Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Offer & Acceptance: Feburary 2006

I always thought that the trail had grown risky to run a fair supply line and I was proved right when a neighbour lost every horse he owned, all on a single jaunt. So I felt unhappy sending my wagons down the line as a friendly gesture towards the local tribal emissaries. They had already separated themselves out and completed an area search for the criminal in order that he would not be allowed to travel far before sun down. I suspected the useless work hand that dwarfed me so in many ways, often feeling it necessary to cause mischief amongst the natives and match his worth against mine. For me, I was just glad to be rid of his belly aching, churning on and dull jokes that seemed to be wrestled from male led generations below the par. Now that I had so many chums around, he was no longer needed for the full term living in the farm shed and I had to send him away double quick before my possessions became forfeit. Although I provided for his departure through considerable bribery, and I confess, gave him many garments that belonged to my late son, he became violent and so I became compelled to eject him more promptly than first anticipated.

“Follow the river, brother, as it snakes onwards and beyond”, was all he said with an accompanying twisted elasticity in his babbling talk as he went away.

“And I’m on to you”, was all I could foist from my tongue but thinking further it would have been better to have used more forcible means.

The stiff prairie framed his walk in order to quicken his pace, sending him pattering back with other strangers, the axioms of ill intent to force me out from my rancher’s paradise.

Smouldering trees filled the chase as I sidled down amongst the flick of ash that had been inflicted by the very team who had infiltrated and claimed this part of the territory. Everything around: my orchards, my farm, my chattels, my loves, and my identity had been sadly enflamed. Since I had left my towering lair, this mess had been found out and now I had to flee from the scorched parade and everything that the sinful ghosts had lain in time for my imminent departure from the mown down ruination that was once my very own fruitful back yard. Moments later, I fled the last maple avenues that embraced the entrance towards the dust bowel my home now gave way to. There would be a thousand journeys before there could be somewhere to foster as my very own patch. Instead, the wastes swept far away and were unsanctified with the angst of evil visitors who darted, mighty in their crazy sleep.

Everything was crisp around the ranch but I had to work out the uncertainties surrounding my life and divine the strangeness that had brought about my personal demise amongst the ash groves – for before I felt established on my homestead farm. Indeed, I did my best to leave the place, untidy as it was, without recourse to relent or fear my decision. As I had no horse there would be a trek ahead that began with only dust, then prairie and then sudden solitude for much distance.

After days marching on and away into the wind, I kept furtively searching my mind for things I could do about the mess – actions to take or a line of attack that would engage the enemy properly enough, emerging from the echoes of restraint that unconsciously guided my mind from time to time. I was careful to pick my way south, camping without complaint at roughly sunset each day, watching for the dawn colours, signalling my onward journey. This cycle reoccurred over the coming months until I reached a hill that looked decidedly conspicuous in the arid wastes I had traversed without question. It might be a shame if I had missed an opportunity to rest and discover quickly my curiosity’s source, so I dropped my satchel to investigate further my dreaming feasibilities.

Drifting into a new sensuality I was back in the house where I was born and had lived for most of my life up until now. I also remembered my first heavenly passions towards a seemingly bright girl who used to wait down below my window until she received a coin from my hand.
“Will you promise to embrace me”, was all that I could reply.

I always aimed for her own hand but the coin nearly always shot to the ground which was really humiliating, though she would grin back to make up for my clumsiness. Granted she would watch for me every night for fun, but stealing a smile from her more than ordinary face became far more difficult for me. Eventually, her face eventually became a desert like the one I was now traversing and her eyes failed to light when I presented myself above in love, especially when I finally descended to street level to address her in person – this happened quite a bit in later days.

“Where’s my money”? She would clearly ask, clearly ruffled and offering no recognition or greeting, though with an inquisitive slant in her eyes she watched me carefully.

I would indicate that she should have shown more wisdom in her transactions and when on the final night she revealed a gun out of desperation, so it all came to an end – I dismissed her before taking action. It was through tiredness that I turned back in my thoughts to this night time ritual and as I didn’t loge a complaint to the relevant authorities later on down the line, I discovered that she had subsequently killed four other men in a violent act of jealousy. She was the ringleader to this injustice; as rumours spread quite quickly around the territory, she would wear the reputation for some time to come.

This only being a fleeting glance into my past - an unfortunate glance – I initially felt it askance with my predicament here, though it being a strong remorseful dose I remembered from a lost stranger I had not got to know properly enough. Nobody had approached me since leaving home, or spoke in any tongue to facilitate their own means; finding that they had lost their way for example. But I admit that I had felt some communication out there and quickly found that the misty night shadows explained their desires accurately, wanting to sadden me with recollections ingeniously subdued for sometime until now. I fought against this extreme melancholy but it burned within me so that I felt distressed enough by the situation. I knew that I needed to leave the area but something within my inside cajoled me to remain.

As I was already placed in a seated position it was easy to let the situation ride along indiscriminately but if I was not going to leave the spot, I had to discover some way to keep myself warm during the night as the shivering pines mocked my progress further. There was no chance that sleep would claim my actions. Already I judged the hill to be an imperfect night companion during wakefulness. Besides, there was a sorrowful openness about the place that matched my own predetermined burdens - I was no more at home than the home I had to leave forcibly.

“Oh this is untimely – do not shout out now, I can hear you through the air – do not force me to show myself”! It sounded irritable and tabled a resonance in its’ vocal patterns so readily given upon the moment that it could have been laughing at me.

“Are you a friend”? I called out at seemingly the empty air above.

“I told you not to shout, I can understand you perfectly”, came the reply but at a greater distance from beyond the hill this time. It wasn’t like any voice I had heard before or ever again, but then it giggled, leaping out at me through the tail end of its jolly mirth.

“Are you the one who is running away”? The shoulder high native asked me with almost a whisper, this time more in line with my own language both sweet and dry, “Because if you are, I can help you accomplish that dream”.

“I’m not running away”, I answered, “I’m seeking help from others”.

There was a threatening purr in its voice that indicated amusement guided by his insane pleasure as to my vulnerable predicament. It crept further up to the hill’s ledge and began patrol the open nook without taking its eye off me for one instant.

“Then let me pass”, I said.

“What am I doing to stop you?” replied the ape like creature, a caricature but not quite a full man. I couldn’t see it properly because its outline seemed too inconspicuous for certainty.

By now I was feeling frustrated as I just wanted to leave the creature to its own devices but it had filled the area with subversive energy, grafting itself into the scenery so that all became as one with the frame.

“Whereas you of course are afraid my actions might hurt you”. It felt extraordinary that this creature was still talking to me either though its’ discourse seemed inerrably impersonal.

So it was foolish thing to believe that a comforting bed for the night would await me and so I tried to slumber there and then, right next door to the stranger, though my efforts only made its’ chattering seem worse than the peaceful environment it inhabited, not as picturesque compared with tasteful standards.

There was nothing pleasant about this time consuming imp, a rather nasty character who had waited throughout the day for a god fearing citizen to bait and had now caught me following the path of my adversary, believing me actually seeking it instead around this deserted scenery.

“Get off you hard bitten old thing”! I yelled.

I shouted in its ear so that it was sure to hear me but it buzzed back and shook about; plainly its’ hearing was not what it was but then again, it had no reason to hear anyway. My voice just echoed, challenging the silence in-between. All the gains I had made so far were as transient as the life within me and my energy was cold, sapped by this shoulder high native. I watched the disfigurement that shone on its face through which I had no claim to reach around and suck out the smile it wore as a front. The eyebrows met in the middle of the forehead and I thought I could read its motives there but unfortunately I couldn’t.

“Are you afraid to drift off to sleep, in case I turn and do something awful?” it mused carefully with a voice that again buzzed more than spoke out properly.

It was incredible that I was still paying attention to such a foul being but I was inhibited in some way to release myself and I felt quite listless inside due to a curious exhaustion that held me in the sway of the thing.

Purring away in the shadows it strode out and the face was completely held bare in the night’s haze so that I could be a witness to everything it wanted. While it goggled at me, the native began sharpening his teeth on a bone necklace strung around its neck for some design governed by decoration. I noticed the moonlight reflecting off a talisman hanging from this necklace the creature had just wrapped its jaws around. Executing this task with devotional gratification, using its own teeth to finish the job, the thing poked me with it and shoved the chain roughly into my unclasped hand.

“This is for you”, he mouthed silently.

I looked at the amulet and then at the demon smile that was offered to me in exchange for my acquiescence.

“You must wear it of course”, it surmised.

“Why?” I ventured to ask.

“Because its’ really yours – there is no other choice”, it carried on quacking away with an insatiable ardour but now I had turned off from his ramble believing that I could end up in real trouble. I didn’t want to accept this trinket on anyone’s behalf; least of all my own. The sphere showed a twinkling core surrounded by gilt crystals like spokes on a wheel, casting a comforting familiarity yet it felt tarnished by an unlucky injustice: I recognised it to be the thing that hung from the girls neck who waited by my window all those times. There was no mistaking the fancy parabolic design, fanning out into a peacock’s coat out straight, signifying a beasts jaws outstretched.

“I can get her back if you want, with all her love intact”.

I began listing all the certainties driving me to continue my present sanity; unfortunately, there were none and I had to be courageous towards my purpose.

“You know about this lady”?

“Certainly I do – she and I have been in collaboration – is it not plain”.

It opened its mouth but the issue was just wind but its mind spoke to me intact, strange in complexities and affirmations.

“Judging by your small reaction, I trust you don’t care for my offering, though you must take it anyway”.

I felt a need to despoil the necklace as my anger had not run through its course with the slut bound in the image I saw. She was the one who had thieved me along with her accomplice, my rough work hand – I felt sure now.

“I can release her for a small claim, what say you? - She may assist in recovering your properties far flung. I have trapped her beauty in the amulet”. Dealing with this situation first through sagacity and decorum, these qualities had been reduced into a palpable nothingness through my dismay. I angered steadily and began to contemplate violence as a potential forward course – yet she had threatened to shoot me through her chagrin. Consequently, it was time for me to take remedial measures and break this dammed energy that surrounded me through the void.

The slant of his eyes caught me in a glimmering moment before I smashed the present into the dust, sealing the crime with my grinding foot, so that I held it fast onto the dry ground. A swift yelp issued deep from inside just as the vessel split amongst the grainy dirt – I stooped down to retrieve it carefully since the chain was still intact. In certain respects, I hoped whatever pain that lie within the orb had now been released from being bottled up out into the open. It was not long before I knew what it was: An influx of energy exuded through the struggling outer cortex shell which fell away to become the beautiful young lady who had tormented me from under my window.

“At last I’ve broken free from death to look upon you just once again – I have requested this friendly shaman to conjure what he does not know or can control”.

Her frame bore reference to the magic around because it seemed part of the environmental design: the desert, the open tundra and the dry aridness that ran through the eye like a thread. She blended in amazingly as a friendly shade, yet really an enemy so far in the extreme that she wanted me dead outside my house at our last meeting, and now she sought me here post mortem to commune from the dead through the air with me.

“I was part of the charm - it worked”, she was so desperate to say her piece that her remarks seemed condemned to go unheard for the while but when I had time to catch the gist from her lifeless tongue I understood at once what she had become.

“Looking from the sunny side of death I think that I have born the change well”.

Indeed she looked quite alluring in her elemental appearance: Her complexion was worn like a garment carried without being mindful of conscious deportment. The cheek bones were more defined by the sloping barrow like structures that were situated on the circumference around my central point where I stood at this moment. My other companion began hissing again and its eyes peeked at me from behind a rock seeming unsure as to how it should react.

“Your promise must be fulfilled”, came the voice disembodied, “I know you have something good for me”.

Her voice was becoming more and more palpable now. So much so, that I actually started to hear it with my ears as oppose to my head.

It became absolutely necessary to distinguish her face, feeling pressure that it would run abroad and cause some mischief that her body would not discount entirely, so I wished to see her in the proper light, not the coefficient of dusk that masked the landscape now.

“Now I shall receive your shallow promise. I have paid for immortality through sinful reaction”! She said, commenting from my conscious within.

Her merry lips melted into the air, opening to show a hollow embrasure, leave taking her final secret: A tooth structure formed an internal network which seemed particularly inhuman – more like a dog’s set of dentures if compared. Nevertheless, her mouth fell close again when she felt enough had been done to scare me witless, though I could still see two white arched tips peeping through the crevice between her upper and lower jaw – I admit I had not noticed these before, it was true. About then, I knew that I was in grave danger if I did not get out of her way: She had somehow risen from the dead, wanting to demonstrate her newly acquired powers culled from the ambit of unrest for some selfish benefit that didn’t apply to either me or anyone immediately nearby.

She was trying to touch me and show me how real she could be. The other being just laughed, while he made out that this spectacle was inspired by a mystical saint unbeknownst to common knowledge because he was a holy man, set to serve us earthly bound angels by controlling this malingering demon.

She visibly gulped down the freshly harvested air from all around me, looking out of breath but only just for a moment. I then took this opportunity to disengage from the proceedings as I did not want to be drawn into their whimsies, lest I became savaged, hacked to bits or even split in two, in spite of both their natural combined preoccupations with myself. They of course meant me for their own immeasurable thirsts – the lady, I had already ascertained as already dead, certainly seemed parched of any life blood and looked like she could do with a drink.

The teeth sunk deep into the flesh but it was not my skin she sought to puncture but another’s. Charged with pain, since he instead became part of the embrace, her lips touched his head seeming gentle in establishment but she was quick to draw out every drop of blood like a flame to lick the dawn. His face then looked selfish, tearing away but she was so well nourished from the ruby harvest that he eventually had no more to give.

It became high time to put the genie back into its lamp and I felt the bracelet swinging through my hand, hoping to at least knock her out from my keen grip or suck her back into the vortex created somewhere within its core. Unfortunately, the one I once sought to love, mainly because of her fleeting entries into my life, had turned into a wild brute that had probably been responsible for all the devastation invested on my corral.

Clearly I felt nothing for her now, save a lasting pity for her Indian keeper who could not tame this particular dame, as she had gobbled him up in the half light - his plot to sink me had now actually terminally sunk him. There were so many things that these ghoulish creatures could do. Not limited to purely being a fanged mistress of pleasure; she had greater longings beyond goodness knows where and atrocious needs for her own device. She gave out the minimal amount of protest as I held the slovenly hands that tried to grab me back towards her. I grappled her to the ground and stood over her, which was extra felicitous towards my present intensions for escape.

“Now back you go into the bottle under the lamp light like a good sprite”, but my incantation went unheard as the creature struggled between my fingers and thumbs that were beginning to feel numb from struggle.

With all the flapping about, the slither in her movement and mastery of her limbs with greater propulsion off the ground, I let go and let the creature loose in flight through the air. It fluttered briefly before it gave an almighty push upwards, as she took off and gained altitude, free from my eager grip. I had to release the thing that once gripped me in the pressure of the evening’s potential; otherwise I would be suffocated at once by the following attrition to my sanity. Drawing strength from the wind the serpent crawled skyward free from the snare in the necklace, no longer giving way or allowing authority to bare her against her will.

My obsession’s margin had been reached once more and by instinct, I cut across the canyon as quickly as my gait would cast hopefully following the witch along to her own lair. Bringing my only chattels along the trail would have been a grave risk, so I left them behind so as to procure a greater speed in pursuit without a fair idea as where it was going…….

My mind turned on its’ axis in mid flow after tripping and falling badly over my skirts, discovering that my gun had disappeared some way back along the misty pass. I presently felt it would be useless to try and defend myself should I need further on.

So it became a nuisance masquerading as fair game amongst these illusions but I was determined to reverse my logic and even distract myself from giving in to my gut reactions, even tempting the problem. I needed a firm resolve and positive recourse, not racing off hooked on the darkness, hoping to find answers from this mysterious female, when none would be lay bare, or become available once I had eventually gained on her - letting the matter go was about the best option available. I felt the seismic pressure which didn’t relate to my fluctuating canker for curiosity’s allure, so I immediately abandoned my present drive through the tundra and walked back to invest my future, rebuilding, retrenching my shattered homestead instead.
Since then I got married to a rather prosperous young man who turned out to be none other than the local governor. He would never believe my story so I put it down to experience with a glowing light in my eye and a toothy grin.


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