What foolishness has been wrought by the hand of god, none that can be foretold, for this is but an act of man, sprung forth from the heart of darkness conjured by a woman displeased by the favors offered at her door. No luck, no hearty call, can bring back what has been lost once it has been taken back, ripped from thy fingers, the warnings only clear once the movement is made. But though it is taken, it is but a one sided trade, for what thou have given cannot be given back, for though thou do not wish it returned, thou still mourns its loss and feels such actions to be a grievance for which no forgiveness can ever come.
So thou sit in squalor amidst the leaning towers which once marked the citadel of the glorious kingdom of two, slurping down sweet wines and listening to sirens screech of times of tribulation thou find comforting due to the similarities to thou own discomfort. Wretched boy, foolish wreck, watch as thou bring thyself low, wallowing amongst the pigs as another bright day materializes behind the thick protecting layers of draperies left unopened despite the lateness of the day. No rays of hope shall pierce into the darkness. No relief but thy chosen sin. Such madness thou swears has never been, nor will ever come again.
As thou take another swig, thou sees the face of beauty floating amidst the dust motes hanging in the air. It starts as it always begins. Hiking through the trees. Talking of the world. Opening the doors long held closed. But such things slip away with each swallow. Her smile, oh glorious row of pearls. Her hair, dark and lustrous as the world before the dawn. Her laugh, the tinkling of bells. Her voice, sending vibrations down thy spine. Her eyes, seeing thou and no one else. More and more is stripped away, leaving nothing but the basest of instinctual needs. The roundness of breast and hip. Thy calloused hand along the petals of the flower filled with dew. Baited breath in thy ear, urging thou to explore further.
So it is that thou rise up on loose bound knees, and stagger thou way to the room of tile to purge the vileness from thyself. Imagined hands brush along thy feverish brow and down the length of thy lust, dragging thou downward into the den of such vile specters which console with husky whispers which only echo within thy head. Thou wish it to be as it once was, in every detail no matter how minute. Thou strip down, revealing thy true self to the world. Thou open the drawer and bring from its depths the ring. Oh heavenly drug granted to us by the power of animalistic needs. It shall not last, but there are ways of lengthening the time of bliss. Oh glorious exultation, oh sacred ring, give thine gift of a longer stay in the world now gone away.
Foolish knave. The empty bottles stand in regimented rows as testament to thy sins. More than times, less than others, but too many for this darkening day. Oh glorious refuge from pain, the door does not open to thy knocks. No, the world grows unwieldy and begins to spin. Thy head grows dizzy and clouded. All falls aways and thou are left hanging in a land of dreams where none of what has transpired has come to pass. Thou feel a great pain in thine lower mind, but thou ignores it, for here in this moment she has come back to thou once again. Oh beautiful eyes, oh gracious smile, oh soft touch of a welcome hand. How thou has missed it greatly. How thou would do anything to live in such a world again. The pain in thy lower head grows greater. A terrible throb with every beat of thy broken heart. She places her hand upon thine. She leans forward to bring comfort to thy ears. But no. The pain is too great. The terrible throbbing pain.
Thou finds oneself in the room of tile once again, naked upon the porcelain throne, the ring still firmly in its place, cursing thou with vile ache. How long has it been sullen fool? How long did the former contents of the bottle lift thou into the kingdom in the clouds? Too long. Far too long, and now thou finds the tools of thy melancholy trade to be more curse than blessing. Thou stands on loosened knees. The ache is agony making its way to the heart of thou very being. The terrible mistake must be rectified. Thou remove the ring. Thou wrench it from its place. Thy blood thunders in thine ears, surging upward, cavalier in manner, ecstatic to be free. Too much. Thou falls has thou has risen. Thou catches thine head on the counter there beside thine porcelain throne. Fall great fool. Fall into complete and utter darkness.
There thou lays, twisted form in mockery of what thou had once been. Look down upon thyself, splayed across the tile, crowned by spreading crimson. In thy hand lies the ring, tool for neither good nor evil, but source of great merriment for those who find thee. Such is the twisted revelry of darkness, of this thing we call tragedy.
S.W. Campbell was born in Eastern Oregon. He currently resides in Portland where he works as an economist and lives with a house plant named Morton. He has had numerous short stories published in various literary reviews in three countries. If you’d like to read more of his writing, check out his website: http://www.shawnwcampbell.com.