I know not why these tears fossilize upon my cheeks. Anathema or anodyne I know not which only that the obdurate bramble of melancholia, so inherent in my nature, has given rise to a nascent lucidity, a purpose. Being a nomadic sort the only intimacy I understand is that of exploration and entropy. It was for this reason that I embarked without the filter that reason affords, insidiously and quicksilver with pride. No man can live an instrument for the whole of his life and I, too long a xylophone, wished to be music itself.
The air smells of petrichor and tastes of dust. I shut my eyes momentarily against artificial luminaries, the white walls jaundiced by the florescence look almost lacustrine and I reach out my fingertips to ghost the surface only to find that it is curiously malleable. I pull away sharply, the impression deliquesces and again I am faced with the smooth, bloodless plains. In the distance misanthropic silhouettes play upon each surface as a scythe, bisecting and rearranging each tentative reflection into oddities and configurations beyond imagining. I quiet my breath, waiting as a pariah in the hollows whilst the figures draw closer. Their footsteps are percussive on the concrete floor, their long, gaunt limbs, like the branches of wisteria or razorvine, drag soberly behind their towering, misshapen forms. My xenophobic heart grips viciously and I lean heavily into an undulate wall which proves itself a disguised precipice. I cannot remember for how long I fell only that when I woke I was deep underground, a telluric odor neither offensive nor conciliatory greets me and I think, momentarily, of the time my father accidentally locked me in the cellar. Nothing much came of the incident for I was found only a few hours later and yet I retain a residual fear of dark and resonant spaces. That primordial fear knocked me off kilter and all thought of my quarry vanished from my mind. I floundered for several minutes (perhaps hours) as a kite through labyrinthine winds. What if this was an ossuary? What if I were met with eidolons or if my path was occluded entirely so that I should remain here a fatality, my blood growing stiff and thick as resin until I, more monolith than man, ceased to move altogether? I felt my way helter skelter in the dark but all that my hands fell upon gave way beneath them, the floor alone was solid. If this was to be my requiem who would sing it? Who would know it for being a querulous and taciturn man I had told no one of my would-be odyssey and none but the sibylline could know what had become of me. At last my hand fell upon a smooth, metallic protrusion which I took for a handle. I pressed down slowly, the door gave without the need of a key or cipher. I cringed as it creaked open loudly. A flight of stairs rose up quixotic (quixotic for they wavered as a mirage before me) from my coffin and I alighted them in a frenzy. In my haste I failed to notice the Erinyes’ tiefling standing at the landing, head cocked. He wore in his long raven hair three kestral feathers and upon his person the outlandish garb of a jester. His face was handsome, his smile jaded, his eyes the color of Juniper berries. He appeared to be an innocuous sort and I gathered myself, now very much unkempt, to greet him. I tried every language I knew and even those, which in my delirium, I had forgotten but he only looked on impassive as a glacier. Having exhausted my resources he finally spoke, his voice a brontide, a numinous nocturne. At length we were able to communicate our names. Halcyon. I repeated, eliciting from my incidental host a nod as blank as his basilisk stare. He took my hand in his, it was bereft of heat and sentimentality. His anthracite talons curled back toward his palms and I noticed then that his skin was very nearly translucent. Such an Absinthian beauty I had never seen before. I allowed him to lead me through a constellation of evanescent hallways until at last we arrived in a room hung with a large chrysalis, in a carnival of diaphanous colors, like the horizon in juxtaposition with a laconic sun. I saw within it a particularly large and malengine fracture. I clutched tighter to the hand that held mine, remembering only then that I had not let it go. The air smelled strongly of hyacinths and I knew that whatever emerged from that kaleidoscopic carapace would be a synthesis of all that is unorthodox and virulent in this world. I wept then, a lone waif, yearning by an uncrossable watercourse. My companion grinned zealously at the zenith of my zetsubou and I felt myself go white and delicate as yarrow flowers. Yesterday I had been nothing, a zero, a xerus among the multitude, but in that moment I was a xenolith, held in place by morbidity, by the proclivities and perversities of my dystopian soul. A vestigial limb stretched itself, yawning from the starless gulf. My tears tasted oddly alkaline or perhaps it was the vitriolic zephyr which oozed from the frothing seam of the chrysalis. A shriek, like that of a virago spilled through me. Now was not the time for neurasthenia. I persevered despite the mercurial nature of my moods, tethered by the tiefling’s hand but only just. I knew the indelible spirit of curiosity would see me through this, just as an insomniac wonders waking through a bastion of unmade dreams. Small insectile limbs inched through the parting, spindly graphite slivers of a xanthous hue tremulous and horrid with embryonic fluids. I knew that within that dormant womb nothing elysian could possibly emerge.
I tried to get them all and also to add a few other favorites. I am not 100% if I succeeded because it was so many to keep track of.