Child of the Solstice – Kristian Hatton, 2009

She sat perched on the edge of the precipice, above it all, staring into endless expanses of cornfields, neither here nor there, worlds without edges.   She breathed in a white breath and held it.  The expanse called her, summoned her, but she held her breath, trying to remain on balance of a thread with a lit candle at either end.

                                                                     *

I’m here, and I don’t want to go back to your world of nothing.  You can have it, you can have it all. Just stop taking little bits all the time.  Take the whole lot.   I don’t want to be one of you, a feeder, a devourer of others ideas, of others souls.  Don’t make me go back again.

I never felt anything for anyone, except for my girlfriends, they were so soft and ethereal and like poetry to me.  But I really couldn’t make it with girls or guys. Sometimes I could function pretty well, and then almost every Sunday I would have these crying fits.   I barely got to open my mouth, but they all wanted to go out, to make talk, to crew, to drink, to feast.   I always gave me to them, it seemed right, like they liked me.  

We went to a party, always another party.  I took something; I’m told it will help the ceremony to unveil.  A ceremony celebrating the solstice commences, as the sun drops behind the hills.  Solstice is important for revisiting the way we were.  Creatures of season, creatures of ceremony, creatures of magic.  The stones are singing with the sky as I begin to see different, the way things should be.  We stand in a circle; I know I’m not one of them. The night progresses, I begin to see why I am here, for what intent others have brought me here for.  It’s the same old story, but more alarming as the shadows become solid like glass, items that were hidden are becoming visible.   The grass is beaten down by the multitudes of feet that have made ceremonies here, and feasted on the energy that flows.  Energy that is only temporary, energy unique in its mutable fragility. The things that move within these circles, as the stones and the moon observe.   My heart cringes, but I am not afraid, I never was.

The coven rise and multiply around the beaten circle, and compress, fold me within their grasp of velvet night, touching me, needing me.  This is not new, just more visible now.  They move my body around the ancient circles and stones, in time to the pulsing rhythm of high pitched bat shrieking and bone embracing baselines, created by monsters that slip between senses.   They fly me through the dark tissue of the night, weaving her energy within my own in a cornice of grey moaning, into a collective vacuum.  I can feel piercing as my body seems to be travelling, but I’m escaping, even if my body seems to still be getting up from a whirl of circle.  When they realise there is nothing left anymore to feast on, my legs collapse at their own will, like it was just me roaming around with an invisible entity plaguing me.   Ah yes, very clever, you creatures will not account for anything and make us look like we are entirely at fault, like it was our actions.  I fell inside myself, and my body being electrocuted into nothing. 

I am summoned again and I sigh and follow.  Always following. It wasn’t my fault that I have been attracted to these creatures, I was never held, never loved.   I was touched enough to know ‘they’ were there, but not held enough to know I was there.  As a baby you have to be held so that you will know where you begin and where the world lets off.  I turned off because if I lay there any longer and felt, I would have exploded into bits.   If I wasn’t taken now, I would eventually go mad anyway.  The wraiths in my peripherals lead me to this place where I can contemplate, a waiting room of yellow and green and breeze and rustling.   I am afraid of being taken back now, because I will be made to live like them. 

                                                                   *

They found her at the bottom of the hill, a broken toy doll, tresses matted and dirty, and her dress torn and ragged.   The music screamed indignantly as they gathered what was left of her from the rocks.   Her eyes shine like a stream, but her soul is no longer there, taken away by a cloud. 

                                                                   *

The nurse sighed and brushed back Persephone’s golden tresses.  These doofs had a lot to answer for, people taking dubious substances and having their sanity taken away from them, all for what?  Guys just use these frail flowers up, and discard the petals for their vain affairs.   Persephone seemed like she was fighting against coming back to reality, so they had to increase her doses.   It was hard to say exactly where she was mentally, but it did seem that there was definite evidence of other traumas involved; the LSD was simply the last straw.  

There were things that weren’t accounted for physically, with convulsions, rapid drops in temperature and strange cuts that would not disappear.  During Persephone’s attacks, she seemed full of life and resistant to medication, in a psychotic stream of some sort. Her pulse weakened to the point where they could say it actually not there and her temperature would drop to below 30 degrees.  The diagnosis was hypothermia.  Just another diagnosis.  The nurse continued brushing hair, while the unknown girl stared over a rose covered wall at corn fields only she could see.  

Persephone felt herself being called back by ghosts to a dark world for dark purpose.

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