In that corner

… Where shadow joins shadow, crouches another dark shape. As she emerges, her presence hits you like a wave of defiance, forcing you back a few paces.

The first thing you notice about her is her eyes. Gleaming like crystal clear rubies, they attack you like souls from an unknown world, willing you back while at the same time they beckon you closer. The wrath inside her, is thousands of bees trapped in a small metal box, echoing her fury, creating a low deadly growl in the back of her throat. Her lips are pulled back in a threatening show of disgust and anger, leaving her teeth revealed like sharp pike tips forged from the rarest of diamonds. There she stalks round and round, daintily, dangerously, graciously and deadly.

There and then I lost my heart to this mysterious mistress of darkness whom I was sent to guard in her prison of eternity.

Touching the cold barrier between my love and me, an electrifying wave of hate and despair courses through my every limb, making me draw my hand back to my side. So intoxicated am I with this creature that I drop into a low crouch myself, my eyes never leaving her. I watch her closely and see that my actions have brought a hint of caution and uncertainty to her movements and I feel a faint flare of hope in my breast.

I start to whisper to her as a lover would to his love. Her ears prickle with every word and her strides lose some of their confidence. Seeing the effect my words have on her, I keep on whispering soothing words to her until suddenly she stops and a curtain of clouds fall down over her eyes as if entering some unknown world. She gazes in my direction though it is not I who hold her attention, but all the while I keep on whispering, listening, watching.

In a matter of seconds her eyes go dark and her lips pull back in a resonant snarl. In one fluid movement she lunges herself at me. Under her tormenting glare, the barriers between us appear as fragile as icicles. I can see now that my words of affection have triggered something inside her, some unseen switch. Like a silent movie I watch emotions pass over her features, not knowing what to make of them. At first I see a severely deep sadness that leave my eyes swimming with unshed tears. Then her breathing quickens and anguish is etched in every groove of her face, then comes a look of desperate need to be rid of the anguish, then guilt, fear, distress and at last she lowers her head in surrender. This cascade leaves me feeling a fool, swaying slightly and breathlessly, trying to stand my own. But then she jerks her head from side to side, desperately clearing her mind. Her head then snaps up and she fixes me with those eyes. There she stands, as the goddess she is, sky’s worth of clouds streaming from her nostrils against my face like a nippy winter breeze. Her eyes, mere inches from my own, gleam beautifully. I am mesmerized.

Light footsteps and snatches of mandarin snap me out of my trance. They were coming for her. In my heart I knew that this beauty was not to be cornered, this presence not to be held. Without thinking about my actions I grabbed the key from around my neck, unlocked the cage, stood back and fell to my knees, lowering my head in a confusing blend of shame and awe. After a while I felt that familiar winter breeze nipping at the back of my neck. Willing myself to raise my head I found myself face to face with her. Fear and adoration surged through my every vein leaving me staring like a simpleton.

In a whirl of shadow I felt her leave, leaving behind in me a darkness that can now never be removed.

*Simone Troskie 2009


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