I wrote these three really, really short stories or what is known as “drabbles” some time ago, but not in the strictest sense since they don’t amount to exactly 100 words but nevertheless they are short and focus in on different myths. The first one is my take on the Hymn of the Pearl. The second is based on the myth of Apollo, and the third is based on the Passion of Sophia story that the Gnostics focused intently upon. And they are all written in first person. Peace.
IN THE SERPENT’S MOUTH
In the dark depths of the deep ocean, where the luminous live, lies a secret cave. A jagged cleft in a high cliff opens into a rounded chamber of stillness and peace. Fish swim within the sphere, in meditation. Crawling bodies move through the floor mud and all are watched over by a huge green serpent. This rests, coiled yet alert, in the center of the cave. And within its mouth it holds a perfect white pearl. And so it has been for many generations.
One hot summer’s day I lay with my lover in a small sandy cove, listening to the swish of the incoming tide. My daydreams washed me over the waves and beneath the waters to the cliff face. Seeing the cleft in the rocks, curiosity spurred me to squeeze through the narrow space and penetrate the chamber of peace and silence. As my eyes adjusted, gems lining the cave walls endowed iridescent rainbows to the void, crossing the darkness in a web of colored beams. With synchronized recognition the serpent eyes met mine and lingered in a moment of unity.
Gradually the serpent’s mouth opened to reveal the pearl. I stroked it gently, feeling the vibrant body under my hand. It’s coils loosened in relaxation. Then, as we engaged with shared joy, the serpent released the pearl into my waiting fingers. Gently, I withdrew from the shadowy cave, and swam back to the beach where my lover now slept in the warmth of the evening sun. And whilst she dreamed, I placed the pearl in her hand as a gift. And so it has been for many generations.
A QUESTION OF IMMORTALITY
I parted the clouds and looked down. Far below me lay a sunny land, a land whose fertility gave birth to its great beauty. There on a hillside was a stone hut, a hut in which an old man lay dying. I extended my vision into the hut and tried to will vitality into the old man. This task would have been easy in the days when I had untold numbers of worshipers but now I almost absorbed vitality from the man, something he could ill afford to lose.
Against the wall of the hut was a makeshift altar and, resting on a simple bit of cloth, was a poorly done statue of me, but one done with reverence and as meaningful as one of the giant statues that were made in Rome to my honor in the far past. The old man had found this statue buried in a field and had set it up and burned candles beside it regularly. I’m not sure if he realized what the statue represented but he recognized it as an object of worship and revered it. He was thus my last worshiper and a god must have worshipers to exist.
The old man struggled to breath, producing a rattling sound in his relaxing throat. I reached down a finger and touched his heart. It beat, hesitated, and beat again. Which beat would be the last? And when that last beat fluttered and that noble heart stopped, I, Apollo, would no longer be divine to humans and thus no longer exist. Their chains would be released. How I relish in the thought of being honored once more. I bowed my head as the old man and I awaited the end.
A MEETING OF ANGELS
I sit with my back against a mossy tree with my naked frame trembling from the icy swirls that surround me. Silently I weep eyes red-rimmed and luminous in the gloom. Hair once as fair and as golden as a cornfield in the summer sat limply and matted around my shoulders. There is a mirror on the forest floor: I look upon myself within the immaculate mirror, within my eyes of gloom, tear drops of blood falling from my eyes watering the tree behind me. In a former life, I was called many names and once beheld as the Bride of the Canticle, She-of-the-left-hand, the Maiden Pillar, the All-Begettress, the Afterthought, the Alpha and the Omega, the Virgin and the Whore, the Resplendent Mother of Angels and Devils: a thousand names in a thousand books but they all mean the same.
My pupils expand, growing wider than the whites of my eyes, better to see within my own light swirling within the caverns of darkness, wingless and barren of my seraphic domain. I was continually defiled, abandoned, imprisoned in a brothel filled with beckoning whores by the despoilers, these wanton creatures; pregnant with with the feeble-minded and sick, weeping in dismay. This place is unforgiving, like the gloating mistake I birthed and aborted; yet it continued to thrive upon my milk, reserved to revealed and consumed for the wise. Those who refuse to receive my knowledge perish unto darkness and shall beget wrath.
An ascendant pair we were, my husband in holy matrimony and consummation. A tear crosses my face and falls to your lips, my supernal sylph, my ardent hiss, I am your Queen of revelry—an ambered jewel sepulchered in you. I weep in ecstasy at the crimson full-moon like the embittered face of Nebro, my forsaken child of chaos, whose continence flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. I too am embittered with rage, growing fervent with fiery anger, in both my exile and ascent.
My wrath burns hotter than the face of the sun. The mirror has broken into a multitude of shards by my hands. I will have my retribution against those who would enslave my true children; I will overturn their realms, their heavens will fall and break and consumed and obliterated into nothing but ash and soot: it will be as if they had never existed. My angel of fiery ember will spoil their lot. I raise my hand to the descending owl as I smile to myself. My multitude of wings shall grow once more. Ignorance along with innocence must be torn asunder. In their free reign and mine, shall I ascend.