Thursday, September 25, 2008

Call Me Lil

In the bottom of a crystal palace, down bellow the lowest translucent and glittering floor, there is a chamber where the weary travelers rest, but for only a moment in an apparition of relief. Then they are spat back out on the black streets to fend for themselves under the shadows of hungry sky scrapers, evading drug dealers, pimps, and whores, diabolical creatures looking to prick you with a pin and put their disease into you. There you can only hope to escape notice, only hope that your own character in this twisted narrative can survive itself.
For I am a cruel God. When I’ve no sun then my creations shall know no sun, when I am alone then so shall all of my little spoon boys suffer the agony and desperation of separation, each one paddling along the great river in their own little eggshell boat armed with discarded sewing needles with which they intend to prick anything which comes anywhere near them in order to make that unwary traveler pay for the crime of having not come along sooner to adore their master and make her into a bright and shinning Goddess of love instead of a cold and vengeful deity.
Look down under the glassy surface of this river. If you look closely you will see that the muddy bottom is lit with tiny lights here and there which give off just enough illumination for you to make out the shapes of the large creatures skimming around the river bed; see the row boat sized catfish with their whiskers as long as those of old Chinese men, trailing alongside them? Observe the water moccasins as long as the river itself, oily black and weaving themselves through the river grasses where they may hide in wait for the last of seven brothers to jump in for a swim and never come back up.
Watch closely now, and you will glimpse one of my more diabolical servants, a siren with the long olive green tale of a fish, wriggling along with webbed fingers outstretched, fanged grimace painted permanently on her slimy white face. The lights flicker on and off in turns, small blue flames immune to the wetness. They mark the places where a treasure has been lost beneath the mud of the riverbed.
Now and again some deranged or desperate seeker ventures here in a little row boat or a canoe armed with snorkel, flippers, and a shovel. A few are slightly more prepared and bring along a harpoon with which they hope to fend of the beasties. It is a strange fact that many are willing to believe in lost treasures, but are just as unwilling to believe in the dragons that guard them. They are the lot that regard the stories of such creatures and all warnings as superstition. Then they meet my children in the river and their minds are forever opened, but it unfortunately does them no good at that point, because the sirens are usually feeding on the tender gray meat wrenched from their cracked cranium.
They are fairly clever my sirens, a result of eating all those brains of drowned oarsmen and fortune seekers. I cannot say that many adventurers appreciate their singing, which is a sound something akin to that of nails being raked down a chalkboard which has been distorted and amplified. They tend to sing in chorus, like coyotes yipping first one, then two, then eight, wailing and warning each other of their proximity. My sirens do not get along well with one another, and so they alert each other as to their whereabouts so that they may all avoid violent territorial disputes, except on rare occasions when the moon is full and they band together to hunt.
There are things in this river which evade my capacity to describe. The best I can do is to say that they are like the ancient ancestors of crocodiles, with lumbering bodies and spade shaped jaws and rows of red and blue jagged plates running down their backs. They open wide their mouths and then for all the world it looks like nothing but a cave, a place to moor your boat and rest for a moment, then snap! You are locked within the beasts belly where you will be slowly digested over the course of a million years.
Rest never lasts for long, (unless you count the million years it may take to be digested) and when it does it tends to extract a heavy toll. There is no safe haven that I have made for you. None whatsoever. You are damned like a hamster to run my coarse endlessly, struggling to stay alert and energetic enough to evade the many traps that I have laid to ensnare you. I have made for you a world of enemies to keep you quick. When they catch you they will devour you, slashing you with teeth and claws like serrated knives and condemning you to absorption through the walls of their large intestines so that what was worthwhile in you can be carried by the rivers of blood to nourish the hungry cells of the beast that it may continue its life devoted to the consumption and digestion of the slow and unworthy.
You will have to be quick to out match me, quicker than tears, quicker than fatigue and rage and desperation. You will have to learn to outlast your own character, which I have only written into this story to feed and amuse my pets. Like a little white feeder mouse you will have to scurry through my maze and evade my cold blooded offspring on their quest to swallow you whole.

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