horror, mathilde, proza

The poems I wrote for the book “Sleeping Mathilde”, under the pen name Lothair The Dark

These are poems I wrote for the book “Sleeping Mathilde”, under the pen name Lothair The Dark, with a wish to conjure up a medieval mood and to create the dark atmosphere in the book. 

  1. A short poem written for the medieval feast scene:

“Upon the end of the meal the musicians played a painful minstrel romance:

In the water I shall leave my bones
In the ground the leaves my mirrors be
It seems they’ve already buried me.
As I lay, I wait to be found and saved
Should I rebel or leave it all to fate
For if I stay with You, the heart’s silence
Will be my tomb and my eternal life.

****
2. – and continued to listen to the flickering squeal of the lute. It was the famed song of Fjalar, from the quill of the cursed poet Lothair the Dark:

Atop Fjalar sat a warlock, an envoy of dark desires
Resist him not, o Traveler, but pray to him
For your horses are affrighted before the abyss.
Pitiful man, that are the blood vessel within eternity
Pitiful man, your fear walks in front of you
Pray like this to the warlock:
When the sun comes out from the East, my blood will burn
When the sun sets in the West, my body yours will be
I will gaze upon you blind, o dreaded Fjalar
Let me cross my path this one time more.

****

A poem written for the Morning scene:
Thinking of last night, from memory, came the verses of a poet who lived out the last of his days in the gallows. I think he was a Moor… I proudly raised my chin and with a dry, thin voice I sang, treading clad in a muddy tunic and festive boots all over the cotton tapestries:

Fair maiden
You are the sun of my morn
From you the wretched I hides
I call the woeful night my home
Fair maiden
I will paint your thighs
Akin to the silk of a bright morn
You sneak away into a shifty dream

:
***
I remembered Lothair the Dark, who wrote the prophecy of Hässe under the threat of the sword. 

O Colossus, the Heavens tell me: Beware!
A carrion to you alike will clip my wings
Those of heavy heart will feast in the Heavens
Justice will freshen them like wine
And doom will come to all!

236b4e9373a8c635769497c452e6075a--gothic-vampire-gothic-art (1)

Standard
mathilde, prose

THE TALE OF HJALMAR, Sleeping Mathilde, First Letter

In the Year of Our Lord 1099, Jerusalem

 

THE TALE OF HJALMAR

 

I, Hjalmar Siegfried, write this letter, in the name of Our Lord, to my fated brother Alfhild von Amerongen, prince of Svaland, conqueror of Finn woods, with love and admiration…

I still remember sitting in front of the anvil, in a sheep wool gown, legs agape, wearing felt trousers and linen shirt adorned with ceramic pearls, and pounding the red hot iron with a hammer while sweat dripped down my sleeves.

It was a sword forged in dishonorable vengeance, meat of the observable world, forged flaming gust of wind. I snatched it with both hands, swung it around, all until the very last thoughts of my origins that haunt me disappeared in the fog of forged hate.

My fated brother Aflhild.

 

hjalmarhjalmar2

First letter

 

I go through the flashes of fire, listen to the revving of worn-out horses as I squeeze tiredly the heavy, red-hot helmet bathed in my blood.

I hide behind the shield and load my crossbow. The marksman has a yew long bow. Leather quivers are on his belt where he carefully selects goose-feathered arrows. He tightens the hemp string, holds it that way, but does not fire. Birch arrow bottoms stick out of his quivers.

I hold the string tightened. The gear rotates. I tighten the crossbow with the winder and fire the bolt by pulling the trigger upwards. The steel tip of the bolt tears through the air and I can all but hear the squeal of the pierced wind in the hissing and the clash of light and shadow.

– Utterly unnecessary – the marksman shakes his head and puts his arrow back in the quiver. I sharpen the tip of the short spear and light it up. Tears go down my cheek. I look at the summit of Zion, which lords over the heavens as if it turns and rotates, like a beamer placed diagonally.

The marksman and the shield-bearer, pale and tense, were staring at my forehead, tightening their crossbows. I dug my face into my hands and pulled my forehead harder still in the shadow of the sweat overtaking me. I wanted to keep sinking into the darkness, to hide the ghosts of my fancy which did not appear before the marksman and the shield-bearer.

– I came to liberate you.

– You’re raving again, Hjalmar, – the marksman shot him a smile, drumming his fingers on the chainmail. – Let’s go! – He went ahead of me, calm and ready like a ballista rope, stomping the ground as if he wanted to root himself up right then and there. The soil was plowed by heavy armor boots, it was as dark as the vacant, bony face of the Saracen nearby. Oh, those dreaded faces, as if they were coming up from the grave, they swing like flames in the wind, like a deathly fire that singes the bones!

I once felt such a pain, when a Saracen arrow dug into my shoulder. Steel in burning flesh, smoke coming from the wound, and I was all black and hot, like a huge chimney.

I was staring at the marksman’s back while he was walking upright, a bit tense, as his legs, heavily armored with asymmetrically cut sheet metal, shone specked with mud, and his cut shirt quivered beneath his armor. He wore chainmail, with sleeves up to his elbows and a skirt reaching half of his toned thighs . His mail was cut so that it does not hinder his movement. A huge helmet with stripped cross-like reinforcements and eye slits partially hid his face. Shield was adorning his back, the so-called heater shield, with a flat top. A crossbow was in his right hand. A sleeveless surkot was over his mail, belt tightening it around his waist, with lions on it, the ancient symbol of the house of Agnus, Olof’s father. Olofs were Vikings by blood.

– Take some – he pulled out a sheep hide wineskin. The marksman is a friend, I thought looking at him through the eye slits while I voraciously gulped mouthfuls of sweet molasses. A true friend. I was staring at the liquid quivering somewhere in the grotto of the small wineskin. A tiny stream of water, honey and yeast, mead, spiced with lavender whose smell intoxicated me and very slowly closed the crack which, during the days devoid of spiced wine, split open on my crooked back under the weight of memory, piercing through it with a lead spike that tears through skin with ease. Heavy memories pierce like a sharp Saracen spear, they beat like a holy mace forged in hatred.

Intoxicated thusly, Olof and I were looking at the pile of shiny metal, in the faces colored the same as the charcoal earth beneath them. We could see the approaching of some strange shades through the sad hue of darkness, like a black Saracen army which, under this heat exuding from within their armors like heavy fire, appeared as if it were expanding and increasing, ominously emerging from their capes which circled around them like vultures.

The sun cast its last rays onto the city walls in the distance engulfed in smoke. This idyllic picture was to be crushed, its treasures taken, its holy relics soiled in hatred, polluted by the black Seljuk noses. The smell of the Fatimid was the smell of rottenness.

Thusly enchanted, I was staring at the pile of shining metal, into the charcoal faces. I felt nothing but smoke, iron, burning and blue lips chapped from marching for miles and miles.

– Raymond is here – Olof the marksman said.

The shades retreated into the spellbound silence.

Count Raymond was a lank man. His hands were as white as Västmanland snow, calm, clutching the reins. I could see blue eyes under the huge helmet, and the cowl absorbed all of the sweat, so his face was all but dry. He was hot, and he gave this away with certain head twitches and shooing of invisible flies.

– Fiends, you sure did give us a hard time in this hour of proving the love of a Son to a Father. I anm the son of Christ, cast down into the fog of this desert wonder, amid flowers that bloom under  the scorching sun. Blessed be Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

His chainmail bent under his white pelerine as if the Holy Spirit got under his gown of the holy profiteer. There was a sweet taste in the air, and the count sunk ever deeper in liquid bronze, his metal gaze flying over the desert yearning for water over which towered stone ramparts. They appeared to be swaying. The sun was scorching with deadly force engulfing the ramparts in its merciless rays as if they were the hands of a poltergeist, melting them while the air flickered above the towers. Near and around the seven hills, over which the city was opening up on the gigantic palm of Hephaestus, stubborn shrubbery swallowed  the dry, barren rocks and yielded under the dust which aided with the scorching wind buried them deeper into the many layers of sand.

Standard
mathilde, prose

The cruel patterns of the past and the future.’, “Sleeping Mathilde”

The ritual usually took place at night, when the holy Altar burned ghostly in the middle of the yard. Around it would dance, covered in blood, nude witches, keepers of the scourge. They had in long, thick, blonde hair onyx crystals or raven feathers entwined within them. The head-priestess  would wear a crown of deer antlers. The witches, while chanting a mantra, would dispense soil from the graves around the altar.

‘Oh, Yambe-Akka, all that we offer may now be thine

And no man else’s

Oh Yambe, Goddess of the Underworld, take this gift,

Offer him to your peasant spouse, the God of Death,

So it may be his and no man else’s!’

Thus the three beautiful witches would chant until they fell to the ground in ecstasy. Then I would approach them, cloaked as if in a pupa, surrounded by a procession of swarthy torchbearers and claimed them, upon which the ritual continued; the tribute would be brought over, completely nude, from the lower chambers, the torture chambers – it is their blood I would drink upon the ritual’s conclusion. Oftentimes I would, when in shortage of manpower and the fear which paced ahead of me like a shade, drink up horse blood in honor of Yambe-Akka.

 ’Oh Yambe-Akka, let me behold the cruel patterns of the past and the future.’

 ‘Oh, Yambe-Akka, do not let the premonitions dry up!’, I would utter in an official tone of voice, raising my scepter with both hands. After I had had my fill of the meat, I would take a sharp athame in my hand, doused in blood. Upon the palm of the victim I would personally carve the hagalaz rune, and the Goddess would snatch away the dried away, dead bodies, storing them in the chest of gifts. The vultures of darkness would then disperse on the sky of Norrbotten, chased away by the spirit of the Goddess…

“’’The blade was laid in the carved bone which might have once been an arm of a faithful servant’ – I would tap the traveler on his shoulder – ‘and the altar, an ancient image of divinity’ – I would proudly point towards the extinct altar – ‘will speak the tongue of bones tonight’. Bone-chilling words I would direct at a wealthier yeoman or a more ambitious Brit, who would come as was his duty, quivering like a leaf, to bow down to me and ask for my blessing.

an excerpt from the novel “Sleeping Mathilde”

 

 

 

 

Standard
dramma, horror, proza, roman, samarrai

BERNARD’S HOURS, The story of a schismatic misanthrope, Leila Samarrai, Part Two, Skin – Walker (excerpt from the novel)

PART ONE https://leilasamarrai.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/bernards-hours-the-story-of-a-schismatic-misanthrope-leila-samarrai/

‘A smuggler, and yet so knowledgeable of Mozart?’, she giggled.

I took one good look at her again… She took one of me as well, giggling, but confused now. Behind the deep confusion I detected that along her face, like a bugger in the night or a snake dragging her belly across the red-hot rocks, slithered and crept a shadow of disgust.

Am I so vile, so unbearable to everyone?

True, I hold nothing against whores. If I did, it would mean that I maintain a rage against civilization as a whole within me. Ever since culture existed, whores existed. And every single society has its whores. If it did not, it lacked culture. Does the word “cultus” nor remind one of coitus? Who am I to moralize or change anything? Who cares for the virgin Ishtar under the fertile crescent moon of Mesopotamia who goluptiously sucked Marduk’s dick in the hot Arabian nights? And thus it went by in history… an endless vastness of whoring – and the Japanese kind is somewhat dearest to me – I was unaware that I was saying all of this out loud.

And everything else, reduced to the point of being invisible. A fount of artistic fire, a poetic flame, a superspiritual beauty, no!

‘For you, madam, I have a book… A whore through the centuries. It might be of interest to you.’

***

excerpt from the novel

misanthrope_by_wenzellium

http://wenzellium.deviantart.com

Standard
prose, Uncategorized

I highly recommend Leila Samarrai’s novel “Sleeping Mathilde” for publication

I highly recommend Leila Samarrai’s novel “Sleeping Mathilde” for publication.

This work is inspired by gothic fiction and it possesses elements of horror as well as science fiction. Considering we know how popular and trendy both genres are with a subset of the general readership audience, regardless whether it’s foreign authors or domestic ones I believe that “Sleeping Mathilde” will also find its place in our publishing line. The last sentence was not based merely on the genre itself but also on the fact that Samarrai, who graduated from the Faculty of Philology, is well versed in literature and has also been present on our literary scene for a good while and in this piece, as in her previous works, the best of her qualities as a writer come to fruition: a vivid imagination, an original, somewhat baroque expression and authentic characters lead by their passions and their hatreds. All of the above constitutes the most important ingredients for a good novel.


This medieval intrigue, that can with its eeriness and multiple plotlines compare to George R. R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” is set in the Nordic Europe. The curse of an aristocratic house which, derelict as it is, reminds the reader of “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, the shifting interests and master-vassal relations reminiscent of “cloak and dagger” drama, all of this gives a special flavor to this work of fiction which, fortunately, has a universal character therefore it need not necessarily take place in the North of Europe but anywhere where people believed (or still believe) in kings, mages, ghosts, and fantastic creatures.


Leila Samarrai is an author capable of transforming her expression, of moving between satire, humor and eeriness. This is a rare capability clearly illustrated in this novel which should not be retold but read. I would note one very interesting novel “The Adventures of Boris K.” (published by “Everest Media”) which, I hope, will see a reprint soon. This piece of satire, set in a dystopian state is, it seems, on the opposite side of the planet “Sleeping Mathilde” is on but it possesses the same trait – the quality of an author who is worth your attention.

dr Aleksandar Novaković, author and playwright

Aleksandar Novakovic Wikipedia

Standard
dramma, mathilde, prose

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Three, The Shaitan Horse (complete)

With this chapter, titled “The Shaitan Horse”, I will temporarily pause sharing the material from the book of Mathilde which is currently being translated. I hope that the introductory passages piqued your interest. Mathilde will soon be available on Amazon. You will be notified in due time. Thank you for reading.

PREVIOUS CHAPTERS:

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter One, A TALE OF ORIAN VON AMERONGEN

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Two, THE HÄSSE CASTLE

The Shaitan Horse

“It’s hard to maintain friendships under the steep mountains whose sklents they spread like Icarus spreads his wings towards the icy sun in an attempt to touch the gods. Sun-scorched tops delve deep into the soul of the locals of Norrbotten. It’s hard to maintain friendships, because the abyss is indestructible here. Sven Olof, on the other side of Norrbotten, did not fear the trip. His name was described with a wondrous strength of myth.

“As he was riding on his horse across the slope with no discernible fear of any kind, hoarfrost covered the sven’s eyelashes. Cold shades danced on his cheeks long ago burned by the Norrbotten sun. He got off his horse and observed with his beady eyes the eternal chill of Hornavan.

“When I saw him, I left the solar running, crossed bridges that connected the towers, all the way up to the watchtower where I could see him swing under the swipes of the winds. It appeared as if he were supported by the light piercing through his massive body. He turned his face towards me and gave a wide grin, exuding all of his beauty, to me unbearably all too familiar, a mixture of fear and impending doom. We were looking at each other like two misbehaving boys after a dangerous game which they weren’t caught for, sensing Lindworm’s tongue standing between us like a beast, and the Fjalar hill behind it as well as the abyss whose bottom was paved with the crystals of winter. I was looking at the cracked eternal darkness of ice and felt like Olof was included in my thoughts as well. He removed his gloves and looked at me, mouth agape like with a skinned fox.

“He wore a black silk shirt with a laced collar and sleeves covered in multicolor tapes, a velvet robe and a huge cloak which cast even darker shadows on his already darkened face.

“I had rough wool trousers on. Boots, with rolled up top edge, reached up to my knees. Beneath a fine leather tunic, with corduroy edges and embroidered crosses of silk, peeped a collarless linen shirt. I wore an earring made of darkened silver, and a signet ring with a lion paw engraved on it on my hand.”

Orian lifted his hand and had a good long look into the distance. He memorized every detail. He dipped the quill in the inkwell and continued:

“In the inner yard of the castle we were smitten by a gaze of a female eye. It was my beloved wife Mathilde. Beneath the fine smooth plush dress one could make out the cotton and silk edges embroidered with a silver wire. She had a leather hat adorned with pearls on her head. The see-through organdy scarf floated above her head like a halo, and fell back all the way down to her slim waist. A silver filigree earrings with dark river pearls shaped like tears gave her face a particular beauty.

“Mathilde and Olof’s eyes crossed paths. It was then that I felt all the weight of an unclear feeling smoldering within me like an unspoken suspicion and a secret unrest during every single visit of Olaf to the castle. That force of feelings can only be triggered by an injured self-love. Rage grew within me. A cold, suppressed rage. Why was I being silent? Did Olof rule over me with the shackles of friendship?

horse

“I pushed the servant away and took Olof’s horse to the stables. Sunlight was following me and casting hot flames onto the unlucky face of the one who neither loved nor was loved. I pulled the horse with one hand. The wind was an enemy to me, a fierce companion who scooped up lumps of earth and with its icy breath threw it in my face.

“I pulled on the reins. The horse revved and tried to pull away. I opened the stable door and drove him into the box stall.

“What exactlt did I see?

“A muffled, female laughter in the background. It was Mathilde thinking Olaf’s remark to be humorous.

“No, no doubt that he wants her! I am aware of the fact that this is the last time I’m talking about this, about the misunderstanding, about the kisses that didn’t happen. My gut feels wrinkled up… I heard a murmur and steps of serfs who started genuflecting to Olof. He, as if in his own castle, started walking up the paved trail bounded by oak trees with light steps towards the mistress of the castle, towards Mathilde.

“I made my way to the castle entrance. The vile suspicion burned in my heart threatening to crush me.

“A vast room of magical beauty stretched well into the castle. It had been an enormous chamber magically lighted by thickly arranged torches. Above the entrance there was a richly done façade with a big window shaped like a horseshoe (a gift from an Indian architect whom I had killed for a bad joke at the dinner table, or for the remark that we serve tasteless meals in Hässe, I’m not sure). Down the hall stretched a row of chambers which flowed one into another. The solar could be reached via stairs from each of them or via the porches and terraces built in the Oriental style, right into the lavish garden of Hässe.

“From a gelded, richly adorned throne, set at the bottom end of the hall, I would stare at the pane, resting my nude feet on the stone statue of a prostrate lion with a human head. Befitting my dark being’s tastes, the imposing ceiling, supported by a forest of columns, was adorned with complex, dark frescoes. Gigantic tapestries warmed the cruel stone walls. The castle floor, Greek style, was adorned with black and white pebblestone mosaics, and if the observer would take a good detailed look at the painting, he would notice the many-eyed Argus, the All-seeing, surrounded by wolves with their maws agape. My eye did not miss a single solitary detail. It was the temple of my curse, carved in the living flesh of Hässe. My inner being, my soul, whichever you prefer.

“I chiseled the sweet venom of battle into the walls. I invested a lot into paintings. The fresco above the very entrance of the Hall (this was my pet name for the enormous hall of Hässe, a rare architectural jewel in an eerie wasteland of the surrounding nature) was presenting a head of, one would say, a beautiful woman. Eyes full of fright and tears were chiseled into her visage. Opposite to her, at the very end of the Grand hall, the fresco above the throne was presenting the merciful eyes of a man, who bore a scepter in his hand. The fresco was hiding a secret passageway, and the passage hid – mortuary statues. I would often open the secret door as the nobles were engulfed in merriment during feasts, followed by the merry music of the manor minstrel.

“’Master Olof’– I nervously paced the Hall – ‘I do not recall ever taking you to see the castle. My servants have covered the floors with a new material’ – I grinned like a wolf, nonchalantly toying with the silver earring in my ear. I was tapping on the floor with my boot, giving the terror a beat. – ‘Approach the throne, master Olof’ – the boot tapping increased. Olof’s gaze paused with admiration on the walls which were adorned here and there with gelded carvings and unavoidable arabesques.

“’Come with me and see the castle, my friend. Delve into my soul, and then we feast’ – I approached him and put my arm around his shoulder. I caught Olof’s gaze directed at Mathilde’s cross which hung from the stained glass. – ‘You are impressed by the cameos of the pious Mathilde of Essen? I brought it from Cologne as a gift to my god-fearing lady.’

“’Fascinating…’ – Olof mumbled. – ‘Really… you built a shrine in the castle, master Orian. Your care for the proper upbringing of lady Mathilde is touching almost as the care for her soul. I thought you would corrupt her with your gods.’

“I looked at him with bloodlust in my eyes, but I did not erase the wolfish smile off my face, quite the contrary, I grinned all the harder.

“’You see, Olof… The architecture I am inclined to lately is a strict and monumental one. Vast wall structures are without a single opening. Soon I will wall off all those tiny light windows through which you’re looking.’

“He gave me a funny look. ‘By the by, where is thy lady? She was here a moment ago’ – he took a good long look around him. She was here all along, right next to the two of us, silent like a shadow, peaceful like a sword resting in the sheathe. She seemed as if she were suppressing laughter.

“A frightening silence suddenly fell upon the castle.

“’Approach, Olaf!’, I yelled for a serf. His shoulders shivered.

“’Here I come to my master to obey his command!’, he dared not look at me.

“’You see, Olof, how faithful my serf Olaf is to me? If the king would weep, he would weep along with him. If the king died, there Olaf would be howling for him, such is the love of serflings of Hässe to its ruler. Is this not so?’, I embraced my serf. His lips were quivering, and teeth aclatter. ‘I re-reckon it’s cuh-cold, Guard, let me get the fire going.’

“’I want you to take us through the secret door’, I gave off a bloodlust-laden grin and took a good long look at the hump under his tunic. ‘Look at him, Olof. Is he not like a statue which speaks? Good old Roman Pasquino , a damaged sculpture, of course, but well spoken, because when it hears the vile tongues say ‘Even Amerongen can’t reign forever’ – a prideful look on his face – Olaf would cuss and say ‘Let me find the coward in the shadows! And if I don’t find him, you, master, will blow into him the icy breath of death and the bastard will fall only because he wanted my master to die.’’

“Olof raised his eyebrows and said ‘Incredible.’

“’Brave lad’ – I patted the serf on the hump under the tunic which stuck out a bit crookedly. ‘You do not fear the secret door?’

“Olaf rose the steel chin to me, grinned and revealed a severe lack of dentures: ‘I am loyal, milord. My name is Olaf and all live long day I eat and drink profusely and in the name of my prince I would…’ He was deep in thought for a while. I waited patiently enjoying the whole thing. Something almost like a thought sparked in his pupil. ‘I can do this. I can go through the secret door. I will be the guide. I have heard that master Olof is going sightseeing.’

“’And if the doors are sealed?’, I laughed.

“’I will knock them down with my head.’

“’Is he an idiot?’ Olof giggled pointing to the wee hunchback. Olaf laughed with him, and his whole face went dark. He clenched his fists. ‘I will crush the door, here…with these hands!’

“’I actually believe you…’ – I paid no heed to Olof’s jab – ‘Peace be upon the kingdom, Olaf.’

”’Long live my prince’, Olaf lowered his gaze and knelt before me.

“Olof coughed uninterestedly, while strength raged within me.

“’Come with me…’, I took a few large steps and stood in front of the secret door

“’I don’t see how we can pass.’ – Olof wondered. – ‘Perhaps…’

“’Quiet,’ I frowned. ‘I wanted to show you this.’

“I stood on a precisely marked spot, which was the Eye of Argus on the mosaic, and used my weight to start up the secret mechanism. The door squeaked creepily, rising upward, while Olof stood in tense expectation – what is on the other side?

“His astounded facial expression amused me. He hesitated for a moment or two, and then carefully came after me along the tight pass. He was in the state of complete horror, while we crawled by grotesque gravestones. Soon we arrived at a big room whose stone walls were adorned with a low, narrative relief, similar to Assyrian ones.

“There was little to no furniture in the room. Two chairs and an oaken table colored red took up the middle of the room. The table was covered in a pile of parchments and unusual object, one of which was my fancy – shaped by the hands of Mathilde – a miniature replica of the Kraken. The rest of the furniture was colored green, with a figure of a three-headed dragon Buné engraved onto it, as were many other pagan symbols. A fresco was on the wall above the fireplace, a fresco which, according to my instructions, was made by Mathilde. It was an all-black monstrosity, a smirk on her face gnawed to the bone, my protector Yambe-Akka, the angel of death.

“Not paying attention to an astonished and terrified Olof, in a knightly stance I knelt before her horrific visage.
Heed my prayer, Yambe-Akka

Habituate my eyes to the blade of vengeance

Let me hold it in my hand

Let my hand not quiver when vengeance recognizes the cause!

Let the bowels howl in fear, bowels of all those

Who wanted you unmade from your way!

 

“I got up unladen, breaking the silence reinforced by Olof being quiet.

“’Impressive, no?’, I said self-lovingly.

Olof shook from unease, and his face wrinkled.

“’I come here to enjoy myself… The room is full of objects which bring me peace’ – I paused – ‘There are all sorts of things here, from Iram, Ubar[1]…’- as I was saying this, I picked up a crooked J-shaped sword from the table, “a cursed Arabian knife”, a gift from Ubar. ‘Whomsoever has it in his hand, he must…’, I looked at Olof, and his eyes were aflame bloody-red.

“’My friend, I see that my dark humor upsets your soul. I’m afraid that I must stop doing that. You’ll lose your appetite,’ I mercifully added and pointed to the direction of the spiral staircase.

“’They lead all the way to the balcony, and from there on…you’ll see…’

“’You surprise me in a horrific way, Orian…Let’s go…’, Olof added nervously. And so, over the balcony, we found ourselves in a hallway, adorned with numerous columns. The end of the hallway was crowned by an arch, made in an Arabic style.

“’Down the hallway, keep going straight, you will reach Mathilde’s solar’, I said wickedly.

“’Let’s go back’, Olof felt uncomfortable.

“’My solar is on the opposite side. We can visit it as well?’

“Our conversation was suddenly cut off by a female voice. ‘Hässe, including the secret passageways, has at least fifty-two rooms. It is a monumental complex, master Olof…’

“When he looked at her, light jolted in his eyes. I was looking at him grimly.

entrance

“‘Come along, with the second staircase, Master Olof. Orian has shown you his favorite spot in the wall. And now we dine.’ Olof obediently followed Mathilde.

“We were back in the Main hall. Mathilde moved away from us, decisively walking towards my throne, and sat on it!”

“Orian set aside his quill, stood from his table and walked along the solar, trying to gather his thoughts. – No, that’s not how it happened, it really wasn’t! Mathilde’s throne was right next to mine. The Evesham craftsmen made a throne for the queen… – He roamed around the room like a ghoul, distraught – I must say it all the way it was. I will glue the truth to this parchment like sweat…But – he looked over his shoulder – if I pour my soul into a horrific description, I swear… – Orian returned to the table and wrote this sentence, saying it out loud.

“…I swear that I will pull the rust out of its roots. Mathilde did not sit on my throne, but her own. And I did not managed to show the damned man the corpses behind the secret wall. Actually, those were no longer even corpses, but bones that are swarming in worms in the honor of the gods for a long time…too long. And maybe this is all just make-believe, maybe I killed no man. And if this is too tight of a space to pour my pathetic spirit onto it, may the readers of upcoming centuries forgive me, I am not well versed in the quill, eh, what can you do…“

The story became too hard for Orian for a moment so he took one more stroll around the solar. – I am a walker along the dungeon, tomb, megaron[2] of the pitiful…

tumblr_inline_mpj30ytbwv1qz4rgp

And he wrote:

“I feel like describing Mathilde’s solar. I knew how it looked down to the last detail, thanks to the network of spies which I crafted in secrecy. It was her membrane, her hiding place from the rot which she would shut herself in for months in order to avoid my demonic advances. This pathetic fool Olof could not understand such a concession to a woman.

“The solar ceiling was reinforced with wooden beams, while the floor was made of red polished marble. Stone walls were covered with lavish tapestries adorned with horizontal geometric and herbal ornaments, encircled with a green Viking braid and the warrior woman Atalanta[3] as its central composition. Silk pillows were carelessly tossed all over the floor.

“A fine carved wooden writing table with legs made of minted iron, next to which was the statue of Bastet[4], was placed under the painting with a gelded wooden frame. Next to the inkwell, on the table, were also a short sword, a pile of parchments and a silver candelabra. A simple chair with a green and white back reminded one of the chair in the chapel of chaplain Larsen. In the corner of the solar in a chest reinforced by minted iron wedges she kept her private-most things. Above the chest was a tilted whole length mirror, where she could look at herself from every angle.

“On the wall across the canopy bed Mathilde brought her frescos over from her solar in Regenstein – it was a sea of body, of female flesh where her gaze would most often lose itself. The solar also contained a dining room (with wooden cupboards containing cups, pots and teapots), a wooden chair with a kitchen scale, a turquoise salt shaker and silverware, a fireplace, before which there stood a wooden chair with a skin-sheeted back where she performed her morning dress-up.

“Once while resting from my presence, she would go back to her solar more wonderful and adorable than ever, saying ‘Oh, how good the solitude feels.’ This is how I courted her heart, because my absence made her happy. As a return favor, she would grant me two nights with her as compensation. Those nights would drain her like a serious disease. Still, she would remain with me in the castle, in my solar, until the latest escape.”

– I am not pleased with this. I’m tired, like a dry log, weak. But the fog is slowly sliding away from my mind and the veil parts from my all too tired eyes. I remember every detail, in spite of insanity and oblivion – Orian Amerongen said out loud and continued his tale with in tune, confident swings of the quill.

dinner

“We spent the afternoon in light conversation. The hall was bathed in sunrays. A tall table, akin to a stand with legs, covered in linen cloth was packed with food served in dishes of silver. I sat next to Olof, on a wooden bench, while Mathilde cozied herself into the chair sheeted in deer hide, adorned with lion heads on its arms. She was of cold bearing and an icy smile. I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself during the dull prattle of Olof which lasted for several hours of his namesake grandfather’s heroics. He spun the dislocated version of the legend of Jerusalem, of my ancestor Hjalmar the Bloody, which was, simply put due to Hjalmar’s illiteracy, written down by the chaplain Larsen.

“’Chaplain’s fancies’, I waved it off, using the opportunity and said: ‘Impressive, master Olof, but I would rather dash towards the throne in order to have some fun.’

“‘Fun? Are you bored in the company of your lovely lady, my friend? Does the tale of our ancestor’s wars and their unending friendship not make you happy?’, he looked me dully and asked how will I entertain myself to which I mercifully replied: ‘I will stare into the pane.’

“I got up from the table, sat at my throne and…fell asleep on the spot. I have no idea how long I was napping on it, but when I awoke, I jumped from it horrified, staring at the darkness filled with candlelight. They were burning with strength, passion. I slept of the next few hours.

“I lifted the chainmail collar, wanting to cover the redness of my cheeks which pointed to tumultuous feelings, because I had found my wife and my friend in an intimate conversation.

“Icy suffering covered my face.

“’Enjoying yourself, Olof?’, I sat back at the table. Olaf the serf brought the candles, approached the fireplace and reignited the fire. I observed the hump under his tunic.

“’Indeed! Do divulge the secret of this mead’, Olof said, turning to Mathilde, ‘We do not have wine like this on the south!’

“’If I am not mistaken, during your last visit you said that you have land in Toulouse as well, right?’, Mathilde spoke coquettishly.

“’You can come to the south as well…the south of Norland, I mean…’ his words were ringing in my ears. It was a confusing scene. During the conversation he cursorly followed my game. His eyes glistened. He barely took his eyes away from the sword which, had I unsheathed it, would have cast a bright light all around.

“’What do you do when boredom assails you, my lord?’, she continued. I reproachfully looked at her. She did not look back.

“A horse revved in the distance. A howl of wind broke out. I waved my hand off wishing to drive off the howl. Both looked at me in surprise.

“’What is this foolishness you exhibit?’, it was her turn to be reproachful, signaling this with her eyes.”

morgan-pendragon-morgan-pendragon-31024456-1280-720

[1] Historical lost cities

[2] Hallways in Greek temples

[3] A Greek heroine

[4] Bastet, a cat-goddess of Ancient Egypt, solar deity and goddess of war

 

 

Standard
dramma, horror, leila, mathilde, prose, samarrai

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Three, THE SHAITAN HORSE

PREVIOUS CHAPTERS:

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter One, A TALE OF ORIAN VON AMERONGEN

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Two, THE HÄSSE CASTLE

 

Part One

“It’s hard to maintain friendships under the steep mountains whose sklents they spread like Icarus spreads his wings towards the icy sun in an attempt to touch the gods. Sun-scorched tops delve deep into the soul of the locals of Norrbotten. It’s hard to maintain friendships, because the abyss is indestructible here. Sven Olof, on the other side of Norrbotten, did not fear the trip. His name was described with a wondrous strength of myth.

“As he was riding on his horse across the slope with no discernible fear of any kind, hoarfrost covered the sven’s eyelashes. Cold shades danced on his cheeks long ago burned by the Norrbotten sun. He got off his horse and observed with his beady eyes the eternal chill of Hornavan.

“When I saw him, I left the solar running, crossed bridges that connected the towers, all the way up to the watchtower where I could see him swing under the swipes of the winds. It appeared as if he were supported by the light piercing through his massive body. He turned his face towards me and gave a wide grin, exuding all of his beauty, to me unbearably all too familiar, a mixture of fear and impending doom. We were looking at each other like two misbehaving boys after a dangerous game which they weren’t caught for, sensing Lindworm’s tongue standing between us like a beast, and the Fjalar hill behind it as well as the abyss whose bottom was paved with the crystals of winter. I was looking at the cracked eternal darkness of ice and felt like Olof was included in my thoughts as well. He removed his gloves and looked at me, mouth agape like with a skinned fox.

“He wore a black silk shirt with a laced collar and sleeves covered in multicolor tapes, a velvet robe and a huge cloak which cast even darker shadows on his already darkened face.

“I had rough wool trousers on. Boots, with rolled up top edge, reached up to my knees. Beneath a fine leather tunic, with corduroy edges and embroidered crosses of silk, peeped a collarless linen shirt. I wore an earring made of darkened silver, and a signet ring with a lion paw engraved on it on my hand.”

Orian lifted his hand and had a good long look into the distance. He memorized every detail. He dipped the quill in the inkwell and continued:

“In the inner yard of the castle we were smitten by a gaze of a female eye. It was my beloved wife Mathilde. Beneath the fine smooth plush dress one could make out the cotton and silk edges embroidered with a silver wire. She had a leather hat adorned with pearls on her head. The see-through organdy scarf floated above her head like a halo, and fell back all the way down to her slim waist. A silver filigree earrings with dark river pearls shaped like tears gave her face a particular beauty.

Mathilde and Olof’s eyes crossed paths. It was then that I felt all the weight of an unclear feeling smoldering within me like an unspoken suspicion and a secret unrest  during every single visit of Olaf to the castle. That force of feelings can only be triggered by an injured self-love. Rage grew within me. A cold, suppressed rage. Why was I being silent? Did Olof rule over me with the shackles of friendship?

I pushed the servant away and took Olof’s horse to the stables. Sunlight was following me and casting hot flames onto the unlucky face of the one who neither loved nor was loved. I pulled the horse with one hand. The wind was an enemy to me, a fierce companion who scooped up lumps of earth and with its icy breath threw it in my face.

I pulled on the reins. The horse revved and tried to pull away. I opened the stable door and drove him into the box stall.

What exactly did I see?

A muffled, female laughter in the background.  It was Mathilde thinking Olaf’s remark to be humorous.

No, no doubt that he wants her! I am aware of the fact that this is the last time I’m talking about this, about the misunderstanding, about the kisses that didn’t happen. My gut feels wrinkled up… I heard a murmur and steps of serfs who started genuflecting to Olof. He, as if in his own castle, started walking up the paved trail bounded by oak trees with light steps towards the mistress of the castle, towards Mathilde.

I made my way to the castle entrance. The vile suspicion burned in my heart threatening to crush me.

A vast room of magical beauty stretched well into the castle. It had been an enormous chamber magically lighted by thickly arranged torches. Above the entrance there was a richly done façade with a big window shaped like a horseshoe (a gift from an Indian architect whom I had killed for a bad joke at the dinner table, or for the remark that we serve tasteless meals in Hässe, I’m not sure). Down the hall stretched a row of chambers which flowed one into another. The solar could be reached via stairs from each of them or via the porches and terraces built in the Oriental style, right into the lavish garden of Hässe.

e18e3dc046bf55f6c89f7828575e75ee

From a gelded, richly adorned throne, set at the bottom end of the hall, I would stare at the pane, resting my nude feet on the stone statue of a prostrate lion with a human head. Befitting my dark being’s tastes, the imposing ceiling, supported by a forest of columns, was adorned with complex, dark frescoes. Gigantic tapestries warmed the cruel stone walls. The castle floor, Greek style, was adorned with black and white pebblestone mosaics, and if the observer would take a good detailed look at the painting, he would notice the many-eyed Argus, the All-seeing, surrounded by wolves with their maws agape. My eye did not miss a single solitary detail. It was the temple of my curse, carved in the living flesh of Hässe.  My inner being, my soul, whichever you prefer.

I chiseled the sweet venom of battle into the walls. I invested a lot into paintings. The fresco above the very entrance of the Hall (this was my pet name for the enormous hall of Hässe, a rare architectural jewel in an eerie wasteland of the surrounding nature) was presenting a head of, one would say, a beautiful woman. Eyes full of fright and tears were chiseled into her visage. Opposite to her, at the very end of the Grand hall, the fresco above the throne was presenting the merciful eyes of a man, who bore a scepter in his hand. The fresco was hiding a secret passageway, and the passage hid – mortuary statues. I would often open the secret door as the nobles were engulfed in merriment during feasts, followed by the merry music of the manor minstrel.

– Master Olof – I nervously paced the Hall – I do not recall ever taking you to see the castle. My servants have covered the floors with a new material – I grinned like a wolf, nonchalantly toying with the silver earring in my ear. I was tapping on the floor with my boot, giving the terror a beat. – Approach the throne, master Olof – the boot tapping increased. Olof’s gaze paused with admiration on the walls which were adorned here and there with gelded carvings and unavoidable arabesques.

– Come with me and see the castle, my friend. Delve into my soul, and then we feast – I approached him and put my arm around his shoulder. I caught Olof’s gaze directed at Mathilde’s cross which hung from the stained glass. – You are impressed by the cameos of the pious Mathilde of Essen? I brought it from Cologne as a gift to my god-fearing lady.

– Fascinating… – Olof mumbled. – Really… you built a shrine in the castle, master Orian. Your care for the proper upbringing of lady Mathilde is touching almost as the care for her soul. I thought you would corrupt her with your gods.

to be continued…

Standard
mathilde, prose, proza

SLEEPING MATHILDE – THE TALE OF MATHILDE

http://casopiskult.com/kult/krik/uspavana-matilde-pripovest-o-matilde/

From the quill of Mathilde von Regenstein

I, Mathilde von Regenstein, learned how to paint the cloud beyond the wild, distant mountain when I was fairly young, which brought upon me the wrath of my mother Johanna in my early years.

When I was seven, the Regenstein castle was the diamond of Denmark, much like an ornament on my mother’s dress. The ceilings were opulently adorned with paintings and stone arches. Walls were gilded with golden animal hides.

Johanna’s chamber was on the first floor of the northern wing. There was a blossoming fireplace in the corner of the solar, where an untamed fire shone bright white day and night.

My solar had a narrow window, located above the castle gates, where I kept my eye on the guests who would come to the castle balls in Regenstein in processions… At night they would dance on the floor of the proud hall, feet barely touching the Grand hall’s floor adorned with Swedish marble. The Grand doors were leading to Johanna’s private quarters.

I would secretly observe in admiration the airborne dance of the guests. Men and women would dance, holding hands, forming a ring. As more people joined the ring, it would start to bend forming a circle within a circle, and so forth, until the ring would evolve into a chain. Men would then do the Pauper’s game, and the ladies would do the Happy dance. ”My ladies, hold hands”, my queen-mother would say. The nereids would dance, and the men, gods of evening stars would look at them amazed.

“Apollo, Apollo and Daphne!” I would let out a childish squeal. Undone blonde locks would slice through the air as I would, cumbersomely, in my nightgown, run to my mother with my arms outstretched. Those glamorous evenings, the royal evening stars would give themselves up to the music and the joy, but looking at me, the musicians would stop playing. The hall would overflowed with silence with cries of admiration sprinkled here and there.

“She’s so beautiful…” someone would say.

“Spitting image of you…twenty years younger, of course”, mother’s red-haired, blue-haired or black-haired god would laugh. When she looked at me, a shadow would hover over my mother’s face. She would go stiff on the spot. Her eyes would be brimming with rage. The gaze of limber dancers, stopped in their tracks, would rest upon her.

I would look at her face made ugly with hate. The nymphs would surround me, touch my curls, bathed in warmness, gentleness. Their arms would caress me, as my mother looked at me with clenched teeth and eyes wide agape.

She would then grab my hair, to which I would howl in pain, followed by a murmur of disapproval coming from the spectators, and she would drag me back in the solar. In its furthermost corner was the chair I despised most in the whole castle: the torture chair. Square-like, looking a bit like a throne, it had arms adorned with spheres and gothic arches, similar to those towering over the cathedral columns, above the armrest.

Straddling me, she would shove my head under the seat and slowly started choking me. With filthy, vile words, directed at the male sex, she would whip me senseless, and when she was especially in the mood, she would beat me with a fire poker decorated with a snake tail, over and over until I would lose consciousness.

The dance would then proceed, but the Apollos would never have returned after that. This is why, one day, mother had forever closed the gates of the home of Regenstein, avoiding guests, using as an excuse either a storm, icy roads or whatever unknown disease would assail her at that moment. Time went by slowly and painfully after that. Some said that Johanna Regenstein had gone insane, after which her lovers left her. I cannot be sure of this, but I did know that I was – in some fashion – the cause of my queen-mother’s suffering.

1280px-burg_regenstein_-_blick_von_der_scharfen_ecke_2

Regenstein Castle Wikipedia

Since then, her beauty was bathed in naught but darkness. She was metamorphosing. Rotting from within. And I welcomed my father, Otto, every night in painful expectancy. After a flurry of angry voices and par for the course arguing in the chilling home, after the insults like “Whore!” or mother’s “Cur!” the spine-chilling Satyr-like silhouette of my father would hover over my bed.

“Do you love daddy, Mathilde?”, his gaze would move with lust along my body. He would put his hands on my breasts and mumble incoherently. He would reek of mead.

“Which one?”, I asked only once and got slapped.

“Calm down, damn it, I’ll get you some wine!”, he would disrobe and, sliding into my bed, pinned me down with his body, ramming his claws into my upper lip. His other hand would clench my throat. Then he would say in a touchingly pitiful manner:

“You are so beautiful…, beautiful, beautiful Mathilde…beautiful…”, he would repeat this, dully, confusedly. His body would bulge out, his eyesight cloud… I would feel savage pain and pass out.

He would not leave my chamber until morning. Upon dawn, he would pull the curtains down, poured more wine from the goblet and calmly observe me. Then my face would twist to show careless, fatherless desire.

“Now lie on your belly”, he would say.

I would lie a few days in my room after that, beaten and hungry, in a pool of blood, as a vulture flew over my body. But it wasn’t alone in this. Mother would be with him, like a surreal nightmare from which, I thought then, I would never awaken.

Between a creepy dream and a far more terrifying reality, the doors would open and shut with a loud bang. Thick snowflakes would shiver behind the stained glass window.

“Did she learn her lesson? Did you beat her?”

“It’s going slowly…She’s a wildling. But she’ll learn…”

“All she needs is the firm hand of the father”, in the dreaded silence I could make out my mother saying.

He would have me on both days and nights after that, hypocritically, silently. The furies were being born within me during that period, coming to life parallel to my famished, child body which could not defend itself. The father would intrude into me, he would be the intruder inside of my body.

After he were done with me, I would open my eyes in the darkness. At dawn, I would carefully unhinge my swollen eyelids towards the light. I would then fall back to sleep anew…

After a few weeks, the advances would stop. Still, I would feel someone’s presence in the room. Like a hum… I would try to get up, but was held down by someone’s gentle hands. They were small, thin… The terror of putting up with it would pervade me with ice-cold sweat and I would start shivering under feminine fingers. I would lean against my wounded elbows. Otto Regenstein had been savagely beating and raping me… for how long? How long? Too long… And the mother? – I would feverishly ponder – was she pimping me out?

“Easy, mistress Mathilde”, a voice akin to mine would utter… “”Who is this?”, I would ask every time.

“I will be near”, she would say. “Now eat!” The girl’s presence was strong. The speck of her mercy would bring me back among the living. She would tend to my wounds, but not only that. She would heal my sense of loss. Reality of her presence and friendship was mesmerizing, like  a dream. She would gently assist me with going through the first, worst day of the Metamorphosis…

She was not a day older than ten.

And as soon as I would think of Johanna, suppressing the memory of the glow of my home for the sake of remembering the terror I went through, I would smile at the little girl, forever fusing with the mask – consciously yearning that she never left me.

“What is your name?”

“Agnes”, her gaze remained lowered. Her movements were soft, but focused.

thrones-producer-dismisses-rape-criticisms

Wicked shadows would hover over the door, conjoined in one – a grotesque one – Otto and Johanna. It was a dreadful sight, a grayness outside of a realm found anew…

Johanna, because I could no longer have brought myself to call her mother, would enter my room, sit on a chair, poured herself some mead and growled:

“I heard your shrieks and squeals. You’ve learned your lesson. All will be well now. I’ve even bought you a personal serf, missy ” – she would pause – “for real cheap.”

But I could think of nothing else, other than Agnes.

As I grew, my desires were parted by contradictions, making any attempt of deeper deliberation pointless. They’d stand for a talkative audience for a premature intellectual maturity, they would pound into me and disappear in my spirit.

The prohibitions and permissions I despised with a passion. I’d grown into a young woman of exceptional beauty, the Danish Daughters of magic would say, and the news would spread far away across and over the distant mountains. My thoughts were always…scattered. I possessed the virtues of a true, yet inexperienced noblewoman, who can keep her secret for the sake of cuteness. My wit was fiery, demanding, one of those wits aflame which people tend to abuse.

The everyday rut was akin the polished glass I would use to look at myself, being bored and daydreaming of the blinding sun, of the announcements of future delights ,of the wonderful night which would shine over me under the stars. I would daydream, nude, for hours with my elbows leaned on the windowsill of the solar window, as my golden hair lay on my back, covering my milky white sides.

In the filth of boredom and mother’s hatred, I would sketch complex objects, with an inkpot and a gelded enameled quill. There were also the canvas, the parchment, the brush and some linen oil in a dish. The lonely days seemed like a vortex sucking up the excitement… Unless Agnes was around.

In one of those days one would call fateful, I noticed that Otto was again looking lustfully at me and that his face was changing. I had turned fourteen.

Having caught his stare and sensing horrid intent, I would closed myself up in the solar for days, where I put scrolls together, surrounding myself in books I loved: among others there were Terrence’s Eunuchus, Sappho’s Hymn to Aphrodite, an Egyptian artefact, the Tyrin Erotic Papyrus dubbed “a magazine for men” of its time, painted in the period of pharaoh Rameses, Euripides’ Medea, De Nuptiis or De Septem Disciplinis of Martianus Capella, the Pythagorean scrolls of knighthood…

I have during the years covered the walls with murals of goddesses Nephthys and Isis in alluring poses, as well as murals of scenes of celebrated antic warrior women such as Boadicea, the queen of the Iceni tribe in battle armor, the lethal heroine Atalanta who denied suitors and the unavoidable twin-sister of Apollo, Artemis.

All nude.

That dark morning, Otto broke into my room, paying no attention to the nude nymphs, for I was more than a suitable substitute for them. I stood before him, in the nude. Waiting for that moment… Too long.

He enjoyed the view so much. He was breathing heavily as he was licking his lips. Greed clouded his eyes.

“The guards are right to look upon your naked body with lust from their watchtowers. You tempt them. You are known for your nudity.”

Johanna chased the guards away ten years ago. Regenstein was deteriorating with her. The castle was her spitting image.

As he was approaching me, undoing the waistband of the pitched tent that were his trousers, he kept saying how pleased he was that I would be back in his embrace:

“Now you’ll be more ready than ever before. At this point you might even like it…” he yammered on. Drool slid down his face.

At that moment, the solar  door boomed open and Johanna, akin to an Erinys – puff-faced and decrepit, but powerful and clad in black,  speared towards Otto, holding a sizable, silver pot. She thwacked him on the head with all her might. She was drunk: “You are no Surtr! She is mine! I am Surtr!” she screamed, she pulled his hair and trod on him, as Otto tried helplessly to defend himself. “You raped her! I told you to only beat her! I cut my own brother’s mouth! Two I’ve killed after they’d merely touched me!”

Her hatred towards me was no less passionate.

“Whore! I know you enjoyed it!”, she stopped for a moment and took a good look at my body. “The fire poker! Where is my poker?!”

She ran out of the room with gigantic steps. The floorboards shook under these massive steps of hers.

Agnes ran into the room with lightning speed. I stood before her completely nude. She paid no heed.

“Mathilde…Johanna will kill you!”

I smiled and casually sat in my recliner, looking at the low light of the fire in the fireplace.

“Do you like my body?”, I calmly asked her.

sin-city-2-a-dame-to-kill-for-teaser-trailer-eva-green-nude

She shook her head in disbelief:

“Do you want to lock the door?”, her gaze circled the room.

“Is it possible that a lamb is looking for a hefty object so as to defend the lioness?”, I smiled.

Johanna ran into the room with a terrifying shriek and the moment before she lunged herself at me with all of her tubby body’s weight, my gaze pierced her puffy eyes.

“Apollo, my real father wrote to me, dear mum”, I caressed the scroll lying on my desk next to the fireplace, trying to inject as much venom as I could into that “mum” I’ve uttered.

She paused, mouth agape, arms flying upward.

“Apollo? My Apollo?”

“Here – Apollo writes…”, I tried to overcome the deep feeling of contempt.

Dumbfounded, her countenance suddenly blissful, Johanna stroked her hair and said to Agnes:

“Take the poker away!”, she sat across to where I was, in a different recliner, lovingly looking at the letter…

“I knew he did not forget me!”

“He says: Johanna, you are my Leucothea!”, I became more grave, while tears sparkled in Johanna’s eyes.

“What Lack-a-thea? Who is she?”

“The wife of the Boeotian king!”

“Well of course I am!”

“Leucothea, before you the Great mother can bow her head and shiver in shame”, I’d read, no bitterness in my voice…

“And the ball? What did he say of the ball? And the starry night?!”, Johanna went for the flagon of mead, poured herself a cup-full and said: “I have to move on to tea. Your father loved Tibetan tea. He told me we could go there together and…read!”, she mumbled.

“Oh, he mentioned this as well”, I felt my words feed and calm her animalistic force. “He then says…Leucothea, forgive me for writing only after ten years, I had been held up with unusual circumstances, waggeries  of the soul and a sickly indecisiveness.”

“Waggeries of the soul?”, Johanna giggled as mead trickled down her chin. “The imp! He has not changed one bit!”

“When I saw Mathilde …”, this is where I paused, holding up a smile of sweet vengeance inside, “it was as if I had seen her once before or was it perhaps the sun in your eyes. She was the mirror image of you. I then recognized her as my daughter!”, and I added, reading off of the scroll which I had been drawing up the entire afternoon. “I know I’ve failed your heard when I rode off into the starry night, with the caravans via the Tea road, all the way to the Sichuan and Yunnan mountains in the southwest of China”, I glanced upward. “That is the southern Silk road.”

“Forget the silk…What does he say…did he fail his heart?”

“He says…I have done a dreadful thing which I regret. Is that not the only thing that’s certain at the end of the road? Regret?”

“Okay…okay…Now I feel better”, Johanna drunk another chalice-full, and then gave me a suspicious look. “Are you not making up fancies, child? Give me the parchment…” I decisively extended my hand, but she moved hers away. “Okay…okay…I can’t read the handwriting anyway. What else does he say?”

The story went on deep into the night.

Standard
mathilde

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Two, THE HÄSSE CASTLE

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter One

 

Sleeping Mathilde, Chapter Two, THE HÄSSE CASTLE

 

“In order for you not to take my manuscript as an excessively modest gift, I must tell you more of the Hässe castle.

“Beyond distant clouds, on the moist ground of Norrbotten, there was the Og lake, speckled with tiny islets. On the Naki island, closest to the coast, the Hässe castle sprouted and grew.

“Once, when I was returning from a campaign, over the frostbitten hill, I saw a castle in the distance, towers which, akin to dancing topaz-color-caped silhouettes, were holding a pierced, pale human being on the tips of their spears. The castle reflected me. That being had been me.

“The road was winding along the hill by the coast, flowing into the bridge which tore the sky asunder reaching for the hilly islet of Naki.

“The stone-cold road not unmade by salt, flimsy and steep, was swallowing the travelers from the North tumbling them down the sharp skin of the Fjalar hill or casting them, wind-bound, in the icy grotto of Hornavan, where their deafening screams could be heard from.

“The travelers who would survive Fjalar would pause in front of Lindworm’s tongue with bulging eyes and mouths-a-shiver, they would turn their horses back and fled meeting the sky herald Gná. The braver ones, clenching the reins, would continue walking towards the abyss of Hornavan. The road was encircled by the desolate surfaces of lakes, as unreachable as whirlwinds, crowned with the snowy soil of Norrbotten, and only in certain places with pine and birch trees dipped in hoarfrost.

“The marble carpet lead to the main gate of the Hässe castle (piercing through a vivid garden, a kind of garden few can boast to possess in this part of the world), over which, branching out, the bridges were connecting the tall towers, therefore I could have entered any part of the castle from the main tower without descending down into the garden.

“There was many a varied seed in the garden, from the date palm which my ancestors brought from the Middle East during the Crusades, to the lilies, hyacinths and other, exotic plants unfamiliar to the climate of Norrbotten. The enchanted seed of death was handled by the gardener woman Hilde, known to me for her conversing with Vidar embodied in the greenery and the woodlands. From the God of the Forests she drew her magic and poured it onto the flowers which had no place in this lifeless land. When death is tangled with life and the course of nature changes, the root unleashes the power of the venom deep, changing the essence of the soil. Both the land and the men have venom sprout from within them. The seed of death revivifies. Creating upside-down tulips which adorn my home, and which Hilde kept warm day and night, stoking the fire in enormous kettles.

“On the double leaf oaken gates which hid away the entrance to the main fort, there was, painted in golden strings, the crest of the brave and gluttonous house – a lion’s paw. It could also have been found on blue banners which were waiving born by the wind up high on the Hässe towers, grasping for the heavens. The windows were guarded by marble manticores, born in the early days of Hässe, threatening with their sharp stings soaked in rainwater.

“When the Lindworm swallows the newcomer, it shows them the ghastly yard in front of the castle. Upon entering the main gate guarded by the maw of the Lindworm, the traveler would note the beaten pathway that leads into the yard and the stalls in the very center of Hässe.

hasse

“The road, vaulted by guard towers speckled in guardsmen, lead to the altar and reeked of cow entrails. The altar, above which the tall defense towers of Hässe lorded over, lay on the dry land, tucked into deerskin and adorned with raven skeletons. In the middle of the altar there was a platter with the pre-read, rotting entrails. ’They feed the vultures of darkness’, I would often personally explain it away to a visitor of my empire who shivered in fear and to whom the dread crawled up the spine… The altar, inflamed in cypress and sandalwood from which the messages meant for the Goddess of Death were smoking, was lined with cracked skulls of those who did not bow. The stone thighs of the altar were sprinkled with blood, some of it animal, some of it human.

“The ritual usually took place at night, when the holy Altar burned ghostly in the middle of the yard. Around it would dance, covered in blood, nude witches, keepers of the scourge. They had in long, thick, blonde hair onyx crystals or raven feathers entwined within them. The head-priestess  would wear a crown of deer antlers. The witches, while chanting a mantra, would dispense soil from the graves around the altar.

‘Oh, Yambe-Akka, all that we offer may now be thine

And no man else’s

Oh Yambe, Goddess of the Underworld, take this gift,

Offer him to your peasant spouse, the God of Death,

So it may be his and no man else’s!’

“Thus the three beautiful witches would chant until they fell to the ground in ecstasy. Then I would approach them, cloaked as if in a pupa, surrounded by a procession of swarthy torchbearers and claimed them, upon which the ritual continued; the tribute would be brought over, completely nude, from the lower chambers, the torture chambers – it is their blood I would drink upon the ritual’s conclusion. Oftentimes I would, when in shortage of manpower and the fear which paced ahead of me like a shade, drink up horse blood in honor of Yambe-Akka.

“ ’Oh Yambe-Akka, let me behold the cruel patterns of the past and the future.’

“ ‘Oh, Yambe-Akka, do not let the premonitions dry up!’, I would utter in an official tone of voice, raising my scepter with both hands. After I had had my fill of the meat, I would take a sharp athame in my hand, doused in blood. Upon the palm of the victim I would personally carve the hagalaz rune, and the Goddess would snatch away the dried away, dead bodies, storing them in the chest of gifts. The vultures of darkness would then disperse on the sky of Norrbotten, chased away by the spirit of the Goddess…

“’’The blade was laid in the carved bone which might have once been an arm of a faithful servant’ – I would tap the traveler on his shoulder – ‘and the altar, an ancient image of divinity’ – I would proudly point towards the extinct altar – ‘will speak the tongue of bones tonight’. Bone-chilling words I would direct at a wealthier yeoman or a more ambitious Brit, who would come as was his duty, quivering like a leaf, to bow down to me and ask for my blessing.

tumblr_nmavfi1QPl1tavs5io1_500.gif

“The stranger who made his way to Hässe would get a pitcher of wine and a place at the stables to spend the night. I would often, if they hadn’t been of noble birth or ilk, convert them to servants. The nobles received all the comfort of this home and its glimmering guest hall, where they would dine along the tune of the lutes. There had also been the undefeatable ones, who were met with whipping to the death, oftentimes torn limb from limb tied to four horses, and other types of torture which I was coming up with while drinking up the blood-red wine at the dinner table. I would inject vinegar in noblemen’s bodies by means of needles, I tightened their limbs, poured hot tar on them, and from time to time I would toss them in the jail-cells atop the tower where they would die of hunger. Fear of others and their complete despair, oftentimes madness as well, filled me with lechery. The rotten road I walked along, as a man who had within himself made a pact with nature, as well as savagery, stretched onward into infinity. And still the travelers, in a maniacal run, would come to the doorstep of the richest sven, bearing gifts to the master so that he could protect him from vile natures of his subjects and himself.

“Of my rage I could speak a multitude, of the true tendon of evil, the shade of accrete sensuality within my infected blood.

“Thoughts of human nature occupy my mind until the late hours of the night when my thinking faculties wane, up until the early morn when they spark up anew: how much fealty did I really accrue, and how much am I actually bound by fear of the vindicators’ wrath? To what extent had I become the Supreme deviser of the horrific power which always emerges from the blackest night in all of this? I ended the invasion of conscience with bloody campaigns and have thus removed her permanently. It was a shameful act which ate away at me. From my bloody dreams I was woken by the raw explosion in my heart of all the memories of the murders committed. I held them, crucified in my chest, with an occasional squeal of conscience which erased the breath that followed. Understanding the transience of the soul and the motion of time through the howl of the wind, which reached the very distant tops of Norrbotten shackled in eternal ice like an echo, I yearned for eternity, and it had been the light of my dwellings and my cruelty, and because of which I had eventually lost my wits. I had been hot-tempered. Perhaps insane. But, I had been a lord.”

 

Standard
prose, proza

SLEEPING MATHILDE, an excerpt from the fantasy novel, Leila Samarrai, The First Chapter

SLEEPING MATHILDE

http://casopiskult.com/kult/krik/uspavana-matilde/

The storm which will crush the fort of sven Orian will crush an existence, a world filled with fear, antagonism, selfishness. It will crush that which is not constant, all for that which is permanent and long-lasting.

Let us tear down castles! Let us stay with nothing to us, akin to Buddha or Jesus! Let us bravely trudge forth, with love for the self and the others, regardless of all the risks and perils that pop out at us, akin to Heracles or Odysseus!

deathridinghorse

„And God took а hаndful of south wind

 And from it formed а horse,

 Sаying, ‘I creаte thee, Oh Arаbiаn.

 To thy forelock I bind victory in bаttle.

 On thy bаck I set а rich spoil,

 аnd а treаsure in thy loins.

 I estаblish thee аs one of the glories of the eаrth.

 I give thee flight without wings’.

 For а time the Arаbiаn rаn wild in the desert.

 Only the strongest аnd most intelligent,

 The swiftest аnd most disciplined survived.

 And then the story goes;

 To Ishmаel, son of Abrаhаm,

 God mаde а gift of the Arаbiаn Horse.

 And Ishmаel wаs the first to tаme аnd ride him.

 And from thаt time on the fаte of the Arаbiаn

 would be woven into the history of the Western

 World.”

 

„Arabian Horse Legend”

A TALE OF ORIAN VON AMERONGEN

“I was born in the old House of von Amerongen, as Orian Siegfried”, having committed this sentence on paper, Orian bit into the quill and, upset, shot a glance at the door. He had little time to spare.

“I was born in a wonderful castle on the slopes of the icy mountains of Norrbotten”, Orian sunk into the strange irritability of senses brought about by the sweet drowsiness of memory.

Leaning above the parchment, sensing that his time is running out under the increasingly faster swathes of distant steps, he gave himself up to the words of a cruel story while horror reigned over his body and senses. He wrote the following:

“I could not shake off the thought of Norrbotten’s conception. Dramatic imagery of clouds sucking up the rain, of blood dripping from the heavens, assailed my imagination.

“I would feel excitement observing the doleful side view of the land of Norrbotten out of whom I’ve strived to exclude my own castle, making it a creation of the most fantastic colors and images. With time, as the veil was falling over my eyes, I moved slower and slower, head hung low, until – and God knows what if anything I was thinking of – I had lost the boyish spirit and the gift of innocence, until I had lost the peace wherein any lord would enjoy himself selflessly. Until I’ve taken a bite of my mental wellbeing…

“’Let’s stop at the impossible’, I would say to father Larsen who piously ate his sausages in the chapel booth. Everything lasts in shades long buried. Enthusiasm does not easily let a poet go, quite the contrary, it anchors itself within him, galloping along the finest of nerves, inconsistently, vilely and hypocritically.

I felt that Norrbotten and the Hässe castle can in any other time period only induce revolt and anxiety, but also an unspeakable loneliness.

Then the Storm came and took it all. I, sven Orian, had been a guard, a cuirassier and many a thing more, upon whom this fiend descended upon, I am frightened. Memories come shrieking on this day of death when sven Olof rode to the castle and took Mathilde out of the shade.

From where did all the ailments of my life come? It is as if the Storm pounded them to the ground through the wind. You might be wondering whether a sober man thinks of his sins amid a storm. Oh, yes, exactly then, through the window, I observe the restless villagefolk and I take a listen of the revving of horses, for I am, if I must choose the object of my observation, a painter of nothingness.”

Orian stopped and gave the scar on his face a touch. Then he added:

“I touched myself on the crease in my face and felt it fork in tiny layers on my chin, out of which hardened, bloodied hairs stuck out. A wound from a duel. “

Orian swiftly turned to the door, but since he heard nothing, he continued, quill screeching, stating aloud what he wrote in order to ward off the ghoul.

unnamed-1

“As a vampire I feasted upon lives of others. I never dug graves too deep. I piled corpses like firewood. I was building a human alley.

“I had increased my army thusly, reigning by fear.

“Gazing upon my own reflection in the gold enameled mirror, I saw (what I wished others had seen), a rove of shaded flesh, tight muscle and a smile of a noble whose dignity had essentially intertwined with a false modesty.

“But, that which had disturbed me in the darkest of forebodings were the decisions I had taken as a man used to get what he wanted and, empowered by his irreason, destroy that which was beyond his reach and his mind. Those were the initial signs of my curse.

“I had been an oppressor. I had been jealous, especially of the birds, the damned vermin, the vultures and eagles, knowing that they bear within them a germ of eternity. I had been but a grain of sand under the howling wind. And what is wind other than the coursing of time, against whose power of sudden destruction or slow consumption of substance, even the most stable of dwellings falls. “

Standard