Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Strange Fruit of Paradise (Part Four)

It was early in the morning and the moisture in the air was still thick bringing drifting odors into Ovolon's nostrils. He stoop up from the rock he was sitting and took a stroll around the area, stopping casually to examine his surroundings. Downhill he could see the Great Path passing between the hillsides which formed it, making it bend like a snake heading towards the stony mountain gorge which led away from the familiar meadow. He didn't know what was beyond it. He wanted to go, wanted to know, but he had always postponed this. Fear of the unknown maybe.

There were rumors; rumors which said of another world lying at the end of the Great Path. From time to time he had contemplated the possibilities, looking at the sky and making all these incomprehensible images appear in his head. No it wasn't fear of the unknown, he knew this. He was actually finding all this exciting and a part him wanted to believe.
It was sloth and an unwillingness to to break his little comfortable bubble he had created for himself. His minimum effort way of life had led him in a state of tepidity which made him settle and compromise to the least of new experiences. He knew that too, but he wouldn't admit it out loud.
I just need a nudge that's all, he thought. Where is she?

She arrived shortly after, hopscotching across the field not noticing a thing around in her. Things! Many new things to find. Gnomes wrapped in ribbons, trouser wearing stilts, houses made of ash and mist. Lost in vivid daydreaming, she didn't notice Ovolon standing on top of the hill.
“Hey!” Ovolon shouted and waved at her.
She stopped and looked up.
`Oh, nice you're here. Come down and let's go, we must hurry.”
He grabbed his backpack and his bow and slide down the hill right next to the girl.
“What's the rush? It's still very early, we have all day.” he said and smiled at her a good-morning grin.
“It's just the right time. I know, trust me” she replied in an unconvincingly sincere tone. “Isn't that true Mr. Hummingbird?”
The blue bird flew above their heads and made a couple of circles in the air towards the high gorge.
“Fair enough.” he said. They were here after all and if now was the moment why wait?
“You know there are things over there that can hurt us. Are you ready for this?” he asked her in turn.
“Ready as ever. We can think about it all day or we can go” she said and nodded at him with anticipation.
After a couple of moments of consideration Ovolon said:
“All right.”
“Is that a yes?”
“Blinkingly blissful blossoms!” she cheered “Off we go then”

                                                                      * * *

They traveled along the Great Path and towards the gorge that separated them from the other side.
The passage to the end of the world.
What is an end to a world? How does anyone define it? What happens to the matter which ends there, does it transform into something else? Is that else visible and could I... be in it? Chills waved down Ovolon's skin. The state they were in was unreal, he couldn't actually believe he was walking those steps. And yet, he kept a firm pace and didn't show a sign of his inner hyperactivity.
The colossal gorge now was nearing and they could sense the dominance of the old granite rocks towering above the clouds. Rock; upon rock; upon rock; Hiding the sky and sending looming shades above their heads. Nothing passed through that wall; it even blocked the sun rays from reaching the narrow opening stretching to the far side.
There was light coming from the other side. It was dim and away, but they could see it.
They stopped at the base of the gorge and looked up at the two sides of the wall which contained them. They were out of dark rock and covered in wet green moss. Mold dripped from above where the two sides merged to form a toothy ceiling with mossy stalactites. A colony of upside sleeping squallors was hanging there slightly adjusting in their places. The air smelled of mushrooms and things that grow in shadows.
They apprehensively tried some steps inside choosing carefully their footing through the rocks and the vines and the thorns spreading under their feet.
Such a place that is. It's dark and probably dangerous, but I guess it has it's reasons. A purpose for it's existence and a reason for us to cross it. Thought the girl gazing at the luminous plants which grew inside the cracks of the walls. Plus the smells are interestingly strong.
Both of them were still trying to adapt to the new environment when a loud roar came from inside the rocks. The whole gorge echoed in the sound and small pieces of stone fell on their heads as the walls started to move. The walls gradually shifted and reformed shaping two stony faces with black hole eyes and cave-like mouths. One on the left and one on the right wall.
Ovolon and the girl froze in place holding their breaths.
A few tormenting seconds passed until the noise ceased and the face on the right wall spoke.
“This is the realm of Stone Markus.”
When he spoke it boomed like an earthquake as he protracted the words which were coming with struggle out of his mouth.
“He is asleep at the time. You may proceed.”
“Oh the serendipity” added the left wall face with a colorless tone.
And they remained silent.

The blue hummingbird guided them through the rest of the gorge flying before them and warning them of steep steps. They both followed in silent fear that in any moment the guardians of the gorge would withdraw their decision and make the walls close in and crush them.
“Serendipity.” murmured Ovolon in introspection as he saw the light at the end draw near.

                                                                      * * *

In the starry moonless sky the milky way spread above them like a white rainbow merging with the Great Path in the distant horizon. Their fire seemed like a burning cherry on an overly large cake out of sand and dirt. They had a lot of way to go yet.
At least their backs were now looking the gorge behind them and their eyes were fixed on the spiked roast slowly blushing above the coals.
“Well I can't say it's all that different on this side.” laughed Ovolon.
“See, it wasn't so terrible after all.” answered the girl and got ready for dinner.

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