Hair Down

Long ago, they say, there once was a fair maiden, whose shining black hair flowed from atop her crown past her soles below. Long it spread, far and wide, covering all the land; trees and rivers, mountains and valleys, every hovel of every village, every square of every city. Even their capital lay under its silk-smooth cover. Men, women, children and beasts were tangled in its supple touch. One by one they drifted into that sweet oblivion that is sleep. A scent of fresh flowers filled the air. Bliss, o bliss! Soon, the land was quiet under the endless mane. Now, she stands alone, amid a sea as black as a starless night; she combs it gently, slowly. A lover’s caress every night. Dreaming, yearning, of growing her hair just a little bit more. Just a bit more. A bit more. More. More. More.


Hungry Strings

Ansalda plays her violin in the deserted central plaza at her town’s centre. Wearing a simple white dress, her red hair flutters with the Autumn wind. Invarguntosh, the name of her town, a place where crows, of plumage so black they swallow the Sun’s dim light, hang heavy on bent, crooked trees. Here, no leaves ever bloom. She plays alone, a mournful tune that no one but her own weary soul, hears and laments.

The sky is dim
And I have come
With no more tears
My life undone

The furtive shadow of a stray, brown cat darts furtively back and forth among the statues of the plaza. It was the only curious companion that would dare thread upon the cracked  floor of tiled stones, dotted with monuments erectec to dead men, long forgotten.

Yet a smile remains
In my wounded heart
We shall rise someday
From this endless dark

A smile plays placidly over Ansalda’s lips and with a flick of her wrist, the melody of her music shifts to something more lively, more pleasant. Now the plaza begins to fill with a bit of color and candor. In the distance, birds chirp and sing back to her strings vibrating, wings beat and rush the milky-white sky.

Come my friends
Our time is counted
Death will come
But not today

Several birds of red, brown and blue, circle around the plaza, a blur of color and sound. They home in and land on the heads and arms of the statues that laid abundant there; Ansalda’s song pleased them as chirps of excitement filled their small chests, jumping back and forth with screeching delight.

Not today
Not today
We celebrate
Today today!

The plaza slowly grows in attendance as the forest surrounding quiet Invarguntosh begins to heed the call of Ansalda’s violin. A pack of grey and brown wolves, tongues lolling, pad their way close to her, keeping a distance as their orange eyes pierce her with curiosity; mice and squirrels chitter and dart across the floor, keeping away from the wolves, while forming half a circle next to Ansalda, jumping in uncontained joy, even the great grizzly bear, the black death around these parts, lumbers entranced, until it rests a few meters from Ansalda’s small figure, she is already spinning while she continues to play. More animals came, the forest chorus grew. Her violin was laughing with every note. Bringing joy and unity to the animals that had gathered. Ansalda’s smile grew a bit more, a ray of the pale Autumn sun glinted on her mouth, two fangs peeked briefly, as her smile grew some more.

Yet on your wake
Many will wonder
How did this pass?
A tragic ocurrence

Ansalda reached a fervent pitch in her song, as all the animals gathered frolicked and reveled in frenzy abandonment. The tune had touched their savage souls.

Never forget
Always remember
A wolf lies in the corner
Waiting always to devour

The violin screeched to a halt and just like that, the spell was broken. All the animals, at first confused, were startled to find themselves among other species, in the middle of a human settlement, before they noticed her, and how she had changed. With roar, screech, yelping , they all flew off, scampered, ran, jumped and some even buried themselves underground. But they were always too late.

The worm digs deep
The dragon flies high
Now you know for sure
Winter is here to stay

When she is finished, no animal was left alive. A mountain of bones of all shapes and sizes now rests on the grassy ground, bleaching under the Autumn sun. Ansalda gives her lips a satisfied lick, blood smeared over her face. Her appetite was satiated once more; first the townpeople, then these animals. Soon, she would grow hungry again, but that did not matter now. Still smiling, she resumes her playing.

All is gone
We are dust
No one left

To cry for me.