An excerpt from Alchemycal Memory.
By: Sean Duffield
Book 7, Part III: Beasts Wearing the Pelts of Humans
A thousand pardons of sunlight permeated the close knit synthetics of her morning window’s curtain dance. They curled and whirled in the lent swirls of UV spectrum fanatics wrapped in wine and red dresses and a penchant for mischief. They lulled her sleeping eyes back into dreams that would fade or disappear upon reawakening. The fantasies that horse riders could drum up, under whips and torn cuffs, under factual trophies and fictional names several syllables long on the newspaper’s page. They were a thousand pounds of furious finessing and they drove Anabeila’s eyes to close as the hooves drove further from the sand and closer to her mind. Warm. Shoulders. So many hands high.
Culminating fascinations on the cornerstone of vision’s eye. A happening of natural design. The armies of robed botanists marching in a single file line. Amongst the Bodhi trees a flower licks sunlight, dripping with nectar, sweet pollen, semen from the cosmic wasp left on the entrance to doorsteps and doorways. Gates. Keys. Fog. Define.
They marched and sentinel sentiment drew the closed fist tighter to wrist, completing actions in four-four time. Fur laced mongrels under satellite iron ore hold it. Golden. From nectarine necks carved out. It falls out. Placed in a jar. To cover the scent of cosmic radiation.
The birch wood bric-a-brac. Stronger formulas wait behind mathematicians walls. Where does the time go?
Anabeila reaches out. Where has the time gone?
Atomic clocks making sounds somewhere.
What time is it now?
“Anabeila! What time is it now?” Cried a doting mother’s carefully chosen vocal chords, casing rhetorical questions in thoughts of her own.
“It’s five o’clock.” Returned Anabeila. Don’t answer. It’s rhetorical.
“Where has all your dream time gone? Down the drain, I imagine.” Said the mother in another room.
“No… no. I still have time.”
“You don’t. You’ll be late for temple. Notum requires you there on time. You’ve none left to waste!”
Water blips pooled and drove echoes in her perspectives. Anabeila carved up the blankets she rested upon. Scooping them into piles beneath knees and sundresses. Her eye dew colouring patterns together in geomantic rituals beyond the eyelids that hung droopily from carried on facades.
She stifled a curled up neonate, tail thick beneath heels driven into waists. Hair thrown out on all sides, mistaken for shadows from above. Crevices of pillow fights. The sun still parading about the curtains that waved morning doves at her window spread straight lines perpendicular across her entire stature. Carved stone in museum windows. Censored. She wrestled with internal thought. Jaws and fig tree gods. Then they blipped. The sensation of dreaming dropped from the radar.
Her feet kicked out. Splayed out. Toes as far apart from each other as possible. Hands holding pillows prayed then threw jubilation behind them towards the spine that circles Jupiter. Her entire body rolled back, forward, back. Pillows tossed to the messy floor. Blankets torn, strangling the last bits of heat from her sleeping once now woken core.
“Dammit!” She muttered.
“What was that love?” Asked the mother in another room.
“Nothing…” how could she hear everything?
“Are you getting up?”
“Yes… ” Dammit.
Anabeila’s feet tingled as blood returned from her head to all the regions of herself. And heart. She rose in her room. Small. Tucked in amongst a tower of church families. Bare. Mostly. Plants. Rectangular box. Viewing wall. Windows all opening slowly as the housebot recognized her routine morning caws from branches covered in frost. The shards opening. Wall in front of her, slowly growing tall. The closet visible now.
“Mirror please.” Said Anabeila to the housebot.
Acknowledge, it returned. And the smooth white wall in front of her shimmered and crawled with pixelated servitude. The sunlight, now fully engrossed in the room. Stuck its front teeth out, appendages drawn. It scurried across flat, angular surfaces, grimacing, jumping to the mirror’s reflection where it pounced on its metallic surface. Only to sink into, absorbed into the wall. The mirror’s surface glimmered dull as it redirected and tinted its automated will. Anabeila stared back with fat fingers, tongues on the glass… her morning face was crying in its surfaces. They were not emotions. Just morning slumber pitfalls.
“Ugh.” She wiped the gleen from beneath her eyes. Robbed them of their smooth decline. Blinked hard at herself in the mirror wall and studied her features with a child’s grace. Little in way of preconceptions.
“Mirror off please.”
The wall returned. Closet visible. Anabeila stood up from her bed and the jaws came clamping down on her from above. Shuddered elbows rose while knees fell and kissed the dirt beneath studious members of the church. Bits of dream still stuck in her teeth, Anabeila stood up straight and spit them out. Shook them off. She opened her closet and removed the white robes. Time for the sacrilegious to attend the sermons of another’s call. She sighed, the room alongside her took a deep breath-in, making room for her sunken chest and puffed up eyes.
Anabeila was dressed in righteous robes and tiptoeing through the hall of her parents’ apartment home in the tower of a church followers mob. Always quiet as a mouse, ‘fraid to disturb the dreams of plants that filled the nest perimeters recessed shelves with lush green tones, flowering buds and long hidden roots… She slid along the recycled black tile floors, encased with white walls and hung over ceilings. The imbedded bioluminescent lanterns above her gave the floor a purity like opal. It gave the plant leaves a stark background from above. A painting of dark silk nurtured love.
She entered the kitchen of a similar stretching of lodgings, black tile floors and luminescent heavenly bodies. Her mother stood tall at a sink, filling a glass with purified hydrogen and oxygen. She was at the far wall, back facing across the table. Betwixt the black framed pass through on one side, and the stretches of air fresh windows that cornered nineties around her, taking up the entirety of the far side of the kitchen sprawl on the other. Membrane meshes that allowed the fresh air to exhale into her kitchen. Unaltered nitrogen from the mouths of cloud top gods emptied the room of stale breaths and feathered in new psalms from the empyrean.
“Well morning Anabeila.” Her mother said as she turned from the glass spun countertops. The morning’s sunrise somehow on both sides of the planet melted red sapphire hues in behind her mother’s smile, its effervescent particles jumping stilted halos from around her head, its image warming the back of mothers neck, illuminating the ray shine squabbles that filtered out her mouth as she spoke of broken bread. “I hope you are as ready as you desire for choosing day.”
“Well morning mother.” Anabeila’s courtesies abound as she slipped into the kitchen, pulled a dark rimmed high-back chair from the table and sat down. Her elbows gracing with little weight on the surfaces, high gloss finish and viewing wall shine. “I will be, I’m sure.”
“Does that mean you’ll crusade for the church?” A deeper tone rung from the pass through. A warm self assured voice that passed through mustache charm to orbiculate amongst the room of daughters.
“Father!” Mother dashed out quickly, her cheeks flushed with vinegar and sour tastes. “Anabeila will let Notum know. It is not for us to tread through. The part is only for specific hearts. It is truly not a choice made…” she turned to Anabeila. Mother’s colour tones were adjusting and her voice slowed into more placid lanes of direction “But a position granted in the grand chorus of prayer voices.”
“Humph. Of course. Of course. Don’t uhhh. Well, good luck today, Anabeila. Or whatever thing is acceptable to say.” Said the deep tone from the other room.
Anabeila smiled at her mother. Even when she wanted something of Anabeila, there was always a choice to be made. Nothing ever came of stone hands, she would say.
Those same smooth wet sand skin hands brought the glass of fresh spring to the table in front of Anabeila. They placed it in front of her and in a hidden palm tree they formed the nutrient seed in line, its blue surface sparkling in the natural light from above.