TitleBy May B. Yesno © 2007
As quietly as that the story began to take shape and blossomed in the mind's eye. The author motionless for many minutes on end, never committing to paper the swirl of thoughts. Never articulating the pain he saw in that mind's eye, nor attempting to describe for an innocent reader the involuntary quiver, the trickle of blood from the incision, warm to the fear cold body. Still. That was the word for the author. On the outside.
On the inside boiled and roiled the heathenish and brutal trail of mangled flesh, from every direction, tokens of small bottles of human - and sometimes, from the early days, animals - blood. The bottles chronicling the diminution of desires. Some bearing only dark matter, some reddish brown rusty liquid; some showing the separation of stillness, of others displaying clearly combined contents. But never reaching the shelves end. Always another empty bottle. Always the need to fill that bottle. And the shelves in the mind's eye were neither difficult nor tiring to construct. Never.
The observer, standing behind the author, would observe a form, save for the regularly spaced torso expansion and contractions, immobile as a statue. Seated was the form, in a kitchen chair, at a kitchen table, in a cold water flat - some where. Where didn't seem to matter, never to an observer, not to the author. The circumstances of the mildew musty smelling walls with peeling paper, stained sink, the un-made bed with tattered linens; none of it mattered.
The important matters were of the mind and the mind was busy fondling the bottles, and the manner of collecting contents. The mind was busy dissecting the body, the hands deep within the cavity beneath the ribs. Touching the heart, crowding the lungs. The mind could see the hands forcing fingers beneath and around the bowels, gripping the fat slimy glistening blue and white tubular sections, pulling, twisting; the mind hearing the velvety tearing, ripping of thin membrane as one section was loosened from another. Foot after foot dragged hissing and slithering across the bloody flaps of the abdomen walls, laid to each side, still attached to the back.
If the observer rendered powers sufficient, he would dip into the mind and tell us about the author. Tell us of another time, of lazy summer days; of the wonder filling the mind; of the reaching, the grasping, of never obtaining that perfect hold, of the perfect sequence of letters and spaces; of never achieving the goal. And as the youth matured, the quest continued; searching, seeking, never finding. Not all the Gods in Heaven; not all the Devils in Hell; not all the friends combined that praised, would the observer find that pleased the author.
That observer would tell us of the girls in adolescence; of the Christmases of youth and the joy and the gifts received. He would tell us of pleasures of the learning, the pleasures of skipping the learning - for the delightful pleasures of truancy are pleasures as great as the knowledge gained through diligences. Still the observer, with his powers, cannot find a grain of satisfaction in the author. Nor he search himself to exhaustion, none would he find, nor will find, not yet.
In the mind of the author; the hands gently pried and separated the coils and loops; moving smoothly down, smoothly down, savoring each twitch and jerk of the body, until the fingers identified shapes. The ovaries, the womb - and the hands pause, they stroke. The birth place, the center of creation. The authors mind caresses the thought, imagining the process of creation. The passion, the touching, the blood racing, the questing, the ascension; both kinds. The release. Ah, the mind bending, blessed, release of tensions. The joy of the aftermath.
The hands rip, tear, and cast aside, the object which thumps to the floor. Tough, disgusting, it thumps. The body on the table heaves. In the author's minds eye rise giggles and simpers, and the hands pause as the mind turns over every action thus far performed.
Were the observer to move deeper into that miserable room, close-in behind the author and peer over his shoulder, the observer would detect a certain tension in the hands. A certain rigidity to the neck, a faint but perceptible quiver to the head. The observer would also discover the envelope. The envelope: clutched, wadded, smoothed across the knee; held gently, clutched again, wadded, smoothed, held. But never torn, never destroyed, never discarded. Never opened - yet.
Having reviewed the actions taken, the mind of the author skips forward; considering, mulling. The eye of the mind sees the cavity, free now of intestines; wet and glistening. And the mind commands, so the hands obey and one reaches out, picking, from the utensils neatly arrayed nearby, a sieve. A small screened sieve, yet in entire, large enough to contain a bottle.
And the mind chooses; commanding again, and a hand drifts forward, closing on the bottle. The bottle identical to all other bottles on the identical shelves. Shelves hidden in the dark corner of a cluttered warehouse, yet light enough for the author's mind's eye to see and identify each, and if so chosen, any would yield a story to the mind. A warehouse hidden in gulleys and shadows behind the glittering façade of the questing intellect. And the mind hesitates, so the hand stops. The eye observes the fluids seeping into the sieve, the sieve keeping the coagulating fluids and viscera away; creating a small pool of pure and lovely hearts bloods. But there is an Act to be performed. And Act as yet undone. If not performed, all Acts to this point are moot, worthless.
Now the observer, peering over the shoulder of the author, sees the hands lose tension and the fingers, ever so gently, ever so smoothly, ever so tenderly, turn the envelope back side to and will watch them trace the flap seal ridge - over and over; and over.
After a period the hand stills and gently presses the envelope to the knee while the off-hand raises smoothly to the table top and grasps the handle of a knife.
And just as smoothly, returns with the knife and the tip slips under the flap seal - and stops.
Should the observer use his extraordinary power at this point to enter the mind he would find a mind at this point at peace. All the preparation is finished in the mind's eye, everything to be done has been done. The bottle is ready, all that remains is the envelope.
And the knife moves, not quickly, slowly. Slowly and carefully, to avoid the missive inside the caressed envelope, the knife move with no hesitation. And it is done. The cut. Finished. The fingers holding the knife adjust position, dip into the envelope, and draw the single sheet free.
The mind's eye sees the bottle, sees the hands it commands, further instructs the hands to loose the seal and remove the container's lid. And the tensions in the mind raise. The heart rate supporting the mind doubles. The hands seem to tense beyond the task appointed, but remain firmly under the command of the mind's eye.
The observer will watch ever so closely as the hands return the knife neatly to the table, arrange the ruined envelope with precision and ever so gently open the full sheet to expose the message from the publisher to whom the manuscript was sent.
Silently the head dips over the document and the eyes of the author scan the five lines. A single word, the searched for word is not found; but the expected word, the bottled hopes of a word, is there, defining the shelves. The word is 'Reject.'
In the noisy mind's eye, the command is given and the hands act. The bottle is lowered, ever so gently, within the sieve, submerging itself. The fluids drain in smoothly and the mind chuckles, watching. The last small space is filled when the air bubbles and the bubble breaks. The mind communicates with the hands and the bottle is lifted, the lid replaced, the seal set. The hands flow smoothly to the sink where the bottle is gently washed clean and dried.
The mind's eye holds the bottle aloft against the available light and the mind, the creative mind nods in satisfaction, turning, reaches to place the bottle of ruby life's blood on the shadowed shelves, in line, in turn.
The observer watches the seated figure rise, stand momentarily, then turn and place the missive gently beside the envelope. The observer watches and the author slowly settles his knuckles to either side of the articles touched.
And listens to the first words uttered; as with head bowed, the author articulates: "It's time. It's time to hunt once more."
May B. Yesno is a writer from Fresno, CA.