Forever prancing down the open roads paved with doughty red gravel,
fiery red and sharper than my bare feet can bear to stand,
but the crossroads ahead are just in sight
and my bleeding feet have no say in the matter.
The Cumberfay on my heels doesn’t heed my pleas,
she pushes forward, her sharp teeth glimmering in the vague light,
I can see her hair flowing behind her like a waterfall
and her beauty enchants me but I know she is mischievous.
There are legends about her,
whispered by mute mouths,
under the pale ghastly moon,
the echoes come to you in your sleep,
ride you like the Mara,
she with the dark horns and rapacious appetite
for dark longings and wicked wishes.
I know her well,
she has ridden me before,
leaving me breathless and anxiously yearning,
For what? I’m never sure.
So the red gravel road is preferable,
I know to keep to it,
despite the sores it leaves on my feet and on my precarious soul,
stained only by the reflections of my savage heart.
A chair stands at the focal point,
when I sit down there is a slight noise,
a hiss from a million mutated seadragons,
waiting in the water, underneath the mountain.
One might fly up to snap me with its claws,
flying on its seaweeded wings,
singing a soft melody with its giant trunk.
The mountain view gives me hope,
I can see civlisation colliding with the darkness,
one that seems larger than life.
I know they died out a million years ago,
faded from earths history, dispersed by time.
This place is full of forgotten things,
and fossilised ideas.
The chair grows feelers,
reaching out, showing me the way
forcing me the way.
There is a light at the end of the road,
but it’s the one I’ve walked,
and going back is not an option.
Going back is never an option,
not from this place,
not from these crossroads of the dying,
crossroads of the light.
I see her hesitating, The Cumberfay,
she looks at me, yellow eyes staring,
she is eagerly anticipating my every move,
and I stare back at her,
the highseat giving me courage to face her.
Standing up to her is a task best left to the living,
but there is a surge of desperation in my soul,
I can see her drawing back,
the Cumberfay, the witch of the Morning,
she is timid.
I see the claws on my hands,
my hair has grown white
and my senses sharp.
But her fear doesn’t empower me,
it makes me weak and alone.
The worst word in the word:
a l o n e
so I stand up and I reach out with my enclawed hand,
and she shys back, her smile curiously anxious.
“Please,” I tell her, “Do what you came here to do,”
she approaches me with ease, with care
and I sit down again, resting my head on my hand,
I can feel her stroking my cheeks,
the embers of our previous encounter still in her touch,
I realise I can’t face her,
looking her in the eyes will turn me to stone.
So I sit, cowering.
Until she places her finger
underneath my chin.
My tears are heavy,
stained with tar.
They splash on the ground,
Showing me a path as they start to glow.
And her touch forces me up, up, up
and when I look into her eyes again
I know that I need nothing more
the decision has been made,
I kiss her. I always do.
She sits on the ground between the silver maples,
and then she turns to stone again,
my beautiful Cumberfay.
I follow the tears and chose a path.
It’s dark for now,
but unless the Seadragons will snap me up
I am safe.
Bored to tears, because she chases me no more
and I wish her to be,
wish her to be so we can continue this game
There will be other crossroads,
and maybe then I will choose the right path,
the darkest path
and her hand.
The red gravel road is paved with glass shards now,
but still I trudge forward
and if I’m lucky the Mara will visit me in the night
and show me her pitch-black dreams.