Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dido revisited

I have a question about this one. Do you know the story I have decided to re-tell? I only ask because, apparently, my teacher does not, this concerns me. Should it?

This is not finished, no, not at all.

The lock sounds like an explosion1 in her head as it slides into place. She rests on the coolness of the door waiting for the pain to pass. Long ago the queen ordered the conversion of this cave into her own place of retreat. One brass door opening into the mountain, double doors lead outside to the cliff, fire and sea. Hundreds of hours she has spent here. Watching the water vainly attempt to break down the rocks below is the only meditation she knows.

Slowly she makes her way to where Anna has lit candles, their light casting shadows on wall and floor. Her feet strike the damp mosiac floor, slow beating drums. Smoke from the fire outside creeps through the opening and into the cave, crawling up the walls only to dissipate high above leaving behind its bitter sweet smell. Dark, spicy and masculine.

She finds a hastily written parchment near the candles:

“My sister, my queen,

You will find some theriac on the table next to the pitcher of water. I noticed your pain when we met in your rooms earlier today. My potion should only be taken in small amounts, too much could prove fatal.

Everything you requested, all that I found, is near the fire, as you desired. Perhaps here you will find some comfort and closure.

I hope you will stay, one day forgive me.

Your sister, your servant,


She knows that she will not take the medicine, this needs to be felt, cherished even. Dido smiles. Anna always searched for comfort, even in the darkest of moments, especially for her beloved sister.

Her sister has done well. Next to the fire she has placed his effects in an orderly fashion. Sandals and sheets, his capes, cloaks and armor all separated and on display. At the end of the bench are his dagger and sword. The painting, commissioned by the queen herself, a man with his back to the sea, leans against the rock wall.

His dagger she places in her belt and absently fondles through the night as the fire burns and the piles, pieces of Aeneas, evaporate into smoke.

The fire is low, soft even. The moon is high, bright and almost full. Sailors would be safe on such an evening, if sailors there be. She feeds the fire long into the night; relishing the destruction of each item. Only while the pieces burn is there relief, then it is gone. Nothing remains where there once was flame.

As the painting turns to ash in the fire, her beautiful lover melting before her eyes, Dido removes the dagger from her belt and tosses it in the fire. Only now do the tears begin to silently roll down her face.

Once she was the flame, now, the nothing.


Jean said...

I love your writing!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kelly(Mom of 6) said...

I see a pattern....everything good is prefaced with..."something I haven't finished..." hmmmm. They are undeniably why are they not finished is my question. And I don't blow smoke up people's ass and I don't spend my time reading crap at this point in my my friend...what is the answer????

Jean said...

Merry Christmas!

Hope all is well.

Kelly(Mom of 6) said...

Your work is ...haunting...

Show in June 2007

Show in June 2007
Daughter of the Year!