Saturday, August 4, 2012

Orpheus in Decline

It was the kind of music that painted the image of eyes running with blood, having dried up the tear ducts long ago.
His was a home of dust and non-life, built with perfect acoustic resonance in a time when the world clambered to hear each note he struck. Cursed melodies now poisoning the air, making willows of the forest surrounding.

Folk would say "Follow the forest until you find the gray leaves. That's where Orpheus lives."

And there he sits, and plays. Growing his melancholy patch. Lyre fused to his hands by mud and grit, strings caked in filth, seeping and infecting stale, slashed fingertips.

Songs soar out like carrion birds, like life-seeking missiles, tongue twitch, flex, spit, and bitter lyrics sharpen the teeth of this now fanged minstrel.

Though keen his voice, his image is a reflection of the Hell he traversed. Face lost in matted hair, fingernails obscene in their hues, cracked and jagged from striking strings - his skeletal body occasionally visible through holes in the rags we would once have called finery.


Her name escapes his lips at last, the inevitable destination of his daily ritual.

He no longer weeps or shivers at the sound of those syllables, though he manages with one voice to deliver them with a polyphonic weight

He plays now, forgoing sustenance or any idea of care. He plays as punishment.

He failed her.

When asp's venom took her on their wedding day, he sang sorrow, played truth from his lyre
And the underworld wept for having claimed her
Hades, in unprecedented sympathy granted Orpheus his opportunity to bring her back
"Play your song, little Orpheus. She will follow you above."
The sadistic stipulation stated that were Orpheus to look back and see her before emerging
She would be lost forever.

And when his patience broke, and his head turned back, he gazed upon the last image of her face he would see

And he read disappointment. In his mind, her lips spoke "You have failed me" Before her visage evaporated, and he was left alone.

Orpheus descended into hell to retrieve his love. Only his body made it back out.

She was the dance that made his music necessary
The harmonizing beauty that paired so correctly to his melody

And her absence has left rust on his strings, locked notes out of key

But he plays for her, and will continue to do so until they are reunited

Until then, he simply, slowly crumbles.

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