Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Chapter Two: Metamorphosis

Released into the harsh realities of the world once again, GreyZelda was uncertain which way she was to go. Protected for many years by Sir Mulch and Lady Crow, her senses were now aflutter with the electric ring of the firmament. As incertitude swept through her, she began to run down a one-way thoroughfare, which appeared bright enough to present the illusion of safety. Yet with each progressive step the lane darkened, and, sensing an impending shadow pressing upon her, she ran faster. Down the corridor hideous bystanders, grimacing with fearful glee, flailed arms that begged of her to fall in line and join their cloudy ranks of indestinction. Her instinct drove her on. She ran, laboriously, from the grasp of the silhouettes now engulfing any light into dimness. Darkness overcame her avenue. Vacuous silence shrouded her. Out pealed a scream.

With each step she neared the span of an impenetrable webbed fence no less than ten feet high. How to scale this obstacle? she mused. Suddenly, within a yard of her sure demise, she felt a stirring within her pocket and remembered her dear companion - the little flea with which she had been sent forth as a talisman-guide from Mulch and Crow. He was reminding her of his residence. She reached inside and brought out the minute creature. The wee flea was named VernonVirgil - Vernon, for the quiet vitality in which he lived his days, and Virgil, after the exiled Roman poet who lead Dante through the Circles. Recalling some forgotten advice her parents had given her of the flea, she cupped her friend in hand, bent her ear down, and whispered words unheard by men, and shan't be repeated today. Nodding in determination, she plunged, headlong, upon the cords of web with shadows encircling. In an instant, VernonVirgil exploded forth into a parliament of rooks, whose sure claws weaved around the fingers of GreyZelda, lifting her beyond the perimeters of the wall, beyond all buildings, street cars, pavement, and the everreaching beams of the city's lights . . .

GreyZelda awoke from her dreams of soaring, unable to discern reality from unconsciousness. It seemed the ground beneath her was bubbling with molten liquid. Her slow exiting sleeping visions revealed a transformatory upheaval of the world as she had known it. She gracefully gave way to her destiny and remembered her dear flea friend and wondered if he was happier flying with the rooks.

Her mind relinquished its battle, and gave her up to a hypnotic wave below. Behind her irises, in the darkness of familiar sleep, GreyZelda saw a strange, but calming face with weary eyes. The face told her what paths lay before her. There was no mistaking that a reckoning was coming. She continued to sleep in the presence of her dream guest, and it watched her sleeping for many days, when she finally and fully awoke. She now felt no fear for what she had been through, nor fear of what was to come. This new place with the kind face was different. She found herself in a kingdom - a place that endured history by embracing its impoverished terrain. Her host and the humble, sad face were in her sights. She was surprised to see that his body was that of a brown, segmented insect. Spindly legs trembled slightly. His look was compassionate, yet repulsive. He spoke to her in broken gargle and said, "My name is Gregor Samsa . . ,"

(written by C. Riter)

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