Conversations with Christopher: Within Walls of Stone

Christopher and Damian continue their conversation and their journey where they left off last week…

…the two of them are surrounded by stone walls. The only illumination comes from the yellow-green torches stuck in the walls, flickering like trapped ghosts. They cast a shadowy light upon the tapestries, the single chair in the chamber, a stone throne with a pattern of skulls and roses.

Christopher: (looking around) I’ve been there with Danyel. I drew him from this tapestry as you drew me from the shadows, only he already existed.

Damian releases his hand. Christopher draws closer to one of the tapestries, depicting a faded image of slender boy with a pale face and hair. The boy flings his frail arms around a monstrous, yet beautiful beast, a beast with fangs and fur. Only the image of beast changes. At times it has scales. At others it has a carapace and many limbs. Whatever the creature, it could crush and devour the boy. It wants to. Christopher can feel the hunger radiating from its mouth, but the youth’s courage and innocent affection stops the monster before it can devour its prey. The boy’s bravery makes the creature question the hunger itself. All these emotions Christopher can feel radiating from the imagery unless he’s simply interpreting them as such. For the boy in the tapestry looks very much like Danyel, not his twin. Nor is the boy unlike Christopher himself.

Christopher: Or…will I come here in the future? Once more, time is becoming blurred in this place.

Damian: It always does. (He is now wearing a stiff lace collar, a velvet vest, and tight matching pants.) Look at me. I’m like and unlike Stefan. I wonder if Aunt Duessa didn’t dress me like this to remind herself of her lost husband…and to emphasize how different I am from him.

He gestures to the second tapestry, which shows a woman, pale, nude, smiling. Her long auburn tresses writhe and quiver like serpents, her many arms embrace the same beast menacing the boy in the first tapestry. Only the beast favors a more reptilian form, staying in that shape. This beast snarls with hunger and anger, baring its fangs. It doesn’t choose not to strike as it did with the boy. It cannot strike the woman for she holds it captive. Only one pair of eyes upon the woman’s face are open, although she has many eyes. Most of them are half-mast, filled with a coy hunger equal to the beast’s for in restraining it, she has become more monstrous than the monster.

Christopher sees this and turns away from the tapestry.

Christopher: Why have you brought me here? Why are you showing me this?

Damian sits down in the stone throne, looking entirely too comfortable and regal in his hard seat.

Damian: (raising one arm to rest his chin upon the throne’s arm to regard Christopher) All I’m doing is reminding your of our story. Of us.

Christopher approaches the throne and drops to this knees. He places his hands upon Damian’s knee, bowing his head.

Christopher: If you wish to remind me of us, let’s return to our garden in Omphalos. I feel as if we are ourselves yet not ourselves within these walls. We’re becoming someone else the longer we stay here.

Damian drops his arm to press his hand over Christopher’s.

Damian: There’s truth in your words, yet we are ourselves here, Christopher. These walls are a part of our story as much as where I summoned you in Omphalos or the Gardens of Arachne. It’s been too long since our scribbler thought of these places.

Still holding Christopher’s head, Damian bows his in turn. Mist oozes through the stones, swallowing the sickly light from the torches, the very walls themselves, everything except for Damian and Christopher.

To be continued on Monday; October 5, 2020…

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