In the spirit of the theme ‘the contradictory human being’ and exploring different styles of writing, the vignette below (titled ‘The Deity’) came to fruition . It is still a work in progress- only 70% true to what my brain had envisioned it to be but aye, considering it’s only 700 words or so, it’s pretty okay.
– – A universal truth and a forewarning – –
‘non semper erit aestas’
It will not always be summer
Like a tapestry filled with millions of bleached white pinholes, small blotches of luminous light bled through the otherwise dark sky in clusters. Tonight, Heaven was a beautiful cocktail of deep indigos and charcoal accents. It was early 1900’s and the mid-January Japanese air was cold, crisp and awakening. Dainty crystallized specks of condensed clouds drifted from the sky, bleaching the world colorless in its wake.
In a three-metre wide back alleyway –fit snugly between two-metres high, coarse brick walls dappled with varying shades of burnt orange ochre–, a snowflake landed soundlessly on the equally cold metal surface of a sharpened blade. Under the meek glow of a blinking street light, they stood facing each other: wordless and at opposite ends of the 100-metre long space.
He wore the darkness in well-fitted, sleek robes. She was dressed in olive green attire, signature of the Japanese military. White-knuckled, they gripped their weapons with unnecessary aggression.
– – Some facts about their relationship – –
She was a patriotic army commander.
He was an undercover assassin infiltrating her ranks
and she just found out.
Their intense gazes belied the stoicalness of their well-drilled in offensive stances. The porcelain skin on their faces were drawn tight from equal parts ruthless, grim resolution and unutterable anguish.
In each other’s presence, they’d often suddenly seem to turn asthmatics– forever slightly short of air. The metallic ringing of their exchanges and the soft susurrus of their quick and shallow breaths formed a jarringly and discordant symphony. The sky was strewn with pearlescent white freckles, sometimes connected by an invisible line drawn from with the tip of human fingers. In the most poignant moment of the night, the salt-pepper night canvas was truly breathtaking.
With the flickering light projecting an image of their shadow’s poses very few seconds, it looked like an eccentric lovers’ dance imperfectly captured in freeze frames. In the golden glow of the blinking street lamp, their shadows twirled and embraced, always moving in perfect time. The edges of their body frames were blurred – the definition between light and dark was hazy.
But in reality, dance they did not.
In reality, blows were exchanged, leg swipes were jumped and sword slices were dodged. Cruel. Harsh. Sharp. They exchanged blows- each attack parried by an equal but opposite move- their movements complemented each other perfectly.
With a gold-hilted dagger in each hand, she crossed them over in ‘X’ shape in front of her face and met the arch of his sword’s glide in mid-flight. A harsh metallic clang echoed through the open space, which quickly faded into a reverberating hum that parroted the chime of a tuning-fork.
Their interlocked blades had drawn them scandalously close to each other, their faces only a few inches apart. Around them, the soughing winds moved like tired sighs, wheezing through corrupted lungs: raspy, thick and short-lived. But in the space between their parted lips nestled wisps of startled air. Caught off-guard, they exchanged translucent, milky-white puffs of air as if they were cigars– her warm breaths filling his lungs as his simultaneously filled hers.
– – The complication – –
They are in love.
For a moment longer than a hesitation but less than a second, their eyes locked, gazes pleading. They desperately searched for answers; a miraculous antidote to curb the poisonous concoction of human emotions that was wreaking havoc to their insides. As expected, there were none. Questions. Questions. Just a lot of fucking unanswerable, practically rhetorical questions.
Over times, she’d become perceived divinity in his mind and he loved her for it, he hated her for it but most of all, he hated that he loved her for it. The betrayal was painful; the guilt burnt; and the anger was disorientating. But reality’s thieving of their budding hopeful fantasies of their future was what hurt the most. He turned his head to the sky and closed his eyes as the blade sinks in through his chest.
– – His final thoughts – –
There’s a Latin saying that goes:
proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris
(It is human nature to hate a person whom you have injured)
But why, then,
do I still love you so much?
my beautiful deity,
maybe I loved you too much.
His rapidly purpling lips cracked a smile as a tear rolled down his face. She’s adorably ugly when she cries.
Tonight, Heaven was a gorgeous cocktail of deep indigos and charcoal accents. He watched as dainty crystallized specks of condensed clouds drifted down, bleaching the world colorless in its wake as he slipped into eternal slumber– his consciousness slipped into oblivion.