Prisonic Fairytale

March 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm (Angels, Halves, Out) (, , , )

The stones were scarred here, masses of concrete in the distance built up into grey, oppressing Ts. Dry, delicate branches that were once tipped with succulent fruit turned to rot, and the berries became fibrous husks. Here, the faces of deer were human, vicious smooth and red. And here, Eleanor fed me the machine, pushed pins between my lips and never once broke the skin. We lay side by side on our rock. Nightly, the frost pulled our skins tight to our bones as Eleanor taught me the cruelty of the stars.

Tonight I hardly hear, the ropes at my ankles have cut deep into my flesh. The deer have started to lap at the wound, their cold noses buried into my skin as the nip and lick. Eleanor can see this, her dark lips curl back like smouldering petals and I glimpse a blaze of smiling teeth.

“She is a whore” murmurs a voice in the hollow of my ear. It is Aylogue the scarlet mantis, it is Aylogue my oldest friend.
“A hoar, a hoar, an old hare hoar.” He scuttles across my cheek and rests upon my nose, pink, perfect round eyes so close to mine, “Our little sister won’t put herself away. Too stubborn to close her brain or cover her breast – her wits are outlandish.” The sky has become lighter and mottled, it looks dirty. Aylogue rolls his bulbous eyes to the clouds solemnly, “You never write me letters anymore.”

My hands are bound, old friend. It is all I can do to lie here, and sometimes think.
Most often, I think about the Autobahn. I remember the path it cut against the tedious green, the smell of concrete grazed with rapid panic. Some walked upon it unawares and turned to nothing. Not dust, nor a smear or a cracked man’s shell; they disappeared completely.

“The Autobahn is gone, my sorry one, the lesser machines along with it. With so many hundreds turned to vapour, the earth shattered it with shoots and roots, all forest and thicket again. It happens in circles, while you lay on your back and viddy times past. When we peel back the angel, out crawls the limbed beast.”

You are not a prophet, Aylogue. You are a scarlet mantis, and I want to leave this rock. The deer smile so sadly here and I do not like their look. Old friend, your talk of beasts frightens me. Our letters were so kind, once.

“And I remember when you were more than a sorry sack of straw. Then, your life was more than another lonely affair between a woman and her marionette.” He climbs upon my brow and stoops down to meet first one eye, then the other. His antenna brush against my eyelashes. “I see. Eleanor as fed you the machine. You soft flesh and blood can endure such strange tortures, provided that you are promised a little comfort. It is your gilded future that cushions this terrible grind.”

A clamour of rooks are cawing in the dawn madness. Wood pigeons, sparrows and finches, I remember a chorus of sweeter voices. Only rooks and ravens are left to tear savagely what little meat they can from these tangles of dry grass. Horned shrews, worms, dark, scuttling lizards; all things bony and dry. Frenzied in the light of the red rising sun, they are found in clamours and murders pecking dying trees to pieces. At night they roost upon the Ts to admire this moor, their battered nest. It is so beautiful, it is devastating. I remember Lylando, Ayolgue’s magpie friend. If beady Lylando could only quench his appetite for mantis, the two may be have become closer than brothers.
Your voice is clicks and murmurs, little more. Over this crazy dawn I can barely hear a word, climb back into my ear and whisper again.

Behold! Eleanor dances. The latent tar of the autobahn that rises with Eleanor’s seasons, so rises my poor lungs as if I spit colour into the air- And I wish that she had never put me here, or fed me that damnable machine! Today it strikes me as wiser to live far from her kindness.

Yesterday she took a fawn with the face of a beautiful woman and held it close to mine. It sat wide-eyed in the crook of her elbow and trembled, its dark lips parted in terror and confusion. I had never heard a deer cry before; I could never have imagined such an ugly sound. The tears when they came were like its face, a bright crimson. Supporting the fawn against her breast with one forearm, she took my jaw in the other hand and squeezed gently. If I did not comply I feared she would slip her hand to my throat; I swallowed. The tears tasted like the juice of rotting berries. I remember, juice from autumns ago, a staggering fawn (it’s shining eyes, wide lips, early pubescent horns) under old fruit it would wilt, legs wilt, stumble, crack.

The meadow, the dark eyes of a randy hare, the moon is useless, the earth is dull a resilient, our mother is gone. Gone and we are grown, tried and pining, we (Eleanor) shape the mud between our fingers, roads grow pure out of the meadows. Meadows of shit. Help, we are living in the bowels of a dying man! He doesn’t know us, he cannot feel us, our earth is humid. The shell of the machine, I think I am the shell, am the shell, am the shell, am the shell of each machine we have ever known.

Not everyone lays bound to have their heart rubbed raw by the rough sunlight. She is such a different creature to my own sorry wreck of skin, my bloated gut heavy with metal machine, my withered limbs spread idle and compass like.
“Oh, poor martyr. Oh, blessed spread-eagled star. My pity and admiration, truly.”
That poor patience of yours. It wears so thin, it scrapes against this weary ear. And yet so like a brother you are, I let you make a bed of it!

My live is riveted with compassion. Aylogue makes a home of my body and Eleanor dotes upon me tirelessly. She smiles prettily as she mops my midday brow, listening intently to my every groan. She brings me what shrivelled fruit she can, the more I starve the more she picks, and lays it beside me with such tenderness. As I strain against these bonds to pluck the up most berry, she strokes my hair soothingly and whispers encouragement, tongue darting softly against my ear.

Aylogue, did you hear that scrape? Things clatter a clutter in the nearby forest.
Someone has put the metal birds back. Wire contraptions, simplistic and delicate, resembling birds only in that they appear to nest in trees. They are, on the whole, spherical devices made with curved and jagged pieces of scrap metal held into their roosts by heavy chains that allow them to bounce and spin amongst the branches. These mechanical animals remain in their trees until rust causes them to either crumble or seize. Eventually, they will fall from their mother-chains and become forgotten, metal carcasses on the forest floor. But whoever used to put these contraptions in their lofty chain nests I never knew. They stopped replacing their fallen birds years ago, yet this morning I was met with their metallic melodies and scraping chirps. The wildlife of this wasteland is returning, slowly.

“Never. This forest had nothing before she, before the rocks. Quiet, muddied. The deer were dumb and expressionless once, the birds were fragile. Look at the glint in Eleanor’s whisky eyes.”
Whisky? Whisky sounds beautiful.
“A heady drink of fermented and fortified hops. Causes dryness, disillusion and sickness.”
It sounds vile. “It is vile, it is the purest of man’s merriment, drunk beyond those Ts.”

How fine it must be for these men who live beyond the stones to have both delight and sorrow in a single glass.
I know that one day Lylando will pull my last true friend out of my ear, leave my head still and silent. I shall become more picture than man without your clicking whispers. Aylogue, are you safe? Speak, I can hardly hear you breathe. If I did not fear missing you, I could rejoice in the negative space between clouds and eternal stars tonight.
I remember something, friend. Dots and lines and some instrument to make noises. Was this paper, Aylogue? Did I ever know paper? I have heard of it, I want to use it, is it a container? Could you keep whisky in paper?

Lines appear in my thoughts.
Perhaps the machine Eleanor has fed me is a metal bird? I could not stand that, those slight wires, thin steel of something that may as well have been alive, more alive than I ever was upon this rock.
Aylogue, brother, even the stones are scarred here, what chance do I have?
“None. It will not grow back, the machine is in your belly, stewing like a medicine, and Eleanor is smiling.”


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