XIII. The Dance of the Seven Veils

Behold the great veils of my life, the gifts of my of birthright:
A vast layer of woven gold: smooth, and easily scratched and dented. An unremarkable fabric with elaborate stitching and knotwork. A vibrant silk sheaf, washed in exotic dyes from the east. A warriors sash, adorned with the collective fangs and talons of great beasts of prey. Humble rings of iron, that lay heavy across my chest yet sit cool and at rest: & an a seemingly endless length of script and prose.

The sheer chromatic essence of the whole overwhelms me. For all they afford me in this life, they carry weights of their own—they seek to restrict my gaze, and restrain my desires and thoughts. I lay irrelevant: & long forgotten. Unrealized. A defeated atrophied motley of a creature. But I do dream. I’ve yearned for the day I could stand among them as equals. In answer the world sent me you. I could hardly believe it—how you ride headless through the night. Laughing! Before I can speak, you pick me up and put me on your horse. For the first time, I feel the wind. It roars as I dreamed it would—black and cold as void. You skillfully dodge rock outcroppings and tree limbs, almost as if you knew they were there. Had you been down this path before?

The ride is rough: & the veils grow jealous. They dance in anger and wrath. I cry out as my coveted masterwork knots choke me: & fangs tumble and cascade down the side of my throat. My throat grows raw and blushes red before finally meeting the air. The veils violently open, and flare behind us like black sails. I feel a sudden jerk and a crack like dry twigs. I hold what little of my essence as I can as it begins to pool in my hands. My vision slowly begins to blacken and blur. Is this what happened to you, brave one?

The dry heat of panic starts to rise in my chest, it’s dread I’ve felt many times before. My mind starts to flounder, but my body does not. I hear your breath rising and falling besides me. A great force, like mighty rawhide bellows­—swallowing the air in broad waves, and casting your heart hotter and brighter than any forge I’ve seen or felt. I cry out for the last time: & hold you as tight as I can. Thanks to you, my heart has begun to cast flame of it’s own.

By the light of the full moon, my throat blooms for the first and last time, and in vast heart-driven plumes comes the final veil. The rarest, and most beautiful of all. Primal and powerful, with all the due prestige of one’s final breath. The veils fly behind us, discarded and forgotten among the trees, and I lifelessly fall forward.

I have no eyes to see, or ears to hear, but I know you’ll catch me. What grand adventure awaits us beyond our earthly perception I wonder?