Dark Memory

We took to the construct – raw, playful, fanciful.

Increasingly vanquished, the desire to break the wooden effigy took hold of his imagination. There, before him it stood. Staring him down, its drawn features carved out of solid rock. Arms hewn from ancient oaks and its torso, a thicket of nasty brambles replenished seasonally, for near on a millennia, by the inhabitants who adored, cared for and protected the silent menace.

Were it not for these people, their icon of resilience would have perished in the storm of history, destroyed by the hordes of barbarians that have lain to waste the lands, waters and air for the generations to come, unaware of the species they would undoubtedly awaken to endure, fine or perhaps placate.

And there it stands, an impossible construction of weed, wood and stone, a farce to the modern eye as if fashioned by children with the chafed hands of a stone mason with hearts cast from iron, its centre still aflame with the fury of its makers. But they are not children, and nor are their off-spring – the child had all but perished in the days of rape, blood and mayhem. Their idol, a sign-post, an earth-bound satellite created by primitive cartographers that the people would know who they are, and to whom they would ultimately succumb to.


It went on like this for eons – a committed cycle of myth and sorcery. Stone had become the face of these people for whom the still, charcoal black waters of the Lake had become their god – it took and spared those that would tend their defiant, stoic, single-eyed savior – its will, its weathered will and reckless construct that of its people, its servants – survivors of all that had claimed people not unlike themselves – across the harsh, frozen plains of this hardy, isolated country where thorn-like grasses share a rare hint of green, amidst the bloody leaves of the rampaging brambles the people endure in their passage to the Lake.

The Lake is the silent doorway to the hell their new born are surrendered to. Those that survive its un-holly sub-zeros will walk this land. They will not forget their icy rite of passage. Year after year they return to the Lake to test the will of their god. When they willingly enter its darkness and return safely to its shores, only then will their endurance be rewarded with a life reverent of its origins and masterful in survival – its men and women sharing equal burden the fate their forefathers and mothers had carved out of the viscous dark of histories past.

10.2000

4 thoughts on “Dark Memory”

  1. well andrew – a story – and also, neat sounds to the words, rhythm, not encumbered by any tokenistic, routine use of trad literary devices – feeding bit by bit the imagination – like it builds up, at a pace and by the measures you set, in my/the reader’s mind, just like it builds up for those hmmm shadowy figures – i like its dramatic construction too, paragraph by paragraph – while you leave out a few threads for me/the reader to work on alone (i think) – you realise you’re using drama, music, poetry, depth psychology, anthropology and i guess a few other things here?

  2. thanks for that, rod…

    writing is kind of like arranging, arranging a piece of music… whether it be prose, a play, or diary entries, i’m always aware of a kind of groove, or swing… pacing the text on paper is not so different to how it might be spoken…

    to be honest, i’ve never really thought of it in these terms before, i just write with a kind of tempo, articulating where possible sensory experiences much like an accent in music…

  3. Hey, I remember when you played for us at the backyard concert thing in Springfield with Nate Barrows. I think you guys are F@#$ing awesome! i loved your performance. Anyways, I was the chubby chick in black with blonde hair who recently lost 40lbs. i’ll be seeing you in concert shorty…I’ll see you soon buh byes! Lots of love, Talena.

  4. hmmm… don’t think so. never been to springfield. never been to the states. i don’t think i ever will.

    -ag.

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