Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I followed Clare down the ravine, which ended in a small rounded depression filled with brown water. She held my hand and led me to the lip of the moors. They stretched out before us, uniform, brown undulating hills reaching the horizon, where a darker, black brown line penciled at the horizon indicated a tree line.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Don’t be so curious, you’ll ruin it. I really think you want to destroy everything, you and that big brain atop that large body.” she smiled leeringly, “It’ll be your ruin. I have something of the prophetess in me, you know. I see things I don’t always understand. But often I see them come to pass.”
“What do you see for me?”
“I see,” she said, still leering at me penetratingly, “a smaller person next to you, or alongside of you. You control him or her, but he or she also controls you, and its an odd little war that neither side will win. What’s its called when you have a living double that haunts you?”
“A doppelganger,” I answered.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“What is this other person, this other side like?” I asked.
“I can’t see it directly, just indirectly. Its like an impression or depression where a person should be, if you get my meaning.”
“It sounds like us,” I said. “In that case, who has the smaller presence and who has the larger?”
“I should think you have the smaller presence,” she said, suddenly stopping and turning around, hugging me, her head burrowed into my chest. Her hair was blowing fiercely in the open air, covering my face. I returned her embrace. She looked up at me, her hard small face a contrast of dull and bright, ruddy reds and sickly planes of grays.
“What’s the end-point of our journey Clare? We’re halfway to Nothingham by now?”
We scampered down a hill, gaining speed near its base, and suddenly crested another small knob of a hill that contained a jumbled mass, which, as we approached it, revealed itself as a rock outcropping. It was a wall of irregular black stone, scored with deep fissures. One gash, an especially long dark crack, stretched from the rock’s base to its top and oozed with a peculiar moisture. Clare easily slipped through the crack and called to me.
“Come on Lang, its worth it.” Sucking in my chest, deflating my diaphragm, I followed her. The opening was large, but as we progressed it grew narrower. My girth expanded, filling the crack. I looked up at the thin sliver of gray sky above us to prevent from getting sick, but the perspective seemed to worsen it.
In a moment it was over. I was standing next to Clare in a circular rock enclosure. All around were broken bits of stone of different sizes: slabs, spikes, bars, strewn haphazardly as if a bomb had exploded. All that stood was the massive circular wall, three or four times higher than me, tapering off at the top in a chimney shaped bulb.
“People argue whether this is man made or natural. It could be some sort of natural formation or a Celtic fortress of some sort,” Clare said looking at the steep walls, her thin arms dangling at her sides, “What do you think?”
“Hard to say,” I said, fingering the stones. “Why would anyone build anything so hard to get into, even for defensive purposes. Maybe for storage… to hide things away in times of trouble…”
“Well,” she said, “it has its contemporary uses as well.”
She pushed me down onto a flat stone. She straddled me, curling her loose jointed arms around my neck. Her slick tongue darted in and out of my mouth, imitating the motions of copulation. I pulled her cape off and ripped her flimsy shirt open. She was still warm and flushed from sleep. Her small braless breasts sprang out. They disappeared in my hands. We struggled out of our clothes. As we joined, I held her as close as possible.
We were so close we could barely move to simulate the motions of sex. There was a struggle, as we each tried to push the other away in the embrace, and then draw the other one back; it was an inverse ratio of action and reaction… a delicious stalemate.
Finally, I pushed her away from me with all my strength. I placed an open hand on the small of her back and another hand on her gray-green stomach. She took me fully now, and met my motions with equal counter motions. Her tongue flickered in and out of her small rounded mouth. Her yellow eyes looked up at me, and then disappeared behind her dusty eyelids. Her hair was thrown back, resting behind her pointed ear tips. A low moan issued from somewhere deep in her long snake throat. She thrust her arms outward, finding handholds on nearby rocks, and seemed, for a spellbinding moment, to float above me…