by Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
still mineral water
Dark. Hidden. Silent. A huge hall stood alone. Unaided. Resisting the forces that wished to corrupt it. It waited.
A towering bush stood proudly encased in a tall powder blue vase embossed in pastel white twists and twirls, eroded somewhat by age and event. The branches stretched up high as if desperately attempting to touch the heavenly boarders with bright crimson berries; angels’ fruit, a gift to the beyond. Though withering and recoiling in places, it stood robust. It resisted the forces which wished to see its demise.
Thick lush green moss tenderly grew, trailing down from the high stone walls and depositing itself in great tangled heaps upon the marked marble floor. It twisted and fell oddly, something had disrupted its growth. Upon it, corrupting black dots of disease; deeply felt wounds upon waxy emerald flesh.
The moss grew out from the cracks beneath the high set stained glass windows above, deeply embedded into the rock. The windows stretched high as if they too were trying to reach the heavens. As if they were seeking enlightenment. They appeared to have resisted all of the marking and destruction. Alone, they stood pure and true against the harsh chill in the old air within this place. Above them, steely torches cast a false glow upon the marble beneath. Brightly alight, yet somehow lacking flame. Their light was drowned out by the deafening light from beyond the window panes. The light beyond was truth. The light beyond was purity. The light beyond was a chance of enlightenment. The light beyond was enlightenment itself. It cast its glow upon the marble. No shadow was formed.
Above, a huge dome constituted the roof. A barricade. A prevention of enlightenment. Blocking the way beyond. Large grey stone beams heralded the crest of the dome, aiding its sweeping structure. The stone itself was scuffed, used, worn, as if it’d born holy witness to many a moon in this strange place, though the heavy door was locked. There was no way in. Or indeed out.
Within the beaming true light, there stood a man, untouched by his surroundings. Dressed in a sand coloured garment of silken thread tied neatly with a golden rope. Twisted. Wrapped around his waist many times with a double knot at the hip. His hood draped over his raven hair, he held a candle. Burning brightly. Unchanged by the subtle breeze that swept through the structure from an unknown source. It waited. It envied the light beyond. It may never achieve its brilliance. Until that time, it’ll have to resist temptation. It must believe the light will wait for it to achieve its glory.
It never will.