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…

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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
prose

The trial begins. WITCHES!, Leila Samarrai

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(c) Bruce Castle Museum (Haringey Culture, Libraries and Learning); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

image found here

I stand naked
Wrapped in flame and smoke.
My long hair–
Oh, my long, flax fiber hair…
I forgot my hat and broomstick
I left my shoes in the chimney.

The trial begins.

WITCHES:
The first witch wears labeled clothes
Her name is Margaret.
She claims she has never been to Oz.
But you can see the magic swimming eerily in her eyes.
“Sheriff Corwin, the black Tutuba, actually Succuba
the poet is from Barbados
The magic is swinging eerily in her eyes!

JUDGE: “Whatever it is…the woman it is!”

Abigail, stop twitching in your sleep!
Again, she is having nightmares, Judge!
Another wears pointed shoes, she is Edwardian.
Abigail’s mother,
She’s The Queen of spades with a high hat

THE VILLAGE:
“You do not have a husband! Who delivereth you? The devil! ”

“I am,
washerwoman
The executioner and the victim“

THE VILLAGE:
“She does not deserve to live!”

The third was my mistress.
Stingy with words.
Goddamn my black blood
In the ludus!
Hold it!
Startled by a witch!
Back into the darkness!
“Go away, you’re dead!
She’s dead! ”

So I died.
As befits,
Tomorrow I’m going to die
Tomorrow is going to die
Love will die
Between empty hands
(The absence between hands)
Eyes are for blindness .. a daily basis

I will be rooted deep like an oak
I will be that gentle, sweet sonnet
I no longer dream of poppies in wheat
Yes, I, A Witch in Salem’s village,
I listen to someone else’s breath inside me.
I burn in the fire and
I’m shivering.

The trial continues uninterrupted.
My ashes descend.

Standard
prose, proza

Boris K. and Grandma Katrina, “The Adventures Of Boris K.” Leila Samarrai

One fine day, Boris K. was commissioned to hand over a tax return to Grandma Katrina, also known as Grandma Hurricana, Josefina, Super Sandy, and Camille. Regardless, everyone knew her as the ‘Freak of the Mountains’, who was infamous for releasing terribly vaporous winds. Some tell a story of how she was once a great Marxist and extreme leftist who, volunteered to fight in the Vietnam War. She drowned the Americans, who could not kill her with their rifles, by causing major flooding of the Mekong River. Others described her as a runaway Marxist who in her youth called herself, Josefina Brant and cut her hair in a Mohawk to resemble a great American Indian warrior. Regardless, she was a feminist with no desire for marriage who literally blew away all her suitors. Whenever an eligible man came near her, she would destroy them, creating storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, even blizzards to deter their efforts to court her. No one was really sure if she was really as bad as the legends indicated because her name changed as often as her methods of destruction.  Regardless, everyone lived in fear of her.

For a long time, no one ever heard or felt anything from Grandma Katrina.When she got old, she decided to move to the top of a very high mountain and live on welfare. No one ever really heard about her except during tax time. For, whenever a postman would attempt to deliver her tax forms, terrible storms and flashes in the sky would appear. These annual deliveries incensed Katrina and she couldn’t help but break wind and annihilate every last man delivering her mail. As a result, she hadn’t paid her taxes in over 1500 years.

Boris K., who decided to try out being a postman for the Phenomenrepublic, thought the stories were just legends. Why did they look at him in such a pitying way when the boss gave him the assignment? They told him all he had to do was hand over the tax evasion form to the old lady. Boris K.’s colleagues explained to him that once he was three quarters of the way up the mountain, he will have reached the point of no return, the spot where every postman before him made it, but never came back from. Despite the legends and warnings, Boris K headed up the mountain ready to fulfill his duty.

He started his ascent at exactly eight o’clock that morning. He calculated that he would be able to hike approximately 4 hours per day if he needed to take a break to catch his breath every 25 feet or so. The journey ended up taking four full days. The slopes were sharp as glass, the curved crystalline walls made it impossible for Boris K. to progress without a great deal of pain and a number of skin lacerations. At times, he would slip, grasping for the moss and throwing himself over ramparts to avoid bruises during his freefalls. Blistered by the relentless sun and rushed by wild goats, Boris K. kept on going. Through dry parched lips and a raspy throat, he raved:

“Oh my darling….Oh my darling… ohhhhhhhmyyyydarrrrrrrrrling Clementine.  Thou art lost and gone for taxes,  Ohhhhhmyyyydarrrrrrrrrrling Clementine!

 When he got too hot, he fanned himself with the tax papers until finally he reached the end of the road, or at least he thought it was the end. Mysteriously, a seemingly insurmountable obstacle presented itself directly in front of his path.  It was a giant obelisk, taller even than the pyramid of Giza. Boris K. stood staring at the unexpected barrier, desperate and exhausted, when he heard a menacing growl erupt in front of him. Startled, He leapt up, grabbed the bag with the tax papers, and assumed a fighting stance in front of the mysterious creature, who appeared to be from the early Mesozoic era.

“I am a flesh eating Epanterias.  Call me Caliban” spoke the monstrous creature as saliva dripped from his canines.

Boris K. was blinded by fear, and momentarily lost his head. Fortunately, when he came to, he remembered he had a rope. He thought he might try using it to escape somehow. Desperately, he threw the rope over the Obelisk, where, by chance it landed over a small tree that was strangely growing out of the side of it. Like a bird flying into his mouth ready roasted, Boris K. had received a means to climb out of his trouble, thus sealing his questionable fate with the wind. Or so he thought. For as he descended the obelisk, he became entangled in the rope and rolled down the monolith like a log, breaking one rib and bruising one-half of his body.

After crashing into the hard ground, Boris K. sat up on the other side of the narrow but tall structure, moaning and whining. And that was then the beast approached him, calmly walking around the side of the obelisk, his fangs bared and his eyes bloody. The saliva was now literally streaming from his mouth like a waterfall. Suddenly, they both paused upon hearing an elderly lady speak with sandpaper in her voice.

“Son, did you bring your Grandma Katrina’s pension?”

She smiles at him with anticipatory evil in her eyes. She spreads her arms wide to embrace Boris K.  His eyes blur with anguish while shivers stream through his body. He cries out though his dry mouth.  It is at this moment he realizes that Grandma Katrina has been tracking him since the beginning, changing name and form, but always the same evil old lady.

“HELP!”he cries, but he knows no one will come.

“Do not be afraid, ”Grandma Katrina consoles him. “I’m a vegetarian, and Caliban does not bite, either. And even if I ate meat, I would have no interest in a postman. Their wages are too small, and they take no bribes to fatten their wallets or their stomachs.  You’re just too skinny for any monster’s or witch’s taste.  Boris K. takes it in, looking sideways at the Mesozoic animal, still salivating.

Katrina pats and parts Boris K.’s hair with her bony finger and proudly says:

“I am the queen of typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, bombogenesis and spring fevers that blow in from my March winds. Just give me my pension and give up on any tax forms. I’m responsible for blowing in Spring Fever with the Western winds, and I’m busy with more important matters.  You postmen are annoying me. I’m losing my motivation to develop the mountainous highlands.

She pauses and looks at him inquisitively, as if she’s looking at him for the first time:

“You are the first one to make it this far up my mountain. Because of your tenacity and immunity to my vaporous charms, I will spare your life, but only if you can manage to deliver me your letter.”

At that moment, Katrina puffs her cheeks with the force and power of a trombone virtuoso and in a coloratura glissando,  she lets out an unholy wind, strong enough to blow Boris K. back down the mountain. Boris K. turns his head and shields his face, but stands his ground.

“The way you conquered the obstacles I laid in front of you, like my magical Obelisk, which even naturally blonde girls confidently managed to bypass, amuses me. I admit Boris K., as long as I’ve been alive; I’ve never seen a fool like you!”

And with that comment, she flies away, back to her front porch. After five days and five nights of hiking and ascending that mountain, then climbing up and down an obelisk without any food or drink, Boris K. finally finds himself at the summit where Grandma Katrina was waiting for him, cleaning her tooth with dental floss.  Now all he has to do is figure out how to get the tax papers in her hands so he can go home. Grandma Katrina sees the tax papers in Boris K.’s hand, chuckles, lifts her dress, and then runs into the cottage for a game of cat and mouse. Boris K. notices that the cottage has neither doors nor a mailbox. Grandma Katrina suddenly appears with her pet dinosaur, Caliban, on the bench next to the house. She sings a song with the eerie, husky voice of a woman at least, two centuries old:

Oh, Beelzebub, please open up your sheath

I conjure you to fill my mouth with teeth!’

Woot! Woot! 

After jumping up and down for joy, she instantly vanishes again. Boris K. stands up and limps up the one step to the chalet.

“What am I to do now?” He thinks, “Without a mailbox there is no way to hand over the tax papers!”

He suddenly hears roaring laughter coming from the forest. It sounds like Caliban and Grandma Katrina were laughing together. Her teasing was really getting on Boris’s nerves. She would appear on the bench beside her house and then disappear into the forest again. At one point, she appears near her house again, holding a cache of teeth in her wrinkled hand. That was when Boris looked up to her face and noticed that her mouth was collapsed in over her virtually toothless gums.

One, Boo … thixty-thibe …” With each tooth counted, The Witch throws them far away from her, saying to Caliban.

‘Betch!’

Josefina had trained that dinosaur to return all 65 teeth back into her emaciated hand. Boris K. picks up a rock that looked like it also came from the Mesozoic era– it was gilded – he wrapped the tax return carefully around the rock, attaching it with rope. Upon considerable reflection and invoking the laws of physics, Boris K. turns his arms at a 180 degree angle; hand bent at the elbow, and releases the stone with full force toward the dark little room in her house. He misses.Stunned, Boris looks around the ground for another stone, finding one that might work. Afraid he might encounter Caliban again, he waits. He thinks to himself,

‘If I wait for Grandma Katrina and her beast to doze off, I can deliver those tax papers and then escape from this infernal den as fast as possible.’

Holding all 65 of her porcelain teeth in her wrinkled palm, Grandma Katrina speaks in a voice mimicking that of  Demosthenes in the first stage of practicing Filipik:

“Abambon ah hope…! Babaa bime I bell ah beep was buring babecbacular bariot b races in Angen Brome.  I waz bear an Grabe Ceezer asbed me to reblace em”

Katrina then turns her attention to cleaning her dental crowns and bridges with Efferdent and then affixing them to her gums with Fixodent.  She was feeling fresh and fragrant again. Grandma Katrina turns to Boris K. and makes a creepy face. From her toothless mouth he could hear a strange squealing sound. This was Grandma Katrina laughing uproariously; and, to the horror of Boris K., she enchanted his tax papers and they were floating around in the wind. He got hold of his papers again, and aware that it was his last chance to be saved, he took small careful steps toward the entrance of her house. Unfortunately, it was enchanted too due to phenomenozations, and each time he tried to grab the door, the house would fly away from him, just out of reach.

“I will not give up!” Boris K. mutters emphatically, out of spite.

Beside him appears the Mesozoic man-eater, with saliva pooled all around him.  He licks Boris’ muscles that are bulging with so much intensity, his postal uniform is bursting at its seams. Looking into the dark crater mouth of the prehistoric creature that threatens to swallow him whole, Boris K. orders loudly:

“Ricky, fetch!” and he throws his stone.

So this Mesozoic beast, possibly a distant relative of Pavlov’s dog, instinctually takes off, retrieves the stone, and brings it back to Boris K, with a vigor and happiness beyond all comprehension. Then, Boris takes out a copy of the tax return from the pocket he uses to cool himself when travelling in hot zones, he stares at it, and then crumbles it up in sadness, his hands trembling the whole time.

“Now even you are no longer of help.” Boris K. bitterly realizes that the law has failed him. That is when he hears the witch begin to speak again, in a distant, yet, academic tone:

“Fear is desirable, Boris K. Running away intensifies it. It disappears just before you confront it.”

The old woman was cooled herself with the disintegrated cover of Sigmund Freud’s book, The Ego and the Id.

“This is to be expected, is it not Boris K? I am a well-read Granny. Tell me, how did it all start, Boris K?

With that question, she begins a recitation as she magically lies Boris down on the bench, his arms resting thoughtfully behind his head.

 ‘For always you will stay and be a kid

Reacting and then following your Id

Postmen rarely make it past their ego

Forgetting there is so much they don’t know.’

Woot! Woot! Ha hahahaha!

Upon finishing, Katrina laughs blissfully and sadistically, revealing a full mouth containing sixty-five shining gold teeth. Then subtly, the air shifts, then ripples, revealing a focal cyclonic wind that surrounds only them. In the eye of the storm, Boris’ hair stands on end. He is already half dead from fear, and dripping with sweat. Boris K., confused and fearful, waits for the next play in Katrina’s sinister game. In his moment of fear Boris K. remembers something he heard someone say once:

‘On every mountain there exists a miracle.’  Or was it ‘if you have faith you can move mountains?’ Hmmm. He couldn’t remember exactly, but he knew that it was something about miracles being possible if you were on a mountain.  Well, he was on a mountain to end all mountains, and so he was ready for his miracle!

With these confusing thoughts, Boris K. feels somehow comforted. Although it was dark, the sky was still shining and the sun was searing Boris’s body with an unbearable heat.

“What shall I do?” he thinks desperately.

He throws his hands up in the air and implores the blinding sun for assistance. Overwhelmed by fatigue and despair, his hope almost completely abandoned, the witch, who found Boris K. endlessly entertaining, laughs heartily, raises her skirt and then flees into the woods. For a long time, the woods echo with the witch’s laughter. Being infused with the energy of the sun, Boris K. finds renewed hope and climbs up to the top of Katrina’s house, invoking the strength of Hercules. Once on the roof, he leans against the chimney and holds onto it tightly. Once again he thinks about miracles on the mountain and he mysteriously feels his hands slipping into the chimney. His hands are now covered with soot, so much so, that they turn a surreal shade of red and black. With this success, he pokes his head and torso through the structure, momentarily staggering in the slowly increasing wind as he is half in and half out of the chimney. Confused, he peeks his head back out of the chimney to see if he can see Katrina. And that is when he is seized by a fully-erupted  bombastic Tempest. Upon a great whipping wind, both Boris K. and the house are elevated to the heavens. Boris K. tightly shuts his eyes in fear, but manages to drop the tax papers into the chimney before he lets go, falls for an eternity, and then finds himself swimming in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Epilogue: Many years later, about 166 kilometers from the Earth, a low-orbiting NASA satellite known as Titan H, locates a tax return within a piece of space trash that resembles a house. Once again, despite all his best efforts, Boris K. prevails.

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poezija

Recommendation of Nemesis, Leila Samarrai

Yes,
We met by the reflection of the eyes,
Echoed the enamored god
Like Echo mortally in love with pretty Narcissus,
The future suicide from who will grow
The flower and myth of sin with oneself.

With oneself I found that:
My mouth is sutured
My hands mourning songs without masochistic pleasures.
Do you seek within her the aesthetic artistic utterance with truth and freedom?
Or merely an attempt to put things in their real place.
I knew I shall say the monstrous everything or I will say nothing.

(The Minotaur of Tales)
Kill her, Leila!
May the sword taste her stomach and breasts
After your fingers and face!
Kill her, and do not mourn her!

It is a gamble, card playing,
A splendid, glorious and retched plea,
To disclose and discover the flaming blade.
When somebody wriggles out from the tomb of missed emotions
And meets the sure philistine love,
She will give a blunt hit to the head to the beautiful creature that offers useless things and deceptive poetry

And then, the philistine, leaps out of the dark smiling with a giant boudoir of safety and comfort,
Kisses his pretty trophy on the forehead, coldly and peacefully taming
The passionate, flaming eyes by nature, mired into futile struggle.

(Joan of Ark)
Stab her, Leila!
Stab her with a spear!
Remember the dungeons and betrayals!
Remembrance is death for repentance!

We met at one of the impossible places,
We were a pair of unforeseen miracles.
It was a gift, a curse and futility.
Where the glance hits both the one and the other.
The glance that brings and takes away:
Her. Me. HerMe.

The abyss among people laughs in the faces of those who give away their deepest thoughts
Or the histories of loved beings.
At the end, a tatter thrown to the road is left.

A fable interesting to none, the secret in the service of the one who scares and enchants.
Will our great freedom and intrepidity judge us out of most noble incentives?
Will our anxieties, the magnificent relics with brutal renditions, whirl in other letters?

Monstrous legislations are governing people and the black hour chokes within us
Both the thinker and the emotive man.
Wrapped in black atmosphere, we buckle, grow pale, the throat spreads its limits
And fear sprouts outside with words attacked by assumptions
And the horrible remembrances followed by cruel pain, self pity and remorse.

(Shepherd Henry Roberts of Salem)
Leila, burn the witch!
Hair by hair let her burn!
May she scream helpless!

Without the strength to continue the letter,
Stumbled by the free to:
Say more!
Sat faster!
(necessarily trivial)
I wish to sing
The way it should be or should never.

(Recommendation of Nemesis)
Leila, kill the heart memento
Pertaining to the mocking bird!

She (it) is the boil in my stomach,
She eats it and minces it, destroys
The nightmare from which you cannot awaken by anything except walking and sleepwalking,
While she climbs to heights with a view to the Precipice,
That fills the eyes of the caught sleeper with horror.

(Poe’s recommendation)
Leila, kill her in her own vomit
Without right for mesmerization.

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