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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Burnt Fire

by Shulammite Sison

It was the forty-fourth day since our wedding when the lanterns glowed intensely. The sun procrastinated to shine over the fields of frozen grass. The ray of light flickered and grew dimmer by each countless spark of flames it shot out into the heavens. The days became unfair. Soon, the moon will have dominant control.
I gazed over the stars, pondering over the throne of the Creator. As the weight of the indigo sky pressed against my eyes, I whispered to the frigid breeze, “In due time, I will reach the altar of the rested souls.”
                The lids of my eyes grew heavy as the wax melted with the cascading shadows. It was then, when the demons seemed to have chosen me as their dinner. Unaware of the sudden change of the atmosphere, a subdued chant breathed into my ears. Hot air brushed across my face. The panting whispers stung my ears with its unbalanced pitch. Confused, and taunted by the sheer voices, I stood up in tremor.
                The grass folded beneath my feet. The sweeping sound of the grass scratched the chant’s clarity. I stood frozen, mute, keenly aware of the world, instinctive. I looked up, down, right, left, back; no one. A surge of strong presence then numbed me. With a blink of an eye, a malicious woman stood before me. She had the eyes of a serpent, burnt, and hollow. Her hair resembled hay, screamed onyx, and manifested a parched ocean.
 Lowering her jaw, she opened her mouth. A loathsome stench plastered the air. Without movement of her lips or tongue, she whispered in a staggering chant, “Your shadow is tainted. Your shadow is cursed! Your shadow is tainted. Your shadow is cursed!”
The crimson patches in her vile eyes extracted my soul. Before me, I saw my memories being torn out of my memory. Pure mists withdrew from my body. It was a smolder of gleaming stars and brilliant glitter. With pity, or mere pleasure, I was left with the memory and love for my wife. As the liquefied wax from the lantern flooded the fire, the women faded in with the obsidian twilight.
The clouds followed me in the sunrise of gloom and confusion. Pure despair delayed my regular pace. I sought my wife in our dwelling near the mountain of the olive trees. Across the stream, I saw her refilling the bucket with fresh water. With a smile, followed by a kiss, and supported by an embrace, I presented my return.  
The calves of our feet tightened, and our thighs were baked in the sun. Our simple house of stones was enough to sustain the life she dreamed of as a child. I made sure I was the husband that she has always envisioned in her lost times of reverie. Hand in hand, we made our way above the mountain leading to our home. Without expectations or possible known reason, we found three men roaming about in our house. In sudden chaos, I lost hold of her. As the son of men held her before me, I cried in my most strident voice.
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!"
Piece by piece I witnessed her lay bare before me. The sight of their hands gripping her skin to near suffocation was enough to devour my liver and skin. The shrill pain in my hollers was all that I had managed to do. Their laughter and pleasure soaked up the river of tears that she. Blood was now rushing down her legs. Our baby was dead.
The rusted nails that were pierced along my arms were now closely near the edge of my ripped flesh. The emotional pain that I felt was greater than the movement of my bones. I took the lives of the men who assaulted my love. Long after they were bits of corn shaped flesh, I proceeded to dig deeper in their soul. I bathed in the blood of the ones who murdered my wife. I did not stop till the very cell of their blood was tormented and deprived from the gift of life. My body was stained in blood, clothed with fresh fats, cursed, embodied in sin.
I kneeled in front of her. I became as fragile as glass with every sight I stole from her. She was perfect, vibrant, gifted with beautiful bone structure, luminous, a God. Her emerald eyes bursts with lands of dewy grass. Her smile is as venomous as poison. Now, I find myself engrossed by the love I should have never entered.
The back of my hands scrapped over the tattered floor as I dug my hands under her back, and lifting her up to where I cradled her. She laid there on my paper thin arms, dead.
"I'm here,” I whispered.  
The pupils of my eyes sank. Even the very tips of my hair felt the agony that follows with loss. My conscious said to cry, but the voices of my heart overpowered the voice of sin. A kiss was all I could afford, all that I owned.
 I stumbled across the path that proceeded to the olive trees. She lay lifeless on my shoulder. The dust rippled with every grievous step I took. As fire stroked through the sky that afternoon, and ashes clouded the sky, I died in most humid dessert. My tears stung like a million pierces from fangs. My flesh fell like that of a man of leprosy. It was only near nightfall when I realized I was sweating blood.
                I rocked back and forth till the last bit of flames suffocated in my misery. My vision faded, and the world became nothing but forgotten memories.
 "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

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