December 2012
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The sky that was him



The softly duskening sky hued the world in amethyst and celadon. The trees reduced to pencil-sketch silhouette, their artful hands grasping for empty purchase. Frost rimed the vessels of earth-tossed leaves, icy echoes of purpose now death-painted cold.

She hurried.

A bird flew overhead, an enormous swath of ebony against the dying of the light. She watched as the bird, a hawk of some sort, coursed against the sky. Back and forth he flew, cutting the jeweled air so cleanly the rent edges of atmosphere sealed invisibly in his wake. Lower and lower he flew, growing larger with every pass, until, at the point at which she could have stood and reached a hand to touch his swooping feathered wing, he was more than a swath against the sky; he was the sky.

An impossible giant of a black-night bird, she saw now.

She lay down upon the frozen ground and stared up into the sky that was hers, awaiting the sky that was him. When he arrived, there was a familiarity to the totality of his velvet-coal embrace, and she fought surrender to place the feeling. As the sky passed over her, she waited and strained for the contrast of the day’s ending glow, needing that contrast to place the eternity at which he hinted.

A dimly luminescent afterwards lit the way.

Once, she had descended below the earth into a cave.

The memory of the road that had led to this particular roadside attraction was lost to her, but the story of the cave lingered.

A man of long-ago, a man of small ambition and limited talents, once sat beneath a tree to eat a shaded lunch. After he finished eating, he leaned back against the tree, putting off for a few minutes whatever his life might next require of him. He thought of a nap, and he ran idly curious fingers along the earth beside him, wondering of the welcome his recline would receive. His fingers caught at an edge in the surface of things, and in an instant, he had slipped his hand beyond this world into what lay beyond. He scrabbled and gouged and clawed, revealing a tunnel that seemed to widen as he pressed.

The man came back with tools.

The man came back and he descended.

And with every descent, he was less inclined to return to the world above.

There was more to the story, but she remembered standing in line to buy a ticket to the underneath, scoffing at the lunacy of the long-ago man who had fallen in love with and escaped into darkness. The underground tour was just a tour – she was shepherded, along with the other tourists, past the points of interest – here are some rocks and here is a cavern and here is a waterfall and here are some crystals and here is a tunnel. Toward the end of the tour, the group was crowded onto a small railed landing above a large open cavern, and the tour-guide told them to stand very still.

And then, as they stood deep within the earth at the edge of an abyss, he turned off the lights.

He might as well have turned off the world.

The darkness was immense, and it pressed against her being with an insistent embrace. She stood still, as she had been directed, and she felt the nothingness reach for her, felt it strain for her with velvet-ebony hands that smoothed over her skin and her consciousness with a sensuous knowing want. It was the most amazing thing she had ever experienced, that embrace, and she felt an urge to surrender, to give herself over to this enveloping emptiness.

The emptiness and dark would dispense with her solidity.

She would fly.

She felt certain she would fly.

Just for an instant, she was certain.

And then the lights came back on, and the tour guide smilingly ushered them up the ladders to the surface.

The group moved up and on and out into the world again.

As did she.

As one did.

She lay now, on the frozen ground, and awaited the sky that was him.


He pressed himself to her, the coal-black bird, and the darkness was just as she remembered.

How had she ever walked away?

She reached up and smoothed silken feathers in the dark, felt the rimed edges of their icy truths. She pressed with aching want past the softness to the hollowed bones beneath, felt the curve of breast and the beat of heart. She reached with invisibly silhouetted hands for empty purchase.

She would fly.

She felt certain.

    29 comments to The sky that was him

    • Because . . .

      Well, just because.

    • Breathtaking.

      And a little scary. The bird. The cave.



    • Never fall in love with your captor. You know the story of liannan si…

      “In Celtic folklore , the Irish: leannán sí ”Barrow-Lover”… is a beautiful woman of the Aos Si (people of the barrow or the fairy folk) who takes a human lover. Lovers of the leannán sídhe are said to live brief, though highly inspired, lives. The name comes from the Gaelic words for a sweetheart, lover, or concubine and the term for a barrow or fairy-mound.

      The leanan sídhe is generally depicted as a beautiful muse, who offers inspiration to an artist in exchange for their love and devotion; however, this frequently results in madness for the artist, as well as premature death.”

      The Leanhaun Shee (fairy mistress) seeks the love of mortals. If they refuse, she must be their slave; if they consent, they are hers, and can only escape by finding another to take their place.” wikipedia



      • I like what you bring to the spaces I leave unfilled.

        Because I offered none of that, at least not knowingly.

        I like what you bring.


    • I have had 20 Chinese and three dogs in my house for New Years Eve. My Cowboys have choked again. And you expect me to enjoy Fiction? Only if you have an Orc and a zombie eating Jerry Jones big fat head. At that point you have my attention.

      • You want the truth?

        This is a version of truth . . . look closely.

        Also, what’s an Orc?

        And who is Jerry Jones?

        And also? I obviously have your attention.


    • I have had 20 Chinese and three dogs in my house for New Years Eve. My Cowboys have choked again. And you expect me to enjoy Fiction? Only if you have an Orc and a zombie eating Jerry Jones’ big fat head. At that point you’d have my attention.

    • "OG" Axel

      Ahem. The two ref above from HAMS is to either 1) Lord of the Rings series(orcs, humans, elves, dwarves and hobbits) or Warcraft/World of Warcraft. Correct me if I’m wrong. I spent a good chunk of one teenage summer reading 5 or 6 of JRR Tolkien’s books so I know a good thing or two of orcs. But not much more than two. As for zombies? What’s not to like about zombies? Jerry Jones? Don’t know them.

      I actually spent time today discussing Conan the Barbarian (Arnold version) that led to an analysis of Nietzsche’s “Twilight of the Idols”. Long story, funny how things go from point A to B. Conan to Nietzsche. Orcs and zombies to Jerry Jones. Birds, tools and flying. I dunno.

      Happy New Year!!! Love ya.

      • The only movie from which I ever quote is always appropriate . . .

        “A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate of shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.”

        Exactly so.

        Happy New Year to you guys as well.


        • "OG" Axel

          Oh I get it… Dallas Cowboys… Jerry Jones… Jerry is the team owner. It took a few. Even now. Who?

          New year and new resolution- I’m going back to the gym after taking 1 1/2 years off. Torn ACL and broken ribs behind me… it’s a Cesar Gracie studio that also teaches Muay Thai. We’ll see how I hold up or if I can even keep up. Thank goodness for modern reconstructive surgery and physical therapy. I’m just doing my part to ensure a continued demand for services and employment in the sports medicine field.

          • With respect to Jerry Jones? I know who the man is . . . I just like giving Bill shit, especially when he goes to great pains to announce that I have not managed to hold his attention.

            As for Muay Thai? That sounds like food.


            Spring chicken.



    • a snowsprite

      This made me shiver.
      I do so love your words; just to sit and turn them over in my mind.

    • Robin K

      If our creations are a product of our lifetime of exposures, experiences, impressions…is fiction really true?

      This piece is heart beat skipping. Love it.

      • Robin?

        I have mentioned elsewhere that there is more and deeper truth to my fiction than to my non-fiction.

        Funny, that.

        Thank you for reading, and thank you for the love.

        And Happy New Year! (2013 is just 22 minutes old as I type this)


    • Mishelle


      Just wow.

      I read it, then had to go back to re-read it to take it all in.

      The words are amazing, descriptive and paint a pretty image in my head. It kinda reminds of a tour I took into a salt mine in Pugwash with a tint of elves thrown in… But I think that last part is my childhood spent in fairy tales of JRR Tolkien, and many others, speaking.


      • Do you know I have never read Tolkien? I am not generally a big fan of science fiction or fantasy, although neither of those categories completely escape my attention. Hmmm . . . you know what? Tolkien’s books always sounded (when summarized by others) like stories about video-game worlds. That’s not good.

        Also? Where the hell is Pugwash?


        That’s awesome.

        • Mishelle

          I was going to mention Laurel K Hamilton who write one hell of a kick ass elf series but usually no one knows who she is when I mention her!

          Tolkien IS a little like a video game, which is why I read him when I was a teen… like Dungeons and Dragons as well.

          Not that I’d know what a D&D game is like or anything…

          No… I’m not that kind of geek…

          Damn, am I blushing? 1 game, just 1 game… really. Snort!

          Pugwash – you know I asked the same question when I was told that’s where we were heading on a university field trip “Where the hell is THAT?!? Ok, someone who KNOWS where they are going has to come in my car…” Nova Scotia (like Newfoundland) has some very weird place names. We also have a Paradise, NS. too… never been but I drove by the road sign once.



          • I was going to say that I cannot imagine being captivated by an imaginary world in which one interacts with invisible others, but then . . .



            Hamilton, you say?

            Making a note.


            • Mishelle

              She writes an elf series, a vampire series (no, not like twilight – thank gawd) and assorted others. The elf series goes a little weird in the middle but the end of it is so worth it.


              • Elves.

                I’ll do elves.

                OK, that sounds wrong.

                You know what I mean.

                • Mishelle

                  Oh… I KNOW what you mean… you DO elves…


                  I’ll be here, laughing quietly in the corner…

                  With all the other dirty minded people, ’cause I know I’m not alone here..



                  • You are never alone here.

                    Which sounds kind of insane and stalkerish, except reversed, because I sit here and wait for you to arrive.


                    You are never alone.


                    That’s not creepy at all.

                    • Mishelle

                      Hee hee hee!!

                      I used to be mayor of the gutter… had my own little condo in the gutter with a hottub on the deck where I’d watch comings and goings…

                      Yeah, that sounds just as filthy now as it did then.

                      I loved that condo…