I have been here always. Knelt before the same wooden altar. Bathed my mind beneath the ever shifting light of stained glass. I have read and pondered the stories that remain framed within those panels of glass.
They are glittering jewels that dazzle the eyes. Drawing the mind into the inner light that radiates out filling the void of the room beyond.
Marble floor with the patterned grain of darkened stone tracing out it’s ancient markings from time long lost beneath the sea.
Here in quiet remembrance the candles burn, and none but I know why.
The Watcher sat just beyond the doors of the great hall.
The large metal rings which had been fastened as the doorhandles and knocker lay flaccid against the ancient wood.
Their immense diameter and thickness making anyone’s hand look childishly small.
No one as far as the Watcher knew had ever tried the rings to gain entrance to the rooms beyond.
He had though witnessed the rare occasions when those within had swung open one of the doors to come out.
Usually they emerged suddenly and in silence. The great doors hinges effortlessly giving way, and then with little effort reversing back to the closed position. It was during those random moments the Watcher was able to see the doors construction. Thick as a man’s forearm, and framed with metal bracing within. Definitely stout enough to slow any intrusion of people or sound.
As for the room beyond it was shrouded in an eternal darkness, but at the distant end one could just make out a sparkling of jewels upon the floor and a dazzling wall of colored light.
The Watcher imagined that between the brilliant glitter of jewels and blinding light a dark figure knelt silently. Any certainty on exactly what lay at the far end was to never be known by the Watcher. Some places he knew well enough to stay clear of. It’s just the way it is.
Alice sat distracted. A nuthatch was slowly making its way down the trunk of a nearby sapling. It’s funny head-first hopping reminded her of the her own first moments leaping through worlds. As nauseating an experience it had been, Alice was secretly hoping to get the opportunity to do it again. The only thing that was holding her back was the how and when.
Alice had gathered from the many frequent visits of disembodied voices that the portal from here to there ( where something she never knew) was always opening and closing. To use it, one simply needed to be determined and fully willing to accept the next outcome. The concept of outcome being as close to exactly what the event actually meant.
Alice couldn’t quite understand that piece of information either.
She just took it to mean 1+1=2 but to get to four the possibilities increased as well as the path. Everyone understands 2+2, or 1+1+1+1, or 1+1+2, and even 1+3. But doing the possible backwards or even not at all could cause a bit of stress. 0+4, 5-1, and so on into infinite realms could get a person marooned, even completely gone from before, during, and after. As insane as that sounded, Alice was not yet willing to prove anyone’s theorem’s just yet.
Why did everything have to involve math…
Alice could bring herself to accept that it had only been three days. What she couldn’t believe in was the constant transition of the garden outside.
She vaguely remembered the first time looking out of the window. The season had been late spring. The butterflies and hummingbirds fluttering amongst the many wildflowers and well planted rows of perennials. Annuals like irises taking over where daffodil and hyacinth had earlier flowered but now becoming just green leaves and dying stalks.
With later glances outside, Alice noted the crepe myrtles had begun to bloom with deep purples and reds. Their many branched arms spreading outward casting a welcomed shadow from the hot blazing sun.
And today as she gazed upwards in a daydream daze of building castles in the sky, Alice’s distracted eyes watched as oak and maple leaves began drifting down from leaf clogged gutters. The browned yellows and crimson reds slowly sailing down, down, down carpeting the flower beds.
Alice even noticed amongst the brown blades of overgrown grasses the aster and goldenrod turning to seed. The planting of daylilies she must have confused for irises being nothing but withered yellow and brown mulch piles beside dried stalks of gladiolas.
No. Though she was not a naturalist or expert at gardening, Alice knew the changing seasons without the need of flocking geese or migrant fish swimming up stream. Without a doubt, and without need of the old sage explaining things, Alice knew she was sitting in the middle of 0+1 or something very close to it.
Across the room the sage let out a humourous chortle.
To Alice the old man always seemed to take great interest and enjoyment during her most confused moments. It’s was almost like he knew her mind, and saw all the outcomes before she did, and thought her ignorant.
Along the waters edge where sand and ocean meet
The worlds first words are spoken
By the soft and whispering breeze
It speaks of the many kingdoms
and of ageless palaces carved of stone
All the chambers filled with musical laughter far below in the surging sea
The echoing ripples flowing
Splashing playfully upon the distant shores above
Alas the people of the land no longer remember the beauty
Nor can they walk the halls
Time since it has passed deep beneath a sea foam gray
Softly the wind summons back the memory
As the crabs solemnly standing guard lament
And flying high overhead seabirds call out a sullen praise
There at the waters edge where sand and ocean meet
With the setting of the sun
And rising of the moon
Stars unseen glow with new life
I watch in silence
Becoming lost between worlds
Filling all my sight
Even more expansive
Filling my thoughts
With mystery and hope
I have been here before in life… a forgotten martyr of a desperate time. Now I lay concealed beneath these layers of dead skin, mummified cartilage and muscle.
The life giving waters have long ago fled back to the sea.
Left alone my corpse’s slow decay releases back my last breaths of air. Returning what little good it once kept trapped within.
Somewhere solemn words stand forgotten carved deep in weathered stone. “The Last”.
Birth shown without beginning. Death left unchiseled. Such a precious thing as life left blank.
Was it for convenience or from lack of concern.
The curious may one day find this bolt hole where I sit enthroned. Disturbing my promised eternities, foolishly attempting to pry from dead lips secrets of forgotten times.
Agelessly, lidless eyes watch for the coming day. Stiff bones growing impatient of the wait.
Silently I listen to the world just beyond wooden walls and marble stone. Remembered sounds echoing out inside the powdered dust that once was brain.
The constant intrusion of spider and moth from clay stained crevices. Pillows and tapestry they weave for me. Adorning my once vibrant pastels in a virgin bower of silken whites.
Dressed in such royalty all my court gather near.
The maddening chirp of the camel crickets add to the music of my ballroom. Beneath the chandeliers of glowworms the seething hoard claw away the grime leaving traced lines as forgotten mosaics.
Still I wait for you my love. Promises made in youth still bind. In death they hold more honest truth. In sickness an in health, for richer and for poor, let none separate what here has been joined, even upon death one should depart. In unity, what once was two, now man and woman be made whole.