Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Barachois (postmodernist flash fiction)
Braced in shadows, lost in mist, I wandered lonely. My feet sunk in mud, clattering against the cobbles, and I felt within and without. My stomach heaved, and I stumbled forwards, but all that came out was laughter. I could barely see what was about me, until I set foot within it.
It was high, those vaulted heavens, their sky a speckled granite. Staring at it, I leaned so far back I fell to the floor beneath me. My head slammed down, my breath caught, and the speckles swum like stony stars. Then a hand held out, and I dragged myself to my feet to shake it. Or perhaps it helped me to my feet: it really is hard to tell in these situations.
Greetings then, as greetings usually come, and just as useless as greetings usually are. Afterwards the hand, now seemingly familiar to either myself or its supposed owner, tugged gently, leading me like a rabid sheep down halls of liquid stone splashing underfoot. Gargoyles spun down from the heavens, their gaze dragging me down and their claws rending; their gaze rending and their claws dragging me down.
I could see the ribbed roof of the building heaving far above mel like breaths, or perhaps sobs at their children’s descent. Throughout all this the guiding hand shone like a torch, leading me until… clack. Dry land.
Hollowed and hallowed, I collapsed to my knees, and the gargoyles that had so bebothered me passed harmlessly o’erhead. I bowed, the floor a slab beneath my body. The hand vanished into darkness, its torch light bobbing into extinguishment. But it was unneeded; the figure in front of me flared like a beacon. As their words washed over me like a siren’s song upon the beach, a lighthouse, I keeled over, and was drawn gently into their lapping bay.
- End -