There were worse curses

There were worse curses

. . . writing and images by @d-pend . . .


There were worse curses

I walked along the trail which I had traversed so many times I would not dare attempt to count the instances. It wound from our cabin in the sparse woods, alongside the plains now parched by summer sun, back into woods (these thicker) and down to the creek on the edge of the property. Yes, many times had I come this way from earliest boyhood, though tonight was the suggestion of a haunted melody playing about my imagination as I walked through the thick summer evening. It was not as though I heard anything, really — there was only the scuffling of my work boots and the trickle of the stream, a whine of mosquito as it passed — perhaps it was merely the relative absence of the cicada's incessant daytime wailing that caused me to believe I heard a lonely dirge.

Though hear it I certainly somehow did as I stooped to deposit the faintly radiating ingot of mixstone in its puzzle-place, the pyramid stack I was tasked to complete below and before me. It was — it was as if song seeped from the planet itself — some divinity trapped in the pummelsome gravity of Earth and yet unbothered by the density of its burial. I heard intervals described in that strain that defied my meager understanding of music and knew it to be of an alien scale: bizarre, plaintive, and microtonal, reaching out across space to inhabit my fancy.

I smiled to myself then. Mother was telling me, ever and again, not to permit myself to drown in the dark waters of my mental ocean: that unusually active mind I had, perhaps, inherited from a lost generation who had for their occupation things of the mind. How the world had changed from the stories I heard about ancient times! At least, for those like me. For such as I were not the things of mystery, nor the dread unscrutable. It was the place of a laborer to labor — though secretly I liked to think of myself as a great puzzle-completer. For example, such the pyramid of inactive mixstone ingots before me was, in this surreptitious concept of mine. Within this conception, life was ever bestowing upon me puzzles to complete and I derived the utmost satisfaction from solving them, even if I couldn't speak of it to anyone.

I began the slightly uphill journey back to our cabin. I had only to complete three more such journeys to perfect the tip of the pyramid of stones. I tried to keep my mind on my work, yet it was like plunging a fishing net into thin air expecting to catch a fish. There was simply nothing there for it to sink into; nor less any tasty morsel to seize upon. Perhaps, I mused, it was the peculiarly overbearing humidity of this night that brought the melody to me. What... what if, the atomic spirits of the air and of the waters were mingling in such a way as to entice those of the earth to loosen their hold on whatever being I believed sang to me from below — and between the crevices of their guard brought to laxity by the etheric cavorting floated the snatches of this exotic symphony?

I sighed then. I simply could not help it. While I walked beside our crops I tried very hard to think of nothing at all as Jed had admonished me to practice, but I found myself thinking "I must think of nothing, I must think of nothing" instead of actually thinking of nothing. What a difficult thing it was not to think! At least, for one such as me, who was cursed, perhaps, to hear the forbidden ditties of other dimensions in the smoke-thick night. I chuckled softly to myself. There were worse curses in the world.


writing and images by @d-pend
published to Proof of Brain community on HIVE
on August 2nd, 2021.
images created with Deep Dream Generator.
1 — "Cartoon-idyllic rail high angle" from original photography
2 — "Huesome cracks" from original photography
3 — "Sing sing sing the bird" from public domain photograph


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