Tower of a God (Far Fetched 16/18)
The first sounds of the last admonishment of our story are the rustle of two pairs of sandals on a steep gravel path. The woman’s questioning voice gets tranquil, measured, but she gets elusive answers with a conciliatory and learned tone. The man gestures towards the sky and his fine embroidered robe flutters with the intensity of his movements and the rising wind.
Similarly attired woman shoves her hands even deeper into the sleeves of her gown and deliberately lags a few steps back after the man apparently getting no answers to her inquiries. The woman, in her thirties, wrinkles her nose, forming the familiar frown of frustration that her husband knows all too well. Bowing her head she ponders that the man’s whims will take her youth, patience having been spent and eaten away already during this crazy voyage.
The man smiles behind his beard and quickly turns his eyes towards the tower at the summit of the hill, glad that he would not have to invent any excuses for a few moments while Helena is sulking. The rising sun created long shadows behind the travelers.
They reach a disheveled village, Dorian, with just a few huts at the base of the hill, its inhabitants just rising for the day’s work.
Especially one was eyeing the man and woman intently from his hiding place on the corner of the stables. His gaze moved from the old man’s body to her younger wife, lingered for a moment, and then crawled up the hill to the sun-framed tower above. He motioned for the others who carried long curved knives at the ready.
“Cicero? The tower looked tall from afar, built on this high hill, but up close its height boggles the mind. It looks like it reaches to the heavens.” Helana said and squinted her eyes standing on a rock trying to see the top of the tower at its base.
“That’s true; it is a marvelous and curious piece of history of my people. Not even very far removed. You wouldn’t believe it but those Siidonian cedar wooden doors with their bronze hasps and iron nails are just a few generations older than us, Well, me at least...”
As he said this Cicero extended his arm and helped his wife down from her vantage point and both of them stepped into deeper shadow of the gateway. The whitish bricks were chiseled smooth and glistened from the morning dew. The door was big and wide enough for two men in full armor to go in side by side; it was adorned with gold and silver. Truly dignified, like a hallowed gate door should.
Cicero was more interested in the alcove wall,”If this truly is the King’s temple tower, as I begin to hope it is. I am seeing the same kind of craftsmanship and measured handiwork like the one I felt as a young boy when I touched the temple’s face before. But in my time all of the stonemasons were building a temple and this could be only one of those journeymen or one of their son’s work, and not a part of the temple we are looking for.”
“How could it be? The temple resides in another land completely and you were witnessing its construction with your very own eyes, albeit just a boy, with your brothers by your side.”
The gold and silver glimmered from the ornate gate in the moist eyes of Cicero when they rise to meet her woman’s eyes.
”Hearkeneth and stab at my heart no longer. I know the location of the temple, and as for the reason that I do not follow my father’s wishes and worship the King, nor the Watcher; I would rather forget gladly.” He said with a quiet voice while moving his attention towards the gate. Helena would have liked to say something to comfort him, maybe take back her words, but she knew his inner workings all too well. Instead she inspected the gate very carefully.
After a moment passed Cicero turns to Helena aghast. “The gold and silver has been inlaid with a pleasing way and skill, but at the place of honor, where its owner’s name was engraved, it has been fouled; turned unrecognizable. Like a sordid rogue has stolen the precious metals.”
“But who would dare perform such an evil deed? Who would be such a vile villain that, as a guest, would violate a temple gate with such nefarious intent?” The very though made Helena shiver.
“Mayhaps not a guest, but an enemy.” said Cicero as he pushed his wrinkled hand on the door. It opened silently. They both entered.
Copacetic = jees
Cell (Far Fetched 17/18)
"I can hear her waining. This foresight mantra should not work here..."
The stairs went further up, further and further still. The iron railings carried them impossibly high, to the point that they disappeared beyond view. Details in the silver and gold inlays and reliefs of the banisters were intricate in detail. Cicero climbed the stairs and looked upon the next door landing. It looked the same than the ones they had passed before. It too was opulently ornamented by the smart hands of craftsmen with the same familiar iron studs and bronze hasps.
He looked downwards and saw the vestibule floor in the distance. When they had entered there had been only the stairway. No other way to take but the steps and the gate that they had passed… and the stairs. Reaching the first door they stopped and when Cicero was about to put his hand on the horsehead-knob, Helena said, “It is not very polite to open doors without introducing ourselves properly first. Declare our arrival to the master of the house?”
“You are right of course.”
So Cicero raised his voice and announced himself, the son of Jahat and his wife Helena had come for a visit. They waited for a moment without receiving an answer. Cicero repeated his message and they waited some more. The inside of the tower was cold and the only light came through the small holes in the walls. Helena looked at his attentively listening husband and put her hand on the door handle. At that moment Cicero whispered, “I heard something upstairs, an answer to our call. Let’s go, our host waits!”
They started ascending. Helena let her gaze linger for a moment at the first door’s decorations which had been abused like the ones outside. Probably at the same place that had spelled the owners' name.
Helena passed Cicero on the stairs and pulled him from the sleeve of his cloak. “You might want to call again. I’m beginning to think that this tower is abandoned and you just heard the echo of your own voice.”
“We must be patient, for I am sure that we are at the temple tower. And the one that lives here will receive us with open arms.” Ecstasy shivered over excitedly under the thin veneer of the man’s voice and frosty breath.
Cicero quickened his step and started to climb the stairs two at a time. Helena, being stronger, kept easily at pace with him.
“How is it possible that the towers base is here and not…” She let her voice succumb to a mumble for fear of insulting the man like she had done down at the entryway.
“This is the tower of the King, by my soul I’m sure of it. This tower was and is the tallest in the temple, but separated from its unity!” Cicero sighs almost out of breath.
“We don’t have to open any doors on our way; they are just chambers of the master. When we get upstairs all the answers will envelop us like finest silk.”
After saying this they rushed upstairs on the cedar-stairs filled with hope. Both had their own foreboding inside.
The journey was long, longer than any stairway ought to be. Still they continued their way, even as the sunlight was fading out of the cracks in the walls. Maybe the night was falling or the light was fading for a different reason? He was beginning to have a frightful thirst and his legs were demanding respite. Enthusiasm had got him to forget time and sanity until he’d reach his goal. He slowed his step and turned around to search for Helena. She was already by his side and not even panting. Helena did not seem to be tired at all despite their harrowing climb.
“Wife, do you have anything for me to drink? We have walked many hours and my mouth is parched like desert sand. Do we have anything refreshing, water or wine?”
“We don’t have any provisions, because the trek to the tower was shorter (that is wrong somehow?) than it has now shown itself to be, husband. I am also very thirsty and in need of rest.”
Cicero wiped his face with the back of his hand. Sighing once again he looked up and saw that they were not that far from the summit. Upstairs there was a door at the last landing.
And it was ajar more inviting than any invigorating drink a man’s soul could consume. "Ah! Higher, master waits" thought Cicero.
"What is happening!", Helena said as she followed.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”
― Elie Wiesel
Unfading Recollection (Far Fetched 18/18)
Narrator - Cicero
This is a fable that was once told me by a candle-light. I quite vividly remember laying down and feeling quite sick; of myself and also physically. As I strode and hoisted myself on a stool to stare at the mirror, I could see myself withering away. A paltry thing with a silver surface to me, but with its decorations and ornaments fit for the castle that was my abode. It is really me, not the mirror I’m telling you about.
What is my name?
The caretaker Milbith hoisted me up and bathed me when I soiled myself. And it happened all the time. It was war-time and there was no time for growing up. The silent history of the victor’s hue of things gone would erase us all from time, place, meaning…
What was my name?
Before Helena there was a woman; I think she might have been my mother. A willowy thing that spoke to me only by touch alone, she was ethereal and I now know that I was faé-touched. But that world sunk and I was left behind and grew strong. They gave me a name.
Then I carved my own. Again and again. Through sorcery I lived longer than one ever should, travelled far and wide, strayed away from the fights I could not win and ruthlessly took from those who called me pupil. I regret killing them for their secrets, but it still doesn’t matter. *wake up Cicero!”
Narrator - Helena
What is the essence of men?
So he met the fuck-face he calls Mark Antony and they’d gathered a sizeable amount of an army, both resorting to burned-earth tactics. Kind of a no-way situation out for both of them. Well, at least that is what I said when he first told me that he was “thing-king” at the time... They foolishly relied on magic; of all things. Puff-the-magic-dragon gonna save the victor today, kinda shit.
Well they both died at the battlefield. Mark, whose real name is Iblis by the way, just decided to be a giant dick about the death-thingy and… *It’s all perfect, the murals, I could wonder here for ages…*
Well Cicero died, I brought him back. I’ve told you this part already. I’m digressing anyway.
Narrator - Katelma
The bedroom is resplended with imagery and décor of all that one could, should or even should not desire.
There is a large circular opening in the ceiling. It should be dark outside, but it is just the sky up in there. Blue upon blue; with just a few wisps of smoke.
Mark comes in after them and his henchmen seize Helena instantly with chain and web. Cicero is oblivious to his surroundings, intent on staring at the hole.
Kneeling beside him, Mark breathes words into Cicero’s face, triumphant. He congratulates the slouching crumbled form on his successful plot to ambush Katelma. It would be out of the picture for some time still.
Raising his razor-like finger, he rips open Cicero's left nostril spilling a stream of blood over the shining stone masonry; and turns away angrily snarling and then sharply kicking a pedestal, cracking it in half. The splinters have no time to reach the floor before he holds up his ornate battle-claw in a “Do-it-now-motion.”
One of the men quickly comes over to gather the blood into a small watering can, tilting Cicero’s head backward just a … little… bit. It licks it lips, eyes wandering to the red pool gathering, like a rising tide, at their feet.
*“Wake up Cicero!”*
They start to ransack the place at leisure. Wings start to form on all of their backs. Most stop to look and touch. Mesmerized by the surroundings and changes all around them and within themselves.
Cicero whispers. His smile does not make Mark happy.
Narrator – Yours Untruely
What are you made of?
"Is it all you hoped for? This journey was always mine. You will find nothing you can use here. All that you are and I still can call you fool..." He had prepared for this for so long. And the enemy was within his grasp.
The Mark-thing lunges at Cicero shoving his minion with the blood-can away. It kicks Cicero to the floor. He bleeds, smiles; they lock eyes and he nods closing his. He clutches a shriveled piece of fabric from the enemy’s cloak in his hands.
She turns away and barrels through the one holding the net. She's out of the door of the pinnacle apartment in an instant.
The rest of the killers start screaming. No... squealing!
Narrator - Caroline
"Its gibbering form ripples the very air, heaving breaths creating odd angles and impossible geometry. One of Antony's men shrinks on his knees weeping and clawing at his face, the blood turning into cherry blossoms that fill the room with a fragrant smell, while another wanders towards the balcony, her intent clear. Suddenly her back is snapped backwards, breaking like stick. Her leering face between splintered doll-legs is a macabre grimace of bliss. All the faces that come out of the hole swirl into view, each more disturbing than the one that… and carry no resemblance to any emotion that should be etched in memory. Many of the men rip themselves apart starting at their wings. A flash of light embeds a flower into a man’s head. He sings. He’s still alive. Two people are trading body parts while playing chess with their intestines. Time starts to feel alive. It’s only been what… two weeks and I’ve hardly even though how well the rotten pears from that fruit bowl on the floor would go with my left hand. Tasty, I think and now hum to myself for hours. The hole is closing. It is coming here! This corner was safe! I was safe! I cannot tell you anymore, I’m the one trying to fall from the balcony. I yearn to dive away from the blue. The singing."
Narrator - ?
The stairway doors are all open and askew. Ripped from hinges. The staircase heaves like an animal breathing. That explains the masonry and the workers trapped in this spiral of dreams. Hah! More like a spiral of nightmares. His blood droplets are everywhere already seeping into the steps. Mark is running down the stairs. Not this time!
So old. Weary. Too slow.
Helena has looked into one of the corridors. She’s a statue frozen in horror. Hissing can be heard behind her stony form.
“Come closer and I’ll bite…”
Cicero shoots it through the head, then laying down his cracked mirror-mask, last relic left to him still. It spills on the floor, flakes like dying embers in the night.
He hugs Helenas husk.
She closes her eyes.
Warmth and vigor flow.
Young again. Mighty again.
Together again. Memories flood.
A new purpose. This must be what it feels like to be...
He stumbles and falls down at the sheer beauty of it. I was so wrong!
He severs his name from permanence. A name given is burden taken. No brand of power shall discover it now.
“And now I will remember all of my lives."
Exiting the Spiral he sees the enemy entering a portal raising his fist in a mocking salute.
"I will end you Antony!"
Hunt begins with a slow trot. They can be saved.