Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cabin Fevre ~ 2. The Gift

They come at night like marauding Corsairs, flowing over the gunwales and flooding the empty decks of my dreams. And like the cogwheels within Mr Leibniz’s calculating machine, they mesh my disparate thoughts and fears into the grammar of demons that torment me with scenes of my own depravity. Night after night they come, leaving me unsure which to dread the most; daylight and the hunger, or the night’s catalogue of torture.
This morning when I awoke, I found that they’d left me a gift. It lay on the deck outside my cabin door, bloody and still beating, as if yet encased in the body.
And, echoing in the bloody valleys between the bass thump of each wet heartbeat and the reedy intake of breath to my lungs - the laughter of my erstwhile companions, now long gone from the Aurora’s cursed decks. And as their merriment grew, so did the bass thud treble hiss; like savage drums off the Guinea coast.
And the heart asked me whether I was comfortable in my new home.
And the heart said to me that being comfortable is easy once the body has settled in to its new routine.
And the heart said to me that the hardest part of any movement is the transition.
And the heart said to me that the blood boils in transition.
As I watched the heart pump on the deck and listened to its words in my head, I was struck by its terrible beauty, its functional purity and by the hunger that rose within me on a wave of bile from my empty gut. I knew what would come next and I despised my weakness in being unable to resist. Deeper still, I despised the implications.
I spoke to the empty air as swallowed hard on the last raw chunk of talking meat,
“Vengeful God, where is your purpose in all this? Where is your transition now?” I asked, “Now that William Fevre's body is briefly satisfied, and his soul is whittled to the quick?”
My chest shuddered as I drew a breath, and I smelled the salt air as if for the first time,
I rose on shuddering limbs and returned to my cabin to wash my face in tepid water.
The looking-glass, already corroded by many years of exposure to the salt air, reflected the wide-eyed and wizened face of a phantom; I could see straight through to my blackened soul; a true reflection of my waning humanity.


the walking man said...

At this point no one can say that Master William is heartless. Until the meat eaten is transitioned at any rate.

Pisces Iscariot said...

It appears that Mr. Fevre, in all his pious years alive, did not find himself a soul, perhaps the afterlife might supply some substitute?

O said...

does his own heart never talk to him?

Pisces Iscariot said...

If I'm not mistaken, the heart so recently consumed may well have been his own...