Gift From Anonymous G
By Rosalyn Stevenson
How long had she been trudging through the dirty pock marked snow? She couldn’t remember. She only knew that she had to go on in spite of the heavy blanket of snow that illuminated the endless night.
Cold flakes of metal fell from the air and pecked at her raw, chapped cheeks like angry birds of prey.
All thoughts had frozen in her but one: “I must go on. The G’s are counting on me.” She knew, hoped, that the noticeable trail she left as she pulled her heavy burden behind her would be deeply buried by the storm come morning.
In the killing cold, she shivered continuously now, as she dodged and ducked under black low hanging branches of dead burned out trees slogged with black petroleum waste.
She slipped unsteadily in the filthy snow covered sludge beneath her feet. She fell, her bleeding face raking against one of the obscure snow covered stumps she had struggled to avoid. As her hands flew forward to stop the fall, she lost hold of the gray bag she pulled behind her.
Nearly unconscious upon the dirty snow, she thought for a moment of her once safe home, a place now nothing but a pile of rubble. The terrifying sounds of cracking wood and the thunder of hard-soled boots seared her memory. They had found her out. The Managers. But how? Who? The few G’s who still remained alive would never talk, of that she was certain.
As she took another deep breath, her ears winced at the suddenly broken silence. She heard voices, the crunch of snow and the whine of motorbikes. Slanting light beams sniffed the uneven surface of the snow not far from her.
She tried to rise. Her feet slid on the frozen ground. The rank smell of petroleum congealed in her nostrils as her head hit the ice.
Suddenly she felt herself jerked roughly up by the collar of her jacket. The pressure strangled her. She gagged.
In terror, she stared into a familiar face. “Tom”, she whispered.
He shoved her into the shadows.
“Tom, it was you then? You who told them about me? Let me go, please Tom. Remember before you became a Manager? Remember when we were kids? There was sunshine then, Tom. We played on the grass, remember, Tom? ”
“Yes, it was me, Tingla. I had to save you from the Greens, the G’s. I knew you were going their bad way. The Managers are good, Tingla. They control the seeds and the feeds. They love us, Tingla. They control the seeds and the feeds for our own good.” His eyes were black, his speech robotic as he repeated the memorized Manager’s party line. “The Managers are good. They control the seeds and the feeds for our own good. They love us. The Greens are bad. They want the seeds and feeds and the green things for themselves. The Managers must control all seeds, feeds and green things. ”
She grabbed his arm. Her hand was heavy upon him. “Tell them I’ve gone a different way, Tom. Help me. Please,” she whispered.
Tom looked into her face and for a moment seemed to remember. He turned suddenly and ran to where the lights like wolves sleuthed within the shadows. He scuffed her tracks as he ran. “I found her tracks,” he yelled. “She’s gone this way.”
She heard the voices trailing off, away from her.
She grabbed the heavy gray bag and with both hands muscled it after her. Within minutes she was kicking at the base of a stump sticking up black from out of the snow. A depression in the icy earth gave way. She wrestled the bag to its center and shoved it with hands and feet as hard as she could. It slid down and away from her. She sat down and pushed herself into the hole it made. The surrounding drift of blackened snow slid in after her.
Down she slid and landed on her back inside a rectangular room. LED lights thronged the patchwork walls of motley rags and scraps of wood, old signs, pillaged parts that held up the icy banks. Around at every angle stood upon the ground small battery driven heaters connected to tangles of tubes that caught and funneled melted ice into the soil of myriad containers each of which held a green thing, a living thing; a plant to eat, an oxygen giving plant. Here, spreads of tall wild grasses, oats, rice. There a brightly colored fruit; red, orange. Over there, berries, blue, magenta. Each living thing, in its dirt ground held a little sign, hand written: “Gift From An Anonymous Green.”
She soon saw her spot. A hole in the middle of the room, dug just right, about four feet deep, and on it’s side a heap of woven rags with a thick crust of dirt.
She teetered the gray bag to the edge of the hole and with frozen, clumsy movements uncovered the treasure within. With both arms, she held onto the heavy awkward thing and pulled it with her into the hole, leaving its head in the LED light and air of the rectangle. With the last of her waning strength, she reached to the pile of woven rags and dirt at the side of the hole and snugged it over and around the base of her charge and over her head. Clumps of dirt fell on her eyes and into her mouth. She lay in the fetal position in the dark hole and wrapped heavy, thick roots around her body.
“My flesh,” she thought as tears of exhaustion and triumph mingled with dirt upon her cheeks. “My flesh will feed the tree.” And soon she slept.
We have windows from the twenty-foot ceiling to the floor, all along one side of the main salon. When the tapestry draperies are pulled open, we have a stunning view of water and sky stretching for as far as the eye can see.........tantalizing the senses with turquoise, indigo, purple, sometimes emerald. The golden lights of the sun reflecting off the ocean sparkle into my brain and eyes until I feel such intoxication that I think that I will faint at times, but I don’t. I feel life force liquefying into the middle of me, upwards from my vagina. Birth canal energy, light into my belly, then into my tongue and into my eyes, and brain, so that I am trembling with ecstasy. I breathe deeply, and then continue with reading, writing, painting, collaging, drawing up plans for new creations. I drink from my innermost being this heavenly beauty, and continue to move the body, beating the brain to create, create, create, while I am able, in the enchantment of this place.
The dining area is graced with a long antique table made of finest mahogany, with hand carved legs and matching hand carved chairs. The china upon which we take our food is of the finest light porcelain. We eat with sterling silver forks, spoons and knives. These utensils alone would be worth a fortune in the marketplace.
At the far end of the room is a huge hand-cut mirror from France whose beveled edges send rainbows around the room, prismatic reflections from the natural light. Over the dining table is a magnificent chandelier of delicately cut crystal, which adds it’s own rainbows to those of the mirror, so that the whole room is dancing with colored lights.
The library here is full of books and if I tire of one genre, the shelves are filled immediately with new volumes in another, so that I never grow bored. I always have new subjects for study and amusement.
One can feel the sun through the towering windows of thick glass, but only in the sense that one feels it from a great distance; a hallowed knowingness with only the barest sense of actual tactile experience. We are safe, here, from the toxic radiant heat that burns others.
On the south side of the villa the view is equally as lovely as from the west. Out of my window I see the village below, and the cliffs of the cove, all the way to the water where the surf laps up onto the rocky shore. A 180º vision of paradise.
The weather has been flawless since I’ve been here. The air so fresh and sweet that I am made euphoric by it as if drunk on honey wine.
I have traveled far and long to come here. I must remind myself of this. I must remind myself that the journey was difficult and forlorn. It is not always easy to remember, as now I pass the days in golden ease, eating my fill of delicious foods, floating in the amber waters of peace, serenity, and plenty. Still, the gypsy in me is restless, longing for the free wind, the raven’s call...........(no matter how high we are, we can always go higher).
The splendor and the solitude are is so seductive that I put my gypsy heart to rest at night with the promise of coffee in the morning, more reading, writing, creating. I lay my lust for wildness to bed yet dream of love; of arms and tongues; men’s chests and heavy, thrilling thrusts that may yet await outside of this silver and golden castle, despite the peace here.
I must illustrate the stories that I write.
I cut some pictures from a catalog, and paste them together. A woman has leaves and flowers twisting from her neck. A hummingbird is in her hair. Her face is smiling. Her eyes are looking at me. I turn away. I put her into a black bag with other creations and hope that she’ll stop staring. I cut out a picture of a long knife, but I haven’t the nerve to use it on her. I put the picture knife away feeling like a naughty five year old.
I cuss and squirm around on the bed. I pull the covers over my head, but my torment is not in the room, but within myself.
“Dream or vision be ye which?” I say to the tall dark man who casts his form upon the television screen within my head.
“Tell me who you are”, I demand, amusement and apprehension mixed.
As time goes by I become more shrill......desperate.....
“Tell me who you are, I must know! Vision to instruct and guide me? Or dream, fantasm, fantasy to deflect me from my path?”
“Pain or pleasure? Which shall I find in your visage?”
My tongue curls around possibilities of flesh or thought.
Sarah is watching television, but she doesn’t see the dark man.
The ocean is thundering and throwing a tantrum below. I go to the window. The whitecaps appear huge and frightening even from the distance from which I view them.
From our heights above the village, I can see the tops of palm trees and olive trees which sway in the winds from the sea. I press my face against the glass of the high arched windows, and sway to the rhythm of the breeze.
I pick greens from amongst the colors of the leaves on the trees below then analyze them for yellows, blues, siennas. I turn the colors over on my tongue and thrust them back into my eyes then separate them again in my brain. I choose one for flavor another for shock value. I toss the others away and watch them lie like ashes upon the ground next to broken palm fronds grown brown, dead.
The dark man will come tonight. He hears my wild soul calling, and he will come.
In my slumber he will whisper to me and carry me, sleeping, up into the wind above the ocean. When I awaken I will be tired, uneasy, afraid, excited. I will drink coffee and write. I will make pictures for the story, but I will not see his face in the pictures. I will taste the night wind, just under the taste of the coffee, but I will pretend that I do not.
Sarah is reading. I am sitting in the library with her, writing the story about the dark man who has no face. He tells me what to write, and warns me against writing it, all at the same time.
Night has come. Sarah tells me that the newspaper says that a child has been snatched from her bed in the village.
I wonder if she will be with the wind over the ocean when the dark man comes for me tonight? I wonder if she has seen his face?