The annual Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins tomorrow, April 1st, 2023. For those of you unfamiliar with it, those joining in are asked to create 26 posts during the month. The title of each day follows the alphabet, with April 1st using the letter A, the next post starting with B, and so on, with Z falling on April 30th.
All those in the challenge are asked to post a reflection on May 1st.
I started this blog in 2011, joining my first A to Z that year. I’ve been intermittent with my commitment to the challenge since then. It has been a couple of years since my last foray. This is also a very last-minute entry into the challenge. We were supposed to do this much earlier in March.
Procrastinators unite tomorrow?
What To Do?
For those of you who have followed me, you know I am partial to a serialized story as opposed to one-and-done. This year will be no exception. I will do my editing best for brevity, but we also know that that promise can easily go out the window depending on the day’s writing.
So, Rum Ball, please…or Black and White Cookie (preferred):
“Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realize the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.” ~ ~ Bertrand Russell
“The Lotus opens. Movement from earth, through water, from fire to air. Out and in beyond life and death now, beyond inner and outer, sense and non-sense, meaning and futility, male and female, being and non-being, Light and darkness, void and full. Beyond all duality, or non-duality, beyond and beyond. Disincarnation. I breathe again.” ~ ~ R. D. LAING
Paris, 16th arrondissement, le restaurant de l’Hôtel sur le toit vide
In every form of communication: “This is a beautiful view. So many beautiful views.”
♁ Ananke is a whisper without sound. She is. (ZV) acknowledges this forever knowledge. They revert to two, standing on a rooftop over Paris, lighting on other vantage points across the universes. They are among the cosmos. Limitless. No boundaries.
There is nothing outside of the box if there is no box to begin with.
Zehara and Valentina are tangible here, as they are elsewhere. Their essences remain connected, corporeal or not. Wrapping arms around the other, foreheads touching, breaths mingling, all lasts infinitely in the fraction of that second. They know the “why here?” before the question forms between them.
“This is where we first met,” they absorb the words in unison. Ananke, Necessitas, Ge, the Mother, allows the countless stars to lighten the darkness.
“As it was meant” fills any void.
The rooftop unfolds as it was: café tables, the mosaic tops iridescent waves of hues of blues and golds balanced on wrought iron Art Deco curlicues, red leather chair seating at the tables and for the chaise lounge settees. Gold thread embroidery traversed the fabric. Fine crystal flutes at the ready filled with sparkling champagne of prime vintage. Vegetarian Aperitifs strategically placed, the colors complimenting one dish to another.
Valentina was the guest of honor at this soiree, lauded for her breakthroughs in Biogenetic Engineering. Every government wanted her. She forced a laugh at every bon mot, listened to and fobbed off the enticements, both scientific and sexual, and was thoroughly bored. Funding was a core ingredient to continue her work. Valentina was tired of being brought out as a gift to be bid on. Exquisite as the champagne was, she only sipped the first hour of the evening away, looking for an opportunity to leave. A spilled drink near her, the endless apologies, cleaning of the stain on her dress that was invented, was her chance. Her chance.
She came late, her entrance marked by the flurry of paparazzi yelling her name, the model of the moment. Zehara was weary of this game, being seen to be seen. She accepted the invitation only with the caveat that this would truly be a closed affair. Champagne in had, Zehara ditched the executive she arrived with, wandering the roof, taking in the panoramic view of Paris. She allowed herself to slink into the shadows, loving the absence of demands. Another was the center of attention. Zehara relished that, for once. But not for long. She grew deathly bored.
Zehara, full glass in hand, was making her way to exit the engagement. In her path was the honoree, surrounded by a pack waiting to eat their way in. She hadn’t paid Valentina much attention, but now. Everything changed for her. The attraction was magnified beyond anything Zehara had experienced before. One step, and Zehara faltered. Valentina took notice. She was in the process of taking in the wonder of Zehara, a rush of empty lust washing away her normal reticent ways, when the champagne made a splash.
They ignored the chaos, walking as far away from the clashing as they could. As they made their way to the roof’s railings, their hands found the others’. A now empty settee caught their eyes. Zehara broke hands, sped to the seating, and turned it so that Paris was fully before them. Hunkering down on the settee, doing their best not to be seen and interrupted, Valentina and Zehara began.
“This is an appreciation, a thank you,” a vibrato from Ananke, primordial personification of compulsion.
(ZV) held themselves tightly. Turning to the manifestation of The Mother
Time continues to scream
Time continues its fragmented shrinkage
♁ Ananke Is
A wavering, touch like, and Time is stilled
(ZV) is in attendance
Another entity as well
Time holds them all
Life is sustaining
A mewl of confusionweighs heavy
Something new, for the constant Time
progenitors at creation
that had existed, is existing, will exist
we emerged self-born
formed the ordered universe(s)
set in our tasks
of being the cosmos
an expenditure of Chaos
a swelling of Entropy
an order corrupted
the continuum of Time
became a corruption of Time
deaths deaths deaths
fell before their
this was Ragnarok
which never was to be gained
the final destruction
was upon ALL
my planes of existence
Khronos applied Death
at a rate I could not change
we were in balance
were suppose to be balanced
existed for balance
I was not enough
“We were created. Z in the Pod. V at control”
“You mixed with the extreme radiation. A fusion of Life”
“From our meeting?”
“From the first seeds of unbalance”
“To disrupt Time”
“To weaken Time. To permeate Time. To bring Life into Time’s equation.”
“And to bring and emotional sequence that Time never held”
“Truth: were we ever really in love?”
Quiet is sustained.
The other is still there but not noticed.
“What of you, Gaia? Are you unbalanced? Have you undergone a parallel disrupture?”
“If we are a counter point for Khronos…we are, yes?”
“What is yours?”
Into the void, the other makes themselves noticed.
Silent Khronos extends to (ZV)
“They are my balance beyond Khronos. You are Time’s balance beyond Ananke.”
“Time is a feature of creation, and the creator remains apart from it, transcendent over it.” ~ ~ James Gleick
Is witness to all beginnings; to all ends.
The End of All Things rips apart the progenitor with every erasure.
Erasures are Endless.
There is nothing to measure.
It is or it is not.
Khronos is a part of the process, as is
♁ ⋝ t (⨍⨳⊎∞) =⨿
Khronos upset the balance
The Screams Must Stop
(ZV) feels the sacred knife from their temple slice into the ethereal-corporal sync they have manifested. They feel a rift, a change, yet pain is of the past, not the present. What comes can not be seen from here. They have been severed from an aspect of themselves that has left the feeling of <.
Only for that time of piercing
A great severing occurred.
They experience the force within them ascend to a higher intensity
What was a standstill finds Khronos waver
Khronos meets level meeting level
Khronos identifies the truth
(ZV) shares the truth
Awareness that the blade Ἀστερία bore sliced through the other
“Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time.” ~ ~ Mahatma Gandhi
E = GHA (apparent Sun) – GHA (mean Sun)
Entropy exists for all in Time
Khronos encompasses Entropy
Decay, destruction, non-existence
Khronos is the medium
Striving for or against
All life ends
The stars go Nova
Galaxies are consumed
Reduced to the dust of the dust
(ZV), the Goddess
Blocking the passage of Time
Time works against (ZV)
The sacred knife
Smeared with her blood
With outstretched arms
In determination to end the madness
A tool in another's hands
She screams the primal scream
Of the universal trauma
The blade plunges into
The ooze that has bound
Khronos with (ZV)
As she is torn asunder
Her scream continuesBringing
“Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.” ~ ~ Dion Boucicault
And Khronos took notice. Once noticed it remains noticed, an open loop that takes in what was before/what is now/what will be to come. Keeper of Time. Lord of Time. A god at the same time beyond what (ZV) could ever conceive of. Though, they are close. Time, in their grasp. Time, pulling them. Time, the endless possibilities, reconstructions, revisions, creation, immortal. To be Khronos. To be gods. To be THE Titan.
(ZV) was reaching/was holding/HAD HELD…
So it was
(ZV) is not there.
Disassembled to elementary particles
Then disassembled again
Z careens off of time lines, beginnings, endings, middles.
V is spread like a schmear across parallel universes
They cross paths as they zig zag in and out of dimensions
Time has no meaning
Khronos notices the irony
Z is lost in the absolute infinity
Valentina trespasses in her wake
Val descends into Zehara, a Mobius strip
A thousand-thousands of their beings are obliterated
The Goddess strode into Janiculum through the Gates of Prógramma Spoudón. Her long, unbound hair trailed, tendrils caressing those in her wake. The colors shifted with every other step, taking on the hues of the flowers of the land. Some colors came from other realities, yet none in her presence remarked on the uniqueness. Tall, shapely, skin of a golden-olive hue, caught each eye, young and old alike.
The city-state was festooned with garlands of the sweetest aroma of the scythed. Purple hued feathery fronds, strung through the masses of golds, reds, yellows, and blues. It had taken a harvest to adorn the Goddess Alcyeyx’s walk way to her temple.
Deep genuflections as she passed. The muddy streets stained the linen Himation the populace wore. None were concerned. Their Goddess had arrived. Cheers of “Bless the Winds. Bless the Seas” reverberated throughout. The surrounding mountains concurred in receding echo.
Omens of dire times to come were brushed away with Alcyeyx’s arrival. The Oracle of the Peak wailed her laments to deaf ears once the Goddess arrived. Submitting to the inevitable, the Oracle retreated before the Sun vanished into the ocean. She knew she would return. After.
Rituals were cast, wine flowed, the food was plentiful. Everything was carried to excess. Children with slightly bloated bellies lay fast asleep on straw, patches of grass, and the shorn gardens. They nestled in the land of dreams.
The wine was never ending. Alcyeyx bequeathed that to her people, her devotees, her sacrificial stream. The crowds grew raucous as the skies went black. Fights were few; love making was key. Other lands degraded their festivals, the obscene, to them, rendering of garments, the cries of passions, the coming of more children being placed.
All of those in Janiculum were lost in their revels, as was Alcyeyx. Many women of youth and of age tasted the Goddess’s lips, felt the strong soft gliding over their unadorned flesh. As many came to Alcyeyx as she went to her worshippers. All were left beyond sated.
Except Alcyeyx, whose inner turmoil, the two sides of her constantly clashing, left part of her drained as the other part was elated. This had been the way of things since their metamorphosis. Two strong essences tugged, one always angry, the other mad. Or so the Angry One crowed.
Ten times ten², or when counting ended, were the battles, the pleas, the promises…
Z always called V out on the promises. For a while after, things would subside.
The call of the winds at the ascending sun found Alcyeyx looking beyond the walls of this beloved stronghold. Janiculum was one of the few things they embraced. Yet, the need for elsEwhen called.
The Goddess lifted her arms, raised her chin, and felt the West Wind blow her hair East.
If anyone had been awake at this juncture, they would surely have noticed the golden-olive hued Kingfisher take to the skies and then…
Khione, Nymph of contempt and snow, took satisfaction in Alcyeyx’s leave-taking.
Now, it was Khione’s time to take.
The Kingfisher squabbled with itself, as it phased into the void.
“The moment is not properly an atom of time but an atom of eternity. It is the first reflection of eternity in time, its first attempt, as it were, at stopping time.” ~ ~Søren Kierkegaard
A total absence of light.
Whatever you have thought of as darkness is another lie. The bromides swirl with similes, throwing up black as night, a raven, a ministers cloak, the death card, a void, as pitch, black as the devil’s heart. You’ve lost paradise, unaware that the loss is profound.
Valentina Ceit Marin never gave any thought to the immensity of Eternity. She had been filled beyond any brim with awareness of the moment, framing the moments to come, shedding the moments of the past. Her no looking back attitude has brought her HERE.
Panic is begging to take control. The gut squeezes tight. Both temples are strafing her head, settling into the eyes, the base of the nasal passage. Valentina tried to raise her hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. No hand came. Trying again, failure beat a drum. All jointed points of her skeleton were trigger locked. She took in that she could breath, that her eyes still rolled around, that the lids could go up or down.
It was then that she grew aware of what was not outside of her body. She wasn’t standing on any surface. No chains or puppet master strings held her up. She wasn’t floating, drifting around the void of space. Neither weightless nor sense of being. She was THERE.
Panic began to win. She had a mouth but it would not open to release the inside screams. Knowing this was not the her that she was and the her she cultivated, the shell, direct confrontation, the eagerness, the mean moments, the want of things, the dismissals. It was too much.
It was, too much.
A fracture of light.
Z was. Here. There.
A vast difference of space split them apart. The were opposites in depth.
Sweat filtered through Val’s skin. It beaded and dripped from her brow, coated her arms. Another aspect that was not Val.
My name is John Meadows, at least, that’s what it says on my birth certificate. At this moment, I’m not sure if that is even true.
I woke up in a bedroom. It was an unknown space. Except, as I lifted my head up off the pillow, I noticed a picture that looked familiar. I stood, walked over to it: it was flush with the wall. An outdoor moment in time. There was a man, and a woman. They held each other, big smiles on their faces.
The man leaned on a vast gnarled tree. Instead of branches, It looked as if seven tree trunks wound around each other, an abstract weave of latticework wood. The leaves were thick, a dark shade of green that looked almost like they were black. They hung over the couple like a frame.
The woman had her head resting on the man’s shoulder. His hair fell to his collar, so dark that at first, I thought it looked like it was cut out of the photo. Her hair was lighter, a mixture of golden brown and red. I remembered that it was called Auburn. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that at first. Yes, Auburn-haired, long, it fell down and over his chest, making his torso look like it disappeared as well.
The photo bothered me. Her eyes sparkled when the shot was taken. His eyes held little to no reflection. I looked. His didn’t, even with the sunlight spotlighting where they stood. Her eyes, the tilt of her head, her smile: there was life. He smiled, but it didn’t seem to reach his eyes. They were flat.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a free-standing full-body mirror to my left. It stood at a tilt near white folding slat doors. I shuffled my way over to it. I could not remember what I looked like, nor who I was. Maybe, I thought, looking at the reflection, things would come into focus. My heart began to accelerate, chest tightening, and it was getting difficult to breathe. I hadn’t been aware of breathing before this. I was now.
Coming into full view, I felt my head had received something smashing into it. It hurt like hell. I had to touch my head. It felt like bone shattered. I checked. It felt solid. But the pain. It was like a steel bar was slammed against my forehead.
A steel bar? Why did I…no, more a bat? Baseball? No, no. A baseball. Yes, a baseball hurtling to me, not even registering that I needed to move, to duck, do something. But it was too fast. I was too slow. I was up, then nothing. It felt just like that, although I didn’t know why. I still don’t know why I felt that way when I stepped in front of the mirror.
Yes, I was the man in that photo, even though I did not remember that. It was clear upon viewing, my eyesight was waving, no floaters, no film distortion over the irises. I looked at myself in the mirror, then over to the photo. Goosebumps paraded across my spine.
Turning, I took in the rest of the room. White minimalism in paint and fabrics. Same with my pajama pants. I noticed, then, that I had no shirt on. A look in the mirror traveled down; before, I was solely intent only on my face. My chest was hairy but not matted. Three parallel deep pink scars ran from my left armpit to just past the bellybutton. An inny. They didn’t hurt as much as throb. Noticing them did not help my rapid breathing and heart rate.
The next moments are still a blur. I know I looked around: the place had been tidy when I awoke. Now, drawers, men’s clothing, papers littered the white. All the bed linen was on the floor. The sliding slat doors were open wide, showing a closet that was only half full. I took this all in, sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed. I felt something hard and looked down. I had a metal lockbox in my hands. My breathing shallowed, and I felt myself calm down to regular human beats. At least, what I thought were normal.
There was no lock to have to break into. The lid swung up with ease, showing the mound of papers it carried. I riffled through the envelopes, unfolded the various papers, and only stopped when I found a Birth Certificate. Mine, I have assumed, until someone tells me differently.
My name is John Meadows.
If you are listening to this tape, then most likely I am dead. Or too far away for any meaning of living or dead is inconsequential. This is the story of what happened from that moment of waking, clueless to everything that had meaning to me. I know that the woman in the photo was Jean, my partner. I know she no longer…is here. Where? At this time, I still do not know how to answer that.
Whoever you are, whenever you are, do yourself and loved ones a favor.
Do not stand under the leaves of that massive, gnarled tree.
… And now ladies and gentlemen, for your reading edification, the further exploits of The Misfortunes of Sea Monsters, Part 3
Chapter 3: The Sundering and The Call
The Return groaned as the coils of the Hafgufa tightened around the span of the ship. As it tilted and cracked, Young Ned held onto the rail with one arm while he jabbed with his razor-sharp weapon. The many-tentacled creature screamed its rage with each piercing. The thrashing beast of the deep blue continued its crushing actions.
Many of the crew members put up a valiant fight but were soon tossed into the sea…many losing their battle immediately. The stronger swam away; too many were swept under by the beating of one tentacle or another. Capt. Magnus had strapped himself to the wheel of his ship, brandishing his cutlass with accurate and deadly aim. The realization that all was lost for The Return came upon him almost too late.
“Save yourself Young Ned!,” yelled the captain.” The Return is lost.” and, cutting the straps that held him to his beloved vessel, the captain dove into the waiting seas.
Young Ned would not go so easily. As The Return tilted and broke apart, Young Ned continued his battle against his most hated foe. Even dangling from the rail he would not give up. It was not until the ship began to break into kindling that Young Ned was forced to cede this horrible skirmish and find shelter in the cold waiting waters.
Swimming as if his life depended on it, which it did, Young Ned strove to haul himself as far away from the ship as he could. The Return began its descent to the bottom of the sea, being escorted by the Hafgufa. It squelched and ripped and tore apart the once mighty ship, and there was nothing that could save it. Many of the seamen went down with the ship, caught in the whirlpool of the returns drowning, and their own lack of strength. Young Ned, the last in the water, made excellent headway and was saved from going down with the ship.
Yet, there was no land in sight. He had outswum the flotsam and jetsam of the dying ship. As strong and determined as he was, Young Ned could not but grew tired. For a while, he alternated between floating and his failed attempts at swimming for a non-existent shore. It took a lot to discourage him, what with all that he and his family have been through. This, though, seemed to Young Ned to be his last hurrah. The last of his strength ebbing away, Young Ned laid his arms at his side, still holding onto the tool which he still hoped, as he drifted away, would slay the Hafgufa.
Young Ned was prodded awake with something sharp in the side of his head. Rousing himself, he got up on one elbow and found himself to be on the dry ground; a copse overlooking the sea. Looking around he was startled at first by the empty landscape in front of him. Poked again from behind, he was equally startled (if not more so) than what was now before him.
” You do know, I would think twice before eating you.” She smiled, and the smile sent shivers through Young Ned… But not in a good way.
to be continued…..
⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗ ⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗ ⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗ ⊗⊗⊗⊗⊗
…and I did not go further. I don’t remember why I let it drop, but drop it went.
I’ve been searching storylines that I enjoyed creating, seeing them through (in this case) a nine-year growth in writing.
READERS: Would you like to see this continued?
I know I will have to do thorough editing on these three pieces if I do.
Please leave a comment below. As simple as Yes or No. If you can give your reasons for either way, please do. Please No Maybes. Yes or No, & commentaries.
The four others who had ascended with her ran to the edge of the outcropping. At first, I thought they would all follow her as a group, a splice of Lemmings following the herd. They did run helter-skelter after, yet they all stopped abruptly at the edge. Parts of The Trolls Tongue ledge were disturbed by their mad dash forward. Broken off pieces of rock following in her stead as they laughed and high fived each other.
Two went prone, cellphones at hand, in what I assumed was to record the woman’s rapid descent. The other two had packs already on their backs, each checking the other.
I noticed all of their movements for a brief moment: a fraction, really. I took them in more out of the corner of my eye. I lost total interest as I watched the jumper descend.
She was swimming through the air. The flips were followed by a turn to the west. Then east. A series of air pocket climbs allowed her to somersault, pushing her up on the currents. The spirals she performed were breathtaking. Her control was magnificent. The whining pitch of her aerials signaled her falling speed increase.
Spreading her body out, she pulled something. I could see the movement, but she was too far away, even for me, to see clearly.
The pack upon her back burst open. A snarl of colors leaped out and up. As it unfurled, I muttered an involuntary “ah” as I understood. A parachute. Multi-colored as it snapped into shape, drawing her once more upwards. The four yelled, laughed, and hooted at this point. I didn’t turn to look. It was enough to hear them squawk akin to Snowy Owls.
I imagined her laughing along as she heavily floated to the Fjord below. Her heart beating fiercely, blood coursing through her body at high speed. I envied her, that joy, that freedom, that overtaking of fear. Sensations that I have been divorced from for far too long.
A new shout from the four sought my attention and grabbed it. Only the two lying prone were still there. The others were off, doing their “death-defying” acrobats. I watched it for only a moment. Individually, they were nowhere near as graceful as their friend was. They made up for it a bit, and they maneuvered around and with each other. It wasn’t enough. I lost interest in the last hooting I heard from them.
I’d been alone on The Tongue for an eternity. Initially, I climbed this peak after the deaths of my family, trying to escape their death howls. They were silenced in turn as I fled. Ashamed, I traveled on. Climbing, ever climbing. When I first beheld this outcropping, my turmoil of thoughts leveled out. The gods were with me. An excellent place to die, I thought and felt. I had been alone for so long. It was good at that point to die alone.
Yet, when I reached the edge of the outcropping, ready to cross that flimsy border of safety, I found I was unable to move any closer. The dizzying height, the frigid air, the snow that had followed me as I trod on. Frozen in heart and mind, I was buffeted in indecision that lasted through the freezing night.
Just as the morning sun began its rise, my knees and lower legs wobbled. I grew unsteady, leaning precariously in the direction I needed to go. Wanted so desperately to go. A strong upwind slapped me in the face, sending me back instead of forwards.
I sprawled on the outcrop through the light of the day. Movement was beyond me. I tried, failing every attempt. As the day dwindled away, I let the darkness envelop me in whole. All the pride I still had fled, my resolve punctured. Emotions were stripped away in one swoop. I was unmade.
The night sky was brilliant when I finally opened my eyes anew.
“I am not worthy of joining you. I see that now. I can wait. I can still remember.”
Hunger growls drew me out of the remembrance. Loud, but not loud enough to rouse the two left behind. My steps towards them were but feathers.
Upon The Trolls Tongue, I feasted well.
May those who come searching for them travel with speed.