Category Archives: Novellas

chapter 4 – hunter

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Cumae.

Whoever denominated this city must have been either inspired by the ancient Roman spirit or just plain high, having a momentary kick of phantasm just as Cumaen Sibyl had experienced in the cave filled with hallucinating gases and vapors. But this Cumae was nothing of the sort. 4 hours of drive from Rome, populated by yuppies, young technocrats, and artists of all kinds, it was typical suburbia that middle-class liberals would like to claim as their permanent residence. No wonder liberal politicians took their winning of votes from Cumae for granted. Which was quite a symbiotic relation between the constituents and the politicians because young people with money and artists tended to subscribe to liberalism. It was not because they were particularly zealous for the liberal causes, but rather because it suited their modes of life.

Into this largess of liberality, Hector was driving fast. Driving was never an annoying drudgery, but today it was. He needed to think about his next oeuvre which he did not even have the slightest idea of what it would be. Yet, the imago of beauty, that mysterious entity formed by the midsummer’s moonlight sonata two nights ago was keeping him restless, making him breathless, and turning him resistless.  The passion dashed him to the finale of his journey as he was trying to think deeper about his secret imago. ‘Finally, I am home.’ Hector felt safe and relieved at last when he entered the studio. It was well-kept by Mrs. Maria Martinez, who came to clean on a weekly basis. The paintings and sculptures of his creation welcomed him silently, but that was even more liking to Hector. He felt free from a leviathan of stress, obligations, morality… He was intoxicated with a sudden urge to sing a hymn to Dionysus and wanted to be among the cult of his temple. Out of the bliss of solipsistic presence came his ritual bath filled with aromatic fragrance and warm water that would melt any man of steel or wood into a captive of euphoric oblivion; it smeared Hector’s manliness with enchanting perfume of calm and soaked it in Sea of Forgetfulness. So much so that Hector wanted to proclaim such euphoric moment to be part of his Eleusinian Mysteries by hollering “Eureka,” just as Archimedes had done. My dear reader, it all seems that taking a bath would lead one to brilliant enlightenment.

It was almost 6:00 PM when Hector decided to take an evening promenade. He was a perambulator, taking delight in walking a long distance, which put him in a league with Henry Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Browning, all of whom walked with pleasure for hours. He could walk far and wide without specific destinations. Wandering like a cloud across the vast skies, Hector returned to his true self as hunter. He was a hunter again, and he was a want of fresh blood that gave him vitality for life in which he with wife Moira and little daughters had given hostages to fortune. So, like a lone wolf that intentionally broke away from its pack, into the dusky horizon Hector started to walk as his instinct ruled over his way.

chapter 3 – beauty rides on mystery train

monet, the gate saint-lazare

The route to Arcadia was a painting of Georgia O’Keeffe, a famous landscape artist with an eye for authentic beauty: the restive naked beauty of vales and hills covered with rocks and reddish toil would make the flickering amber of any vapid spirit ablaze with prairie fires in the mind’s field. Looking at the panoply of the spectacular landscape from her seat on the train, Iris could not help but think that it resembled her. The untamed nature in its pristine condition looked a lot like her independent spirit, a unicorn whose wings were clipped by the needs of existential life. The nature without the landmarks of civilization betokened its uncorrupted virgin territory that no force could dare violate it. The nature was part of her, it was whole of her. It was wild and innocent and breathtaking, a mysterious reconciliation of ancient esoteric paganism with traditional orthodox Christianity in her. Iris was contemplating all of this, and she was taking all of it in.

When the train arrived at Arcadia Station, Iris was suddenly seized with her usual brooding premonition that misfortune might happen to her today. She wanted to ignore it, but it was bugging her like a mosquito in the middle of sizzling summer night. She had to ignore it because today she would be read what the Fates had spun for her. She wanted to come to terms with it and face the Fates whom she wanted to defy and challenge with the help of the wise woman. ‘This will be the day,’ thought Iris as she walked into the sunlit streets of Arcadia. Going to a pagan witch was against her Christian teachings as though by going to Hellfire Club of unspeakable debauchery and ineffable blasphemy. And yet, Iris wanted to get things sorted out for her own clandestine future and humdrum present. When Iris arrived at the door of the pagan, she saw an adumbral shape of face lurking out of the opaque window stained with debris of dust. It was a face of a beautiful woman smiling at her. She looked ageless as if age could not wither her away, nor could custom stale her magical power. Emboldened by her beautiful welcoming, Iris went into the bungalow and thought to herself that it was a good thing to take a trip to this place, even if the prophecy would be contrary to her already smoldering anticipation.

“So, you came all the way from Corinth to find a tapestry of your life. Welcome, I was expecting you.” Iris was flabbergasted. ‘How did she know I was coming? She must be genuine.’ Iris was even more gobsmacked when the woman continued. “Iris, the Fates had already told me in my dream a fortnight ago that you would be coming. And your grandmother Elaine appeared in my dream yesterday to tell me I should be attentive to your needs. Therefore, my dear Iris, do not worry about anything. You were not alone, you have never been alone, and you will never be alone.” Those kind words, those thousand comforts, all flew from her graceful lips and Amethyst crystal eyes that looked deeper than Sea of Jewel. She was irresistible not to answer, she was impossible to be real. Yet she was there, before Iris the doubtful who would not trade the moment of mystic beauty incarnate in this beautiful mystic for anything now. She was already bewitched by the witch, or was she become already one? Or even more so, Iris would be a changeling born of fairy, bred by human. All this would be known to the unknown today. Iris could not wait any longer.

swept away – chapter two

Hector was wide awake in the middle of the night. His bare chest was covered with beads of sweat, and his lips wet with drops of water from the jar beside their bedside. Hector looked at his wife sound asleep: Moira’s pretty face looked lifeless in the moonlit darkness, and her silhouette of the slender frame even more soulless against the luminescent lunar beauty from her celestial abode in the nightly sky. Maybe it was that moon, the Full Moon in the midsummer night that filled his heart with a tempestuous desire of a dangerous liaison, of violent passion, of primitive instinct, all of which was a forbidden play for a man like Hector whose status and condition could move heaven and earth, as it were, whose valiant beauty also matched the sweetness of his mind. He was indeed a curious conflation of innocence and worldliness, an enchanting consilience of Platonism with Eroticism, in the manifestation of those thousand actions, those thousand expressions that flew from his own person, fascinatingly interacting with his irresistible manhood.

Hector was looking at the lunar beauty at the terrace, hypnotically infatuated with an indescribable yearning for a secret escapade from the confinement of his conjugal life. No, it wasn’t just one of those whims and caprices that a married man bored with his marriage usually craved. Moira was a loyal and dutiful wife with a practical sense of the world who bore him two beautiful daughters. She was a daughter of a well-to-do merchant in Rome, assisting her father at his shop where Hector used to visit for his trade. Pretty as she was, she wasn’t exactly a Helen whose faces launched thousands of ships. Yet her sensible words and lively actions were what prompted Hector to pursue her as his would-be wife who could settle into his way of life. Funny that, my dear reader. For someone like Hector had remained unattached for long despite his beauty, talent, and character. No, he wasn’t a shameless cult of sybaritic Bacchus, nor did he attempt to, nor was he inclined to cross over the boundary of Eros in any mode of preference. He was rather an idealist, a romantic follower of Apollo in search of endless love consummated by Eros and Psyche. Call it cloddish, vagarious, or hokum even, but that was what he was, really. That was how he kept his wild horse of desire in him, still. That was why he wanted to release it from its rein, now.

The story of Eros and Psyche was his favorite, reverberating down to the bottom of his heart. But then it was more of Eros that sparked his dormant passion locked into his mind’s cabinet. For he was a man after all whose sensory organs would react to the stimuli of the seen, the beautiful, the enchanting, the mysterious, and the fatal. He’s all up for it, waiting for it, and going for it. The moon was still high above all the lives of the nightly world, and as its soft white luminescence was glowing and glowing harder, and penetrating his Olympian body deeper, Hector’s desire of a dangerous liaison was growing bigger, louder, and bolder in an ineffable ecstasy of unknown love as mysterious and adventurous as the ones shared by Goddess Circe and Odyssey and Eros and Psyche. He was in the theater of this solipsistic midsummer night’s ecstasy, swept away by his violent passion that knew no restraints with all his vigor, with all his virility, and with all his vitality.

The phantasmagorical display of the sensual dreamscapes was beginning to fade as Chariot of Apollo was approaching yonder in the dusky distance. Forget Shame. Perish Fear. Curse Fate. Hector wouldn’t let his passion for his unknown love dissipate into one night’s dream, safely ensconced in the complacency of his life. He would look for her, wherever she might be. As the dawn finally broke, Hector’s eyes sparkled with brown marbles, so beautiful that they could be sinful to look at. He decided to go to travel to Cumea, where there was his studio of paintings and sculptures. But first, he was going to tell Moira that he’s going to stay at his studio alone until he finished creating his new work of art. And he knew it would be a magnum opus following his unstoppable heart.

 

swept away – chapter one

3334d704022e42fad10b32d8694af248It wasn’t love at first sight, really. Although one look at him would suffice to appreciate the principle of beauty incarnate in his statuesque figure, it wasn’t the tall, well-toned body that she fell for. It was the eyes that played upon her usual stoic inner world, sweeping it in the whirlwind of unquenchable longing, wanting, and yearning: big, brown, warm, passionate, soulful, and doleful, all the marbles of his spirit sparkled in the windows of his soul. The faculty of her mind worked with her imagination in the peculiar alchemy of infatuation and turned the rut of life into a theater of fanciful motion pictures about love. That was what made her go through her existential life. For she always had to be in love with someone fictional, nonfictional in the highest ether of her imagination. For that was what she subsisted on to give her burst of zest for life. What others would think of her was not her savior vivendi because she belonged to her class of her own, her own world of dreams and wishes, which was her own only in her muliebral meditation.

Alas, poor Iris! I know her, my dear reader! She was a descendant of Dido, a human-bred fairy whose lineage belonged to Clytie, who pined away for her unrequited love for Apollo and became Sunflower. For her own person, Iris beggared all description: tall, slender, beautiful, she was something of a Cassandra whose words were regarded as hallucinated riddles in divine madness as her punishment to refuse Apollo’s love. Maybe it was Iris’s cool, reserved aura from her being that held back romantic advances from men. But she was none other than a mortal woman with none other than woman’s reason, so she always found her love interest in men whose stars were high above in the nightly skies. Hence, she was invisible to any of them and existent to none of them like a wondering spirit, traveling the boundary of this world and the Netherworld at night. But Iris was content in that surreptitious way of unrequited love without a litany of woes and pains that relationship was fated to bring.

Always searching, always dreaming, Iris now found her Aeneas in him. But this time she wanted to manifest her beautiful self before his beautiful eyes because every part of her somatic existence ached for his attention and her spirit invoked a divine intervention to charm his anima. She did not want to be like Clytie whose echo was still haunting in Valley of the Lonely Hearts. That was why Iris went to a wise woman known for her witchcraft of love spells and pharmaka, the ancient Greek love potion believed to be invented by Goddess Ceres. Iris’s preferential choice would be a love spell, which she thought would fit her secret purpose in the most portent way. With this secret machination of love, Iris resolved to make a trip to Arcadia, where the witch was already waiting for her because she knew she would come to her.

[updated] cheery sunday

Mr. Fred Holstein (hereinafter “Fred”) visited his good friend Mr. Paul Collie (hereinafter “Paul”) on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Paul had a pretty garden in his backyard, and being a good friend of his, Fred even helped him water the home-grown vegetables. After their joint labor, Paul and Fred had a good time with their favorite snacks at the garden. In fact, Fred’s new jokes were so funny that Paul fell out of a chair. Then they parted merrily before the sunset. Tolstoy would have enjoyed himself if he had joined them at the garden, for it was his kind of nice restful time.

Author’s Note: Since downloading the video from the app seems to take forever, I have included its Youtube version in my Blog.