glare. The rage began to ebb away, siphoned from his being with every step closer to the shack upon the cliff. The door creaked slowly open at his touch and the warm luminescence within blanketed his entire body, he was a man again. She stood before Him, the sun, he fell to his knees before her, tears streaming down his face, she cradled Him, their arms clenched tightly about the rapture of the other and as sobs of joy at what had been found shook his entire being, he remembered.

Part 5

She was the sun, his Siento, but he had broken that bond, that otherwise unsullied connection between the two which were one – her truth had not been his and his betrayal, though subtle and askew in its conception, had become absolute. He had betrayed her at the words of fools.

“She lives alone, and so quiet in person” they would say, “have you seen the unholy hue of her eyes”, “ she is not seen at the places of meeting, not on the corners, or in the shops, nor does she converse with the people” – content to her nocturnal vices it was in this way that suspicion grew, convalescing into tangibility.

The light always shone at night, and people grew wary of her voluntary sequester upon the cliff. Come darkness though he would go, in stealth for fear of rumour and malcontent among supposed friends who would not understand, who cawed, bleated and haggled their waking hours away. Emancipation from their banality lay with her and so it was for conversation of a deeper nature he ventured forth, he understood the need she felt for distance from the populace of the town and it was here at the cliff edge, by the roaring of the ocean that she could think and read and be, free from the nothing that society had wrought. He understood, and she felt the warmth of that understanding.

In time they grew to love each other, they would lie entwined for hours on end before he would have to leave to sneak back and don his mask amid the masses, always his thoughts would be with her, her touch, her breath, his Siento.

Upon one sunny spring he remembered plucking a white rose, her favourite flower, from a neighbours garden one evening and bringing it in gift to her, offering the rose on bended knee he had asked for her hand and at that connection they swore never to let go – they could not, for the universe had bonded them in time old beyond memories and older still, his Siento, the sun, the most beautiful woman in all the world.

Mutual saviours they became, each a precious freedom from monotony and the nothing.  

Part 6

Unbeknownst to Him he had been observed on his stealthy midnight sojourns to the cliff edge, a Father or son (it matters not) had reported their activities and rumours began. Benign at first, as rumours are, until people seeking drama amid the drab futility of their own existence embellish, injecting tenuous untruths of their own invention.

Their love became suspect to the ignorance of the town, knowing the good standing of Him during the daylight she became architect of whatever evils must be taking place, “she has bewitched Him and others too, they say she has had a hundred lovers and he is but the latest victim”, “she is a witch, a weaver of spells and destroyer of crops” and in this fashion it was words that sealed her fate.

At first he fought fervently  for her seeking to garner some understanding, to make them listen but in the end it was he that listened – he began to believe, jealousy and bitterness clouded his vision – the thought he may only be the latest of her conquests, that he was one in a hundred and if this was true then what other  lies had she told Him, perchance these anodyne towns folk whom he had known all of his life held the truth, that he had been bewitched, it was certainly an easier choice than the one he would have to make if he turned his back on those who provided his livelihood – he was a sane Man what but witchcraft could have driven Him to make such choices as he had, virtually deserting his family and his work!. Bereft of logic he had raged at her deception “Siento!, I weep that i must break my own heart to end your lies, but these people speak their truth and I can only listen!”.

And so upon a night when the moon had waxed full and the sea roared, he and the masses marched to the door of the shack, the light shone innocently ever guiding the way, it was he whose fist first clenched to hammer upon the door of her sanctuary.

The only thing that stirred inside was the light, and with the lack of an answer brands of flame were thrown in fearful anger. Silhouetted against the growing moon the conflagration lapped the sky, as he gazed through the flames into the barren landscaped maw of the white dragon he realised the terrible thing he had done. The weight of his sorrow forced Him to his knees, these ignorant bastards had stolen the truth from Him, they had stolen the sun, guilts glabrous palms walled a lake for his tears held for another time, for now he would cry rage and horror and revenge upon these animals, he would destroy them with the truth that they were, evinced within Himself – for Siento, for the wronged and forgotten sun.

Part 7

He awoke, startled, in her arms and frowned into the depth of her eyes, if the sea still roared he could no longer hear it. She lay upon the floor of the husk that had once been their snatch of freedom, lifeless and yet he heard her words in his mind “despair not my love” she whispered “it was not I you injured but yourself, and the only thing the masses destroyed was a depth within themselves – between us we birthed much honour through our pursuits and so i came back for you for I could do nothing else, I am halved without you”.

The light still shone, he glanced over to the sill of the window to see it laden with a single white rose, angelic effervescence sprang from it illuminating the night and all that he could see, it was as if it had been there always, unseen somehow in spite of its brilliance – it had led Him to the truth, to Siento,  it had led Him home from afar, “thank you Siento” he whispered.

Standing he lifted her into his arms and bore her out to the cliff edge, the rose upon the sill lighting their every step. Despite the glare of the moon, the pelting drizzle and the roar of the sea he heard only  silence, a calmness had taken Him, he felt at peace. A quiet breeze swept her hair from her face and he gazed longingly into her eyes once again – “my Siento, the most beautiful woman in all the world, my forgotten sun, I am halved without you here, I am a bleeding heart slowly ebbing into the nothing, and that for us I could never allow”, the well of his emotion opened and holding her cheek he kissed her with every fibre of his being.

And so in the knowledge that the last thing he would ever feel in this existence would be the softness and nitid perfection of her lips he cradled her tightly to Him, and with a smile upon his face dashed himself upon the rocks below - He had decided to live for love and to die for his mistake.

 


© Copyright 2019 Matthew Robin Pay. All rights reserved.

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