A Quote:

"There sit the knights that were so great of hand,
The ladies that were queens of fair green land,
Grown grey and black now, brought unto the dust,
Soiled, without raiment, clad about with sand."
- Algernon Charles Swinburne.

lunes, 21 de mayo de 2012

Her Most Trustful Candelabrum

This is a story I wrote for my Fiction Writer's Workshop at Authors Bookstore in Bogotá that I want to share. It's based on the Changeling: the Lost setting of the "new" World of Darkness RPG. I apologize in advance for the grammar mistakes you will find, but I hope you will enjoy it:

Outside the magnificent library covered in shadows that is my home, I see through the ornate wood window the snow falling lazy over the thorny bushes in the garden. In some spots, the snow mingles with some thorns covered with blood, and abruptly changing their form and speed, the defrost snowflake carries away the last remnant of another intruder. A lot of moons before, that sight chilled out my very bones, but now, after seeing this happening every now and then, I am getting used to it; there is a kind of poetry in the silent drop carrying the spilled life of another being to nurture its killer. The barghest vines that watch the garden never leave enough of the intruders. Their thorns like avid teeth, unsatiable hunger, and composed little eyes all over their branches are mighty defenses, but not even them dissuade all those freaks of trying to get the attention of my Mistress. Right now, I am serving as Her Most Trustful Candelabrum, waiting for her arrival to pick up a book. From the candle I carry the wax drip with the snowflakes rithm outside, and while the blood moists, I get warm. Of course, sometimes I can barely withstand the pain when the wax touches my skin, but it solidifies, and new warm drips come over to keep away the cold night. The flame that I carry just keeps the darkness and the ghosts at bay, but I am not afraid. From the darkest corners of the shelves they rise like mists, moving apparently with no direction, but they have all the time in their undeath state, and soon they are moving toward my light. With their cold, rasp echo, they entice me to read the books from where they come from, to let them live again one page at a time. They whisper of adventures on islands that float over oceans of fire, kept from moving away from the continent by chains that could retain the mightiest gods; of oceans made of pure probability, where merchants in paperboats fish sunflowery vixens and death wishes of those abandoned by their trusted ones; of cities made of bronze in the middle of the jungle, long abandoned by their child devouring inhabitants.

I listen to them, but even that their enticements are splendid, this is my duty. I am the Candelabrum of my Mistress, and I don't want to fail in my work. I adore her, and she loves me because I'm obedient and do my work diligently. And the reason why I love my duty is simple. When she enters the room at dawn, and touches me softly while embracing all my body with her delicate and cold fingers, all the pain suffered in the night goes away and the ecstasy paralyze my muscles to the point I just barely breathe. I feel lightning running through my flesh directly to my soul, boiling my blood. Literally. When the embrace is total, sometimes I smelled the steam of my boiled blood that floats through her marble white, long, delicate fingers. Just thinking of it makes me tremble in expectation, and my skin wants to detach from my body to search her wherever she is at the mansion, my thoughts belonging exclusively to her. After I nearly die from the pleasure I receive every morning, she blows the flame from the candle that I carry, and the fire gleefuly perishes with the touch of her fiery breath. The ghosts humbly return to their books, and when everything pleases her, the shining from the cloudy sky unfolds, passes through the thorny barghests in the garden, highlightning that only inside Her mansion we are completely safe from the dangers outside. The ghosts once said that there is something called “sun” beyond the clouds, but I only remember the shining. They told me that once you pass the thorns and go outside to the woods, and if you are lucky enough to survive, it is possible that you can reach the End of the Woods, and somewhere there, the First Door That Was Ever Built. Beyond the door, they say, there is “the Great Los, the primordial sun shining over the waves of formless chaos”. But I don't pay attention to such nonsense. There is no reason to go outside the mansion, where there are so many dangers, that even my Mistress need such awful plants as the barghests to keep us safe. If there is such a thing like the First Door That Was Ever Built, who has the key? And much more important, I have all that I need here.

But I have to admit that sometimes, SOMETIMES, the enticement of the ghosts have an effect on me. Sometimes their stories have two questions woven that scare me: what was I before getting here? What do I dream when my vigil fails? And they scare me because for the first question, no matter how I try, I remember only shadows of faces floating laughing maliciously at me, dancing fast with the pulse of their creaky laughter. I remember myself crying, trying to stop the laughter with my hands over my ears, then running desperately against the shadows and finding only mists and darkness beyond them. But the faces were still there, no matter how far I run. I don’t know why they mocked me, but I hold for certain that there was a reason. Maybe I did something so funny that the ghosts of other place can’t stopped laughing, or maybe they were right on some issue that embarrased me, I don’t know and right now I don’t care. In such wanderings of my memory I phisically recall such pain that bruises began to appear and hurt, and I don't want to worry my Mistress. After all, one thing of beign Her Most Trusted Candelabrum is to keep myself inmaculate. She once taught me a spell to vanish all the hair from my body, and other one for my skin to look polished. It was very clear that She liked Her Candelabrum soft to the touch and pleasant to her eyes, and Her will is my life and my pleasure. I only take care in not forgetting all the precious dawns in which Her Presence fills this library, or those occasions in which She enters suddenly, walk slowly to the shelves checking the books and the ghosts for some story for passing the final hours of darkness. Sometimes she even gaves me an extra time of delight in her fingers, taking me and my flame to the far shelves, to the most old and murky books. Those extra trips in the lands of pleasure and darkness

Regarding the second question, the weirdness of my dreams make me shudder. In those dreams I have hair on my body, my skin looks bleak and I wear strange costumes, one of them specially annoying around my neck, that falls over my chest almost down to my waist that makes me feel asphixiated and very uncomfortable every time I move my head. On the dreams, I picture myself inside a worm that moves fast almost in a straight line over fields of stone, sometimes turning to left and right abruptly. I am grabbing a grey bar inside the worm, and there are windows built in its flesh that let one see to the outside. There are a lot of beigns like me inside, but no one appear to see the others, nor anybody talk. Some cling to the bar and touch me when the worm makes one of its sudden moves, but there is a sensation of disconfort between us, not the delicious ecstasy of the touch of my Mistress; others sit in red thrones made of a curiosly rugged material, staring motionless through the windows in the worm, or with their heads punctured in the ears by strange white or black tendrils creeping from their clothes.

The vistas outside the worm are terrifiying: neglected castles that looked assaulted and vandalized repeat over and over, their walls stained by twisting lines of something that appears like the blood or fluids of insects that cracked the windows and made their nest inside of the ruins. The sick, the demented and women selling their bodies to them pululate the neighboring castle fields, as if they were the only last survivors from the bloodless massacre that appears to have happened. They prey and pillage whatever they can find in those narrow stone prairies. Beasts made of metal run alongside the worm, and like it, they have windows that reveal their agonizing prey yelling in anger or with a never ending frustration in their eyes. All the beasts yell stridently, and now that I'm thinking on it, there is no silence in my dreams. Maybe that is the reason why my head hurts so much when I wake up. It seems that those metal beasts are the ones that make the nests in the fallen castles.

I feel strange inside the dream. It’s like I’m in a hurry for something. I keep watching a strange clock stranded in my left wrist, and touching an even stranger device in my pocket. It looks like a magic window looking to green fields somewhere else, where the time is frozen. There is an intense shining covering everything, but I am sure that this has to be with all the Los thing whispered by the ghosts. The only thing moving over the window are some arabic numbers engraved in the crystal. It’s weird, but when I look to those numbers, I feel tense and a growing sense of desesperation to be somewhere else invades me. From time to time, the worm stops to feed, but incredibly its mouth is located at one side of the beast, and there is no teeth in the gaping lips. And all the food that comes into is not chewed at all; quite the contrary: they enter into the beast voluntarily, yet their expressions show the same void of those who were there sitting near the windows.

Better not remembering more. The bruises are appearing, and I don’t want to bear much pain. Soon my Mistress will come, and I want to be Her Most Trustful, Perfectly Polished, Obedient and Ecstatic Candelabrum.

2 comentarios:

  1. Hello Pacho... quite a Lovecraft story you made. Great description and character depiction of a Vampire: Its feelings and sorrows almost made me cry. Good one! Thumb up. Kalator

  2. ;) Thanks! Algo que me ha parecido curioso de los comentarios que he recibido sobre el escrito es que cada lector ha interpretado al personaje principal de forma distinta. De cierta forma creo que ésto ha reflejado de una forma inusual el aspecto feérico del personaje: distinto ante miradas distintas.