Elixir part 4 – Hope for a new way of life27 July 2022
Amelia took leave of the young Melancholists after making them swear that none of them would give up their life before she had returned. The young ones swore and though she was not certain whether they would indeed keep that promise, she had to go as there was so much to do. She also realized that the minute she left Melancholy she would not be under the protection of the Melancholists anymore and would have to find how to evade General Stein. She wondered if he was out there, waiting for her to come out of Melancholy. He probably knew that there were two exits to Melancholy and must have posted one of his acolytes on one side while he watched another. She would need to be creative in order to escape them.
Amelia stood near one of the exits and watched closely to see whether General Stein was there. It looked like he was not there and so she decided to take this exit instead of the other. She would not take it normally and be subjected to Stein’s men but she would play with her ability to go through the Earth. She stomped with one foot trying to make the least noise possible and immediately sank into Earth where she rode a large slab of rock, just beneath the dirt path outside Melancholy. She did not stop her sailing on the rock until she was sure that there were several hundred meters between her and Stein’s men. She bent her knees channeling the rock upwards and soon emerged from the Earth and started running. She wanted to put the maximum distance between her and General Stein and his men. She needed to be able to work in the greatest secrecy.
Amelia reached her second home shortly after midnight and went about her house preparing everything she needed for large quantities of Elixir of a special nature. Normally she used a basic version of the Elixir from which each vial was only fit to serve one person and grant them quasi eternal life. This time, she would be creating a type of Elixir so strong in its content that it would serve a large number of people, all at once. It only had to be sprayed in the vicinity of a large group and would be successful in extending their lives to a degree of quasi eternity. The secret of this type of Elixir was that she used the higher soul’s gift of eternal life, locking it into the bloodstream of the person sacrificing a certain number of years. In the other, more basic type of Elixir she only had the sacrifice of the person giving up the remaining years of their existence.
While one may wonder how this transformed into a quasi-eternity for the person receiving the Elixir this produced, it would just show that one was not aware of the deeper meaning of sacrifice and how it rooted itself into cosmic giving. It was this cosmic giving that Amanda tapped into and acted as a conduit of to develop the Elixir as a mixture of the life force of blood together with the expanse of cosmic giving. This made Elixir a sort of eternity in a bottle as it encompassed the vast nature of the cosmic giving Universe and the quality of mercy that ran through the blood of the ones sacrificing their remaining life.
She worked throughout a large part of the remaining hours of the night and dawn had her finally stretching out like a cat, happy with the result of her work, although quite tired from all the events of the night before and the great number of hours spent making the special type of Elixir. She called a member of the Supreme Guard of the Melancholists telling them that she had concocted a solution for the problem of Despair that affected the youngsters of Melancholy and that made them commit suicide. The Supreme Guard held a secret meeting with the Council of the Elders of Melancholy and they decided together that this must be kept secret until it was tried on a group of youngsters from Melancholy. All of them were quite thrilled with the prospect of being able to have their youngsters experience hope again. They looked at each other and smiled. Their hearts beat quicker and louder than they had ever beaten before. This was indeed a Hope for a new way of life.
Khamsa - Dhafer Youssef
Seek me in the rivers that flow stark
I have given in to the tides that all embrace
yielding into the deltas that claim more
that demand from all the very core
I will gaze upon the sun unflinching
the memories of you lying intact
unravelling in a world we never touch
as I watch your dark wings glowing
Laying on a bed of flowers exhaling
scent of jasmine, rose and moonflowers
I am one with my other face hidden
deep into the water it slowly grows
What is you has now become me, us
and what I am I know exists no more
yet I explore the emptiness of your face
translucent, aglow, it escapes physicality
I look beyond the life we never had
beyond stolen instances of nighttime
into the compressed breaths taken
to construe a world beyond the world
We will sing sweet and soft lullabies
to the unborn children we raised
in our mind’s eye they roam playgrounds
sitting in the recesses of my bosom
We keep and weep within my bosom
withered like an old nun’s gait
it speaks of unraveled moments
In Time we will see them flourish
Reading of the poem:
Amelia looked at the invitation card that a friend of her mother had given her earlier in the afternoon. It was an invitation to a private burial at Melancholy. In the world where she lived, not many people had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with the residents of Melancholy, the Melancholists, and even fewer had ever got an invitation to a private burial. It was the only place where the Melancholists let anyone see their true feelings of sorrow and in fact it was the only place where they showed any feelings at all. She remembered her mother telling her how the Melancholists had accepted her given all the work she was doing with their young children, trying to save them from their suicidal thoughts and their utter feeling of hopelessness.
She turned over the card. It was a beautifully engraved card which had the invitation on the front and a portrait of the deceased on the back side. She looked into somber eyes that seemed to follow her gaze as it trailed off to the edges. What a sad thing she thought to herself that such a beautiful child would want to die instead of enjoying a life of privilege. She wanted to go if not for anything else than paying homage to the child of her mother’s friend but at the same time she was aware that General Stein might be there. She knew that Melancholy was considered off grounds for any fights and that only the Melancholists Supreme Guard had the right to question or take away the liberty of any of the residents or their guests. General Stein was not a member of the Supreme Guard so he would not be able to harm her within Melancholy, but he would surely be waiting for her to come out of it to capture her.
Amelia decided to go to the funeral despite the risk she was taking. She had been given assurance of safe haven within Melancholy but also told she would be able to leave it without hassle. She donned her purple hooded coat and touched both the vial in the hem as well as the Infinity dagger she had hid near the vial. The Infinity dagger helped carve a quasi-infinite hole into a person it was dug into, making the cavity impossible to heal as it continued to remain open despite any number of stitches or other powdery substances burnt into it to make it heal. She knew that despite the assurances given to her, the General might well breach them as the stakes were really very high. Then again, if he breached the pact, the Melancholists or at least their Supreme Guard might not take to it very kindly.
She emerged from her car at the gates of Melancholy. It was indeed a beautiful place with the bright gardens, the mushroom-like dwellings that shone lily white in the night and the beautiful birds of all colours that flew from one side to the other of Melancholy. The jasmine in every corner of Melancholy exhaled a wonderful perfume that titillated the senses. Amelia made her way to the funeral hall which pillars were decorated with more jasmine and roses. At the back, between two pillars she saw a marble slab where lay a young teenager, face and limbs decorated as if he were going to a party. At the end of the slab, next to his feet, his mother was seated, sobbing. Amelia went right to her and attempted to hold her hand. The woman pulled away and concentrated her efforts on rubbing the feet of the dead teenager.
A man who appeared to be her husband rose and offered his hand to Amelia. He apologized for his wife’s behaviour and said that it was on account of Amelia not having shared the Elixir. Apparently, his wife had wished to get some from Amelia before the death of her son, but the General tasked with that mission had not gone through with it in the best way possible. Amelia made this known to the father. She said things could have been different if they had asked her themselves. She might have spoken a tad loud as she sensed the whole Assembly of Melancholists turn towards her with hope glimmering in their eyes. Somehow, this made a chill go through her spine. She realized that some might do anything to get the Elixir for their offspring. Would they go to extreme lengths just for one vial or would they maybe imprison her and force her to keep making the Elixir for them? It was hard to say. She kept her eyes fixated on the teenager. He was so beautiful, it seemed unfair that he should not live anymore. His lifeless corpse still radiated an incredibly sad beauty, like a deer doomed to be slaughtered by a huntsman. All around, the Melancholists had started their mourning with wails that grew stronger, slowly but surely, reaching a pinnacle of sorrow expressed in that unified cry. It was as if the graveyard itself had started to cry, heaving and seething with an uncontrollable sorrow.
Rebirth - Solace
Elixir part 1 – The Truth of the Elixir29 May 2022
She looked behind her fleetingly trying to assess how far her assailant was. Not more than 90 seconds before he would be able to seize her. She stomped with her right foot the earth under her feet while thinking at the same time of being inside the earth. No sooner had she done that than her body sank into the ground dropping at a very high speed. She thought of the steps of soil and they materialised under her feet. She ran quickly using one step after the other and leapt onto the one leading her out, on the other side of the river where her assailant, general Stein, had been stalking her.
The Elixir was within a vial knotted closely into the hem of her shirt. She clutched at it frantically, needing to assess whether it had opened and spilt over. It was safely knotted, lid intact, into her clothing. Her eyes grew misty when she remembered how her mother had sacrificed the remaining years she had to live just so that she could be able to make the Elixir and work on making more so that more people who were dying could be saved.
The Elixir had a restorative nature allowing it not only to provide more years of life to those dying but also to heal the organs within the body of the sick persons it was administered to.
She had seen time and time again how the elderly were happy to grant the remaining years of their life to their ailing children or grandchildren. All the Elixirs she had made had been used. Only the one she had made from her mother’s remaining years was kept close to her heart. Nobody had ever been able to understand how she made the Elixirs and she had kept the secret close to her. When the word had started coming out, she had received offers from pharmaceutical companies but she knew well enough that they would only buy her technique in order to bury it as those companies thrived on the sickness and death of people and had no intention of actually making Elixirs to heal people.
She thought again about what she had created. It would seem like the holy Grail when you thought of it but it did have some side effects: it held some of the memories of the deceased and it seemed that those were in majority memories of trauma or other levels of pain. These memories kicked in when anyone given the Elixir was experiencing any level of anger or stress. Upon studying this phenomenon, she realised that these memories were stored in some pockets of the Elixir which had a slight discoloration of the pearls of blood around it. She needed to be able to isolate this from the rest of the Elixir without foregoing any of the years contained in it.
She looked at where general Stein was looking at her, seething with anger that she had again escaped him. He had never pursued her with any offers, unlike the pharmaceutical companies. He simply wanted to get from her the secret of creating the Elixir so that he could use it on the children of his elite clientele. Ever since he had left the army, his only scope in life had been to earn as much riches as he could and Amelia’s invention represented a fantastic opportunity to do so. Back in Melancholy where he visited his rich clients, the parents were dealing with a very difficult situation as all their children were either neurasthenic or suicidal and he knew from observing Amelia’s work that the Elixir would not only extend the life of those who took it but would also make those who took it wish to live a beautiful life
Al-Nil - Armand Amar
In intervals of breathing
My heart reaches out
seeking out the knowing mind
hidden in the eye
With careful fingers
I unveil the flower’s core
Myriads of colours
There are silent trees
tall yet minute they resume
growing in my heart
Winding through mazes
they teach me the wise lessons
of imbued stillness
We wait together
for the peace that was revealed
in branches of light
Reading of the poem:
The Valley of Dreams - Stive Morgan
Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly haiku challenge using the words “wait”, “wise” and their synonyms. For more information on the challenge and other artists’ work, please read here
Only the question
mattered more than the answer
Twined cause and effect
A probe into grey matter
Symptom of the quest
Pillars of queries
Symbols of the need to know
A trace of lives lived
Myriads of half-truths
Sign of the times etched in blood
Picking up the clues
Omen of a time gone by
Skies high in bosom
She survived inquests
Her mind a token of light
A flag flying high
Reading of the poem:
Strings of a Bard (acoustic) - Estas Tonne (2021)
Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly haiku challenge using the words question and sign or their synonyms. More on the rules and other poets’ contribution here https://ronovanwrites.com/2021/08/23/ronovan-writes-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-372-question-and-sign/
The rhythm is that of the wind against the fallen leaves like a banshee wailing. Her mind syntonises with it finally as she picks up pieces of the shattered glass in front of her. There is no saying how much time the wind will continue to blow relentless. Her mind blows with the wind, flying high in the sky gathering momentum. At the same time her body continues to mechanically operate on its own. She carefully stacks the pieces of shattered glass in front of her and starts her daily work of repairing the window pane again.
She must have repaired it a hundred times yet every sunrise, the storm strikes at the same place again with the tree breaking through the window instantly killing her husband yet another time. Every day she wakes up again with the agony of knowing that she will again witness the scene of her husband’s death. The torture of knowing that initially numbed by the pain of his horrific death all she will be able to do is pick up the pieces of the shattered glass and start repairing the window as if to negate that it happened at all pursues her daily. She lives dreading the moment of initial sunshine which once made both her husband and her so happy.
She realises that she will never be able to grieve the loss of her husband as by the time she has finished repairing the window it is night time again and she falls asleep, exhausted. The first days that it happens, she does not remember exactly what has occurred but is only left with a sense of foreboding. Upon waking up that sense of foreboding slowly grows throughout the first week although it remains quite hazy. As time goes by , however, memories of the day before play back with excruciating precision.
She usually wakes up already knowing what will happen and totally helpless as she watches the events unfold. All she can do is repair the window in a wild and desperate hope that the next time, maybe at least once, it will not give way as the tree comes crashing through. Some days she would work her fingers sore until the nails almost peel and her fingers bleed and yet the next morning she would wake up to perfectly manicured fingers, her stomach tense with the knowledge of the oncoming onslaught.
Her mind soars higher as her fingers work swiftly repairing the window pane. She feels the moment when the night descends softly around her body that falls back on the bed. She watches as she lies almost lifeless her breath ragged as she struggles to overcome the sleepiness. Yet the slumber slowly overcomes her and her breath becomes more peaceful. It is the darkest point of the night now. Soon the killer dawn will strike again. She watches the body of her husband turn around and embrace her body.
Something inside her chest expands and she feels it stirring her body as she looks onward. The sun is about to rise and the winds are still howling. Her mind continues its wild jig with the winds. She knows that as the sun rises the storm will pick up strength and the tree will fall over breaking through the window pane. Her mind stills itself as the winds continue howling. The first rays of the sun pierce the horizon.
She opens wide her mouth and as it slowly rises she finally swallows the sun and the storm slowly loses its strength. Darkness falls all around as heat scorches her mind. She can feel the light exploding throughout her skull. She clenches her jaws as her mind maintains its stranglehold on the sun. The tree never moves again. She rolls her tongue softly over the blisters on her tongue. In the darkness beside her she can hear the soft breath of her husband. She utters a soft sigh and turns toward him holding him tight.