“She Exists…That is Enough…”

©Peter Stone 2016

I struggle to wake in a gray morning, trying to remember a far-away dream of death and love.

 

The sand is darkened by pools the color of a viscous liquid, spilled from a bottle of amber. In loss, it still speaks in pleading whispers of its power and love for the exhausted and depleted warrior. His shredded arm is filled with the burn of lava across a verdant oasis. His multitude of slashes and cuts spill forth the blood of his past sins, draining the memories of shame and guilt from his powerful form.

 

But…he is alive.

 

Scattered at his feet, breeding the stench of pungent, distillated swill, are the fallen. The dead monsters from a lifetime of wrongs. They lie like lovers, entwined with each other with the false promise of loving coitus but their movements have long ago ceased. They are the demons of sensual power, the sirens of false power, the liars of sexual energy. Even in demise, empty and cold and hard, they still promise liquid ecstasy from the warm amber of their veins. They are vampires of life.

 

The battle raged for decades, the clashing of weapons shattering buildings and lightning firing across vast distances to slaughter the innocent. The warrior was beset from all sides, torn at like a helpless gazelle amidst a pride of lionesses. He despaired every moment, falling backwards step-by-step towards the great abyss he unconsciously created.

 

His blade rose with the great promise of the future and fell weakly with the loss of forgotten hope. So few of them died and more gathered, sensing his growing weakness. His wounds were torn into his very soul with the jagged edge of a broken blade heated to the intensity of a black star in the lost place of the universe where all catastrophe is born.

 

When he is at his most helpless, his feet slipping on the pebbled edge, the demons stop…brown pupils against milky yellow eyes staring from the blue-black of endless night. They glow with insidious evil.

 

Their voices whisper it would be so easy to turn and fall into the last abyss of the planet. His weapons are useless against these monsters born of childhood terrors. It would be like falling into the blue-green ocean water of the tropics. There, in the glorious heat of the sun and bathed by the hands of a loving goddess, he would find peace. But that is a thought sent by his enemies. A false dream.

 

Then, from afar, her laughs echoes like flocks of colorful birds skittering across a frozen, dead land.

 

There is a flash of light and she is there. Slight, but bursting with radiant energy and motion. She is love and would shatter me with but a quiet, warm sigh on my neck.

 

I feel her presence…that is almost enough.

 

Bequeathed to the forge, she offers the weapons of “The Coppersmith” to me. The helmet from the Bringer of Dreams, the invincible armor of Pelius’s angry son, and the fire Gaia’s progeny stole for man. Her fingers brush my cheek, a distant dream of tenderness…unreal and lost to me if focused on. Still she does not heal me and my wounds still burn acid dripped from the mouth of the adder onto the shrieking face of the adopted son of the Norse God-King.

 

The jackals sense the shift and howl with rage. They vault forward like shadows of doom. My own howl matches theirs. My blade shines with the strength of a dying sun. It falls on the demons of my own weaknesses with an explosion of lightning. The final assault is an epic poem of violence and terror. Sprays of amber blood, the crystalline snap of bones and the acrid scent of death fill the air.

 

Knowing she is there…it is enough.

 

The demons vanquished, I turn, my harsh, metal-shrouded hands grasping for the heat of her fluid alabaster skin. Her form covered by pure, white veils, revealing nothing but the willowy sexuality of Athena, the companion of heroes. She touches my arm gracefully, patiently guiding me away from that which I cannot have. I will not disrespect her with my base desires.

 

On delicate toes, her lips press gently against my own for the shortest of instants. The scent of her skin wafts with the perfume of tropical seas and orange blossoms. My eyes close and the pain fades for a long moment. I imagine the isolated island of Rhodes where she will bring forth the sea nymph, the goddess named for her birthplace, in the warmth of her encircling arms. When the light strikes my vision again, she is gone.

 

I am left in the desolation of a lonely Erebus, the realm of Hades, surrounded by the fallen and dead. Her light-filled essence guides me upwards like the curling vapors of smoke from a dying fire. Above me, Apollo gestures to me in the form of a brilliant sunrise and I start my climb towards salvation, my bleeding hands leaving a trail upwards on rocky spires. Her taste lingers on my lips and grants me enough strength to reach the next handhold. Her loss is almost more than I can bear. I yearn for her arms around me. But she is not for me…

 

She exists…that is enough.

 

In a darkened room I wake to a gray morning, trying to remember my far-away dream.

 

You lay beside me….the sweet, blossom scent of your breath…your inspiration…fills my core. Your presence is a boon of vibrant color in a palette of dull grey-blue.

 

You are enough.