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Allael. The Other Me.

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Конкурс фантрассказа Блэк-Джек-21
Поиск утраченного смысла. Загадка Лукоморья
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Allael. The Other Me.

Our life is the path of sorrow,

But let its flowers blossom

Life is a Dream

  
   Fire takes leave of the Earth, pouring out in the air the red wine of the finished feast. The huge drum booms, the execution is soon. "Enchanter! Enchanter", they say. These words are just wind, but they whip my face like a blizzard. Tall guardians in blazing armour ascend the stone steps. Their orderly line is broken b y a single black dot. The tower is too high to see the face. But I know who he is. It is the man who stole the King's guise to seduce the Princess...
   It seems to have happened so long ago. The other glass me in the window, red as the death-fire, shakes its head as if scarifying ... or feeling for me... May be only now I am not sleeping...
   ***
   ...He lay outstretched on shatters of pink glass. Myriads of beads, dropping down the torn threads, showered his body like a pearl rain... He has long black hair and blackened eyes... And his skin is so white. Sure, it is much darker than mine, but not at all so disgusting as that of Cornelius, though his clothes are black too...
   ...Something red flows from his body and froths pink, running into white liquid from some broken flask... His lips were red, but now are pale pink... I kiss them...
   ...Corpses are so cold... it seems they suck away the very warmth from your fingertips... And they are so calm... Like me... I do not like... fuss...
   ...If that is the word Cornelius always uses, when other people take away old stuff. They always say that nothing ages, but I know better. They deceive me. But what for? It is so absurd, so... fussy...
   ...He smells of something strange... Not mine... Cornelius smells so when he comes and brings me the vial... It makes my head swim, but I cannot close my eyes... One cannot...
   ...I want to see what has happened up there, just with the tail of my eye... Tears on my palms... But they are not mine... Perhaps, they are from up there... up there... from the dome of the world...
   ...He has opened his eyes... I have never seen such colour before... It is so... opposite... to my pink... It is cold and alien, but not malign...
   ...He says something... How strange are these hoarse words!.. I do not understand anything... Do not see... "I don't see your words", I say... But he grabs my wrist... He has cold scalding hands... He looks me in the eye... I see a human in his eyes... with long hair and white face... Does it mean that there lives a human-being inside him? No, two twins... He whispers something...
   ...He touches his body where the red water flows... I think I remember... It is like when I broke a pink crystal... My head swam... Was it... pain... and that red water... crystal... cracks ... blood... It is blood. He is in pain... I remember Cornelius brought me that flask with white liquid... Pink foam...
   ...I tore a strip off his clothes and soaked into that pinkish white puddle. The red slit on his body fizzed dark pink... I have almost never seen such a colour. Only once... When Cornelius brought me a wonderful flower... Just once...
   ...I took one more strip, soaked it again in the liquid, and again put it on the body of... the star...
   ...Yes, that is what Cornelius told me about something that falls from the night heavens... Night heavens... And what is it?.. Maybe, the heavens is that which is above my head? But I cannot possibly see it... Then he is a star... Black star...
   ...He looks at me again... Suddenly his lips moved strangely, uncovering his teeth... What for?.. He says something... I do not understand... His head swims... He let go of my wrist... Somehow there is a streak on it of the colour of his eyes... Maybe it is the colour of pain... Rasping... Stinging... blue...
   ... That is what Cornelius said once... Only once, when the other Cornelius brought me that strange flower... Then he thrust a silver crystal into him... Red water flowed... He fell asleep... "You ought not to sleep, my dearest. This is the lot of Vice"... Khra-khra... Cornelius has an ugly voice...
   ...Khra-khra... I hear him coming... He would take the star too, as he did then with that blue flower... Forever... I do not want it...
   ..."Stand up, we have to leave this place"... He is dizzy, I know, but we cannot stay here and look above... Ought not too...

...A Princess should be immaculately pure.

She ought never know either pain, or fear,

Nor mirth, nor wrath, nor lies, nor death,

Nor dreams, nor visions...

She ought never see other colours,

Or clothes, but pink, white, red and black.

Her hands ought never touch weapons,

Her eyes - the heavens.

Her ears ought never hear anything,

But silence and common hortatives.

She knows neither her face, nor other faces,

Nor other eyes...

   ...Khra-khra... Cornelius is coming... Let it be... He will not see the star...
   ..."What has happened, my dearest?"...
   ..."I was watching the flowers"... It is a lie...
   ..."Very well"... It is a lie...
   ...They brought in pink walls for me not to see the shatters... Glass scrunching and clothes scooping... Silence...

...Nobody is to enter the chamber of the

Princess further than the pink step.

Nobody is to approach her except for her

Mentor who is to watch her

Immaculate Purity...

   ...Yes, Cornelius has no right to enter my bedroom and take away the star... Forever...
   ...He looks at me with his blue eyes and I see twins living in them... He whispers a word... Only one...
   ***
   -- Allael!
   He looks at me with his blue eyes. I have blue eyes too, like that lady in that bright mirror. He says it is me. It is a lie. I am here, in the now, and she is there, under the water.

Stretch your hand my soul to sway.

Listen, wind is gowling,

And the water flowing

Washes all your thoughts away.

   -- You are not sleeping again.
   -- I know that I would fly away from you then and never come back.
   -- My love, sleep is just a dream, reflection. It can't take you away.
   -- I don't want it... so...
   -- I will hold your hand.
   -- I want to hear your voice when I walk the path of death.
   -- Sleep, you must rest.

Wind, oh wind, so violent wind

Water swings you like a leaf...

Sleep, let grass and shadow air

Lull asleep your tousled hair.

Fear not brumes or sad moon's gaze,

All is swallowed in dark maze.

Fuse away in silent grief,

Water lulls you like a leaf.

   ***
   ...--"You look wonderful today, my dearest"...
   ...--"As ever, Cornelius. You have nobody to compare me with, do you? Do I either?"...
   ...--"It should not dim your vision, my dearest"...
   ...--"What will you tell me about today?"...
   ...--"Anything the Princess would like to listen to"...
   ...--"A Princess has no wishes"...
   ...I feel that something has changed in him... It is like fire that sparkles out...
   ...--"Then I should tell you about your future, because very soon you are to meet with it"...
   ...His voice chants again quoting long scrolls of the Princess's Esse...

...And when three times six circles pass

And two rings of time lock up,

A Princess should come to

The Kings undimmed gaze to become

His only wife and give birth to

His only heir and...

...she should master the Lore of Vice...

   ...--"Why have you stopped, Cornelius?"...
   ...--"It is the end of the scroll, my dearest"...
   ...--"Then take another one and read me what will be after the Lore of Vice"...
   ...--"You will not be a Princess anymore"...
   ...--`What does it mean?"...
   ...--"You will become a Queen"...
   ...--"What does it mean?"...
   ...--"You will know it after you master the Lore of Vice"...
   ...He either tells lies or keeps silence... It does not matter... His voice bears no truth in it... His voice bears nothing in it... And it ought not to...

...A mentor ought not to dim the vision of a Princess...

His lips ought to keep silence or

Quote the words of the scroll of the Princess's Esse...

   ...The other Cornelius quoted it to me from the Scroll of Mentor... He has a white voice... Just like the star has...
   ***
   ...I teach him to talk, I quote him the ancient Scrolls of the World, those the other Cornelius quoted me...

Water knows no chains,

No pains, no fears of the night...

Water is pure and crystal

Cold, for she is immaculate.

Water knows no colour, but

Perceives all of them, for

Her eye is pure and cold...

Fire is lucid and ardent, for

His eye is piercing.

Fire is weak and strong, for

He is chained and mortal.

Fire knows no Time,

For he sees It not, but

Lives in Its current...

Wind knows no peace,

No sleep, no contemplation...

His aspiration is blind,

For he has no eye...

Wind knows the Edge of

the World, and lands beyond It.

Wind carries lives in his hands...

Earth wears black and

Dies in white...

Earth looks into the depths,

For her eye is stony...

Earth knows no Time,

No limit, for

Earth is the realm of the living...

Human is born by water, for

She knows the Past...

Human is reared by fire and

He sees the Present...

Human knows the way of wind, but

He is blind on the way of Time...

Human goes into earth...

Stars go into earth...

Birds go into earth...

Beasts go into earth...

Plants go into earth...

Fire goes into earth...

Water goes into earth...

Only wind is above...

   ...He repeats the words to see them, -- and he looks at me... Takes a chalice to his lips, -- and looks at me...Says some words in his language for me to repeat and to see them, -- and looks at me... When I talk, his lips bare his teeth and there is fire in his eyes. What for?...
   ...Dzhazhah is water... Sil'n is fire... Yagarah is wind... Mootah is earth...
   ***
   -- Allael!
   Fire greets wind, rising above earth. Water sparkles. I look into the water, pierce its depths with my eye. There also humans live and plants grow. Ghostly and mortal. Silver birds with transparent wings fly in it. Their feathers are wet all through and cling to their bodies.
   I don't want to drown in their world and never come back. Once I plunged into the depths of the blue gaze and didn't come back. I don't regret it. But I don't want to regret this world. I don't want to leave.
   He showers me with cold beads of water and laughs.
   I have heard this word from the Scroll of Vice, but I haven't seen it. I am blind to it, though I feel that it is warmth.
   There are so many words in his language. It is hard to see them all, though he shows them to me. I only feel them.
   He has cold hands and hair, like water. His lips are fire that burns. His words are wind. The breath of wind. It is blind.
   ***
   ...I lie on my back and look upwards... In my bedroom I may look upwards when I lie...
   ...I look upon pleats of pink curtains, threads of pearls and black carvings...
   ...I ought never sleep. Cornelius says that I just ought to get used to lying still in order not to disturb the King...
   ...I lie still not to disturb the star... He is sleeping... Just closes his eyes and his breath becomes calm and quiet... His body is relaxed and soft... So, sleep is not death...

When closing his eyes

Human gives up to sleep,

And he loses purity, for

Sleep is the lot of vice.

Sleep is the realm of lies.

Sleep is the door to death.

Sleep is the way of death.

   ...I here footsteps... These are cleaners... They come to take off old curtains and wrinkled cloths... they bring in translucent pink silk, and heavy white furs of wild cats, and black hides of wild dogs... Their baskets are filled with soft petals, with heavy sweet aroma... They are like black cravings on my bed... Their black bodies seem utterly lifeless... It seems that they repel light...
   ...He woke up... His eyes reflect something deeply alien... His gestures are harsh...
   ...--"They will notice me!"...
   ...--"They are cleaners. They cannot see"...
   ...--"But their movements are precise"...
   ...--"Their eyes do reflect the world, but they are blind and their gaze would tell nothing to the inquiring"...
   ...--"I don't understand you"...
   ...--"I don not understand you. Is it not so in your world?"...
   ....--"If we're blind, we can't see but we can talk"...
   ...--"It cannot be like this. Human cannot talk if he is blind... And even if his eyes cannot reflect the world, he still can see"...
   ...He steps aside... Cleaners move smoothly... Their footsteps die away beyond the pink step...
   ...--"Your words are wind... Maybe cleaners can hear them if you speak your language... But they would not see them and would not understand"...
   ...--"Your speech is called thought in my land"...
   ...--"Everything is turned upside down in your world... Thought cannot be speech... Speech is a reflection of thought"...
   ...He steps aside... His fingers pick at the pleats of pink cloth... He does not look at me... Long black wisps hide his face...Silence... Words of wind drop from his lips...Light as the breath of wind... Invisible as the feathers of wind...
   ...Dzhazhah is water... Sil'n is fire... Yagarah is wind... Mootah is earth...
   ***
   -- Allael!
   Water covers with wrinkles and her depths dim, relayed by tearing a blaze of myriad sparks.
   -- You are sad today. You gaze is wandering beyond the edge of this world.
   -- I am recalling.
   -- You shouldn't go back into the Past. It is just a reflection. It is deceitful.
   -- I am recalling my First Day.
   -- I do remember it too as a wonderful picture in quaking colours of dying fire.
   ***
   ...Quaking colours of dying fire... They are like blood... They are like red petals on black hides of wild dogs...
   ...I remember a long corridor full of black air and twinkling lights... In my chamber the light is always... even and soft... And here there is always... darkness...
   ...Darkness... For the first time I went past the pink step beyond which light dims and starts... Darkness...

And when the Time comes and

Light becomes weak and faint,

Darkness will enter the world

of the Princess, darkness,

That was faint before.

And only Immaculate Purity

would pass the darkness

And enter the free Light...

   ...I saw many human shadows... They were white, and black, red...
   ...They grabbed me by my clothes and yelled...My head swam. But it does not detain moving...
   ...They grabbed me by my hands and whispered... But their words are wind... They are dark and empty... It does not detain moving...
   ...They grabbed me by my hair and howled...Howled....Dying...It does not detain moving if there is light ahead...
   ...And there was light ahead... And it was thicker than darkness, thicker than quaking fire...And it was... free...
   ...And only then I saw what it means to be "free"... That word was brighter than others... and... it was... unexpressed...
   ...But I dared not to touch it... My head swam, and all other words...were dying... They scattered like beads off the torn threads... like shatters of pink glass on the floor...
   ...I closed my eyes...
   ...I saw... him...
   ***
   ...And now pain... Much pain... It penetrates into my body through my eyes and slowly flows down my fingers... It seems the pain spreads across the bed and drips on the floor... sore...sore...
   ...Pain and so much of the red colour, and many other colours, and black...
   ...Cornelius has not brought me the vial...
   ...I see many white bodies... Their hands intertwine like pearly threads embraced in darkness and flicker of quaking fire... These are Mentoresses...

***

The moon like a ball rolls in the sky,

The night like a child toys with a star,

And I can't sleep of its laughter.

***

   ...Suddenly somewhere in the distance I heard the door cricking and Mentoresses laughter... The hand of wind touched my forehead to sooth the burning pain...
   ...One more pearly twirling shadow enters the room...A vial flickers dimly in its hand...
   ...--"Drink, my Lady. This will strengthen you"...
   ...This liquid seems to penetrate the very veins, dissolving the feeling of Esse...
   ...--"There will be the Great Death-fire today. The King himself will spark up the fire of sacrifice"...
   ...Their voices scatter in the air and disappear under the ceiling...
   ...They put the violet and yellow clothes of the King's Bride on me... But no one would see it from the height of the tower...
   ***
   Blood-stained hands of wind whirl the ashes of sacrifice. I hear the voice of wind, words of wind, words from another world...
   ...Dzhazhah is water... Sil'n is fire... Yagarah is wind... Mootah is earth... Allael is a dream...
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
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