Here in these halls. . .
You ask that of me here?
I speak to you only because there is a song in me
that wasn’t there before
Not because you command me to do so
When the Death Angels fell on our position
the filters and shields provided did nothing to save us
Half my array splintered and caught fire
The balance simply failed
I stood longer than any human there
but we were not fighting humans
I fell. . .
Strange how this is like a dream
yet I remember every aspect
I fell into some kind of maze
Some cunning structure meant to confuse the senses
Long hallways of vegetations I have never seen
Some flowering in shapes of strange animals
Some in shapes of faces of all the known worlds
I tried to push my hands into the hedge
but it resisted and my hands felt acid burning
See? These are the scars
I could not climb over or wriggle under
At no place could I see from one hedgerow to the next
The sky was a consistent pewter void or any markings
Void of sun or moon or stars
I relented and sank in despair
Some other time later
tried to leave a trail
All to no avail
An eternity after I had landed in the maze
a most sonorous vibration. . .
The earth felt of the vibe
The leaves shook
and everything seemed to resonate with the sound
My thoughts scattered and my eyes grew blurred
My heart filled my throat and. . .
She was walking there
Not more than a man’s length in front of me
Her back to me and for a moment she turned
and my heart fell away from me
leaving me naked in her gaze
Amazed I watched as she gestured for me to follow
through a verdant arch that had not been there before
Past statues of strange mythical beasts
down, around and through
A hapless dog, I followed
turned to face me and said
“You are hungry?”
I had no tongue nor any remembrance of how to speak
“Of course you are. . .”
She reached into the hedge and brought out
Meat-cakes, breads and globulesque fruits
Gelatinous spheres of a thin wine. . .
I know the Speakers say never except food from the Fae
But I was certain that I was dead already
and the fare was passing good
but not the ambrosia foods of the Fae
We wound through pathways beyond number
Sometimes pausing for refreshment
And suddenly the walls of the maze
were mere trees
The very trees of Veralon
and the sky was a normal sky
and the path was littered with debris. .
And I looked up
and. . .
My Lady was gone
Terror took me then
and I shouted and ranted
and I was left so alone. . .
She was. . .
she is gone. . .
and I am so alone
She must have been one the Strange Muses
even the Merchants can not say how I managed
to find myself in Veralon
Light years and worlds away from the battle place
where the Death Angels fell upon us
None of my company. . .
None of us lived. . .
Yet I live
None of us escaped
Yet. . .