Wednesday, June 6

Musica Universalis

Summoned, they stand in a line. Their eyes are fixed firmly on the floor beneath their predecessor's feet, the finely figured black-and-white tiles laid over wide, cold space. They are not frightened of the empty spaces between the tiles; they do not quail at the rushing constellations that pass within inches of rough, bare flesh. Oh, she loves them, the Ophanim. Her children, the living embodiment, the material crossroads of imagination and desire.

She is safe in this space--space is a hall made of calligraphy, cradled in a lotus inscribed with the nine thousand names of the holy. She is the bearing upon which time itself balances, and every avatar, every incarnation stands, patient, waiting for her direction. She reclines, listening to the distant murmur of women.

When Lailah wakes, the scent of burning sugar mixed with perfume still hangs heavy in the air. She pulls her makeshift bedroll closer. The floor creaks gently as she curls under the window of the abandoned house, the stars keeping watch. She grips a dirty twist of waxed paper in her left hand, singing under her breath:

"I will make a new clay bowl and inscribe it with the names of those who have cursed me, I will fire it in the flames of the house of bondage and the house of weapons until you call back the curses, until you call them back in the names of the angels, until you bless in the names of the angels, until you repent in the nine thousand names of the holy, amen amen, selah."

She spits between her forked fingers and pulls the pipe from her sleeve. Her thin, pale fingers scrape the sticky black opium from the waxed paper, rolling it into a ball. She sticks it to the pipe and lights it, placing her lips to the mouthpiece and breathing in prophecy.

For the Scriptic Prompt Exchange this week, Chelle gave me this prompt: "Time stood still as he/she watched..." and I gave lisa this prompt: "Puffy and Tina."