2008-11-16

Smile!

[part 1 - a mad smile]

Quicksilver is my name now. Quicksilver, the damned, the outcast, the crazy elf, whose silver mask is a sign of danger, whose silver eyes is the last thing that many would see and whose name equals danger and madness and death... No sane company would have me now, except the desperate ones, the ones who could get no other, who are going to such impossible missions that they can hardly find any willing soul to go... I smile at them though they can't see it, and I say yes, but they still shudder and quake when they try to look into my eyes... my sad, burning, silver eyes and if they can catch my glance, they just tremble more... they want me and they fear me, for I can turn on them as easily as I could kill their enemies or the ones we are about to set out to kill. They know it and still want me to be their sword, for my sword is as famous as I am, just not for my craziness but for its deadliness; together we are the best, and they look desperate enough to take the risk. I say yes and they dare not ask me more. I will be there when they set out, I will know where to go, and I will lead them on paths they cannot find. It is my business how I know thing like these. They needn't say anything. I always know. Knowing is my burden that I carry, and knowledge is my cross that I cannot put down. My smile is like poison, my mirth kills. They know. The Other knows. I know.

I ride a black horse, whose name is Ishmael. He was a man I used to know, aeons ago. He was my lover then and I honor his memory with the horse, who is as stubborn and untamed as he was in his short life. I do not carry grief for those whom I have passed on my journey through life. They come and go. I love them and hate them and kill them or save them - but they are just memory now. I remember them but they are no more part of my bleak life than I am. I am a shadow, a silver shadow that passes on the mirror-surface of the water in full moon... I glide through my own life, barely touching, barely knowing, barely holding on to whatever sanity I still possess... sanity that nobody else would honor with that word, for my best sanity is like others' full-blown madness. My horse neighs softly, and warrior, warns the wind... they are coming. Four of them altogether, they could scrounge up two more since last night... all humans by the smell, and the new ones are just a hairsbreadth away from goons, why would they need such I wonder, for fodder or just to make numbers look more impressive? I scowl, but they can't see it any more than the smile, and they cannot guess my mood anyway. It is of no importance, they are of no importance, we can accomplish this mission with or without these two.

And so we start, in a fine mood, not finer than the weather, not one of us trusting any of the others, but we have a common purpose, a common goal, a mission, which is the usual; kill somebody, steal something, divide the spoils and go back in more or less one piece. Well, in broad lines that is. The details are a bit more complicated, I muse, as we ride still on the road, still in well-known land, where I can lead with my eyes closed and ears shut if I need to. I only need to watch out for my companions - hah - they are not yet dangerous, for they need me yet, but it is worth knowing their weaknesses. It is not hard really, they do have many to know. They can watch me till they rot, they will find out nothing about me, for I have a thousand years on them in experience - and I am hidden by my mask inside and out. Of course they want to catch a glimpse of my face - they all want to, though I wonder why. They never learn... oh, of course, there has been a few who could do it. They are all dead, safely before they could divulge what they'd seen. I like to keep my secrets, thank you and I am good at it.

I knew he would try. I knew it, and now I am standing above the still twitching body, a corpse now, with blood dripping from my knife - I did not even have to draw my sword to kill such an amateur... the others understand it clearly, there is still no need for words. They fear me now even more and as I feel the bile rising in my mouth, contempt and anger and madness makes me slowly touch the hilt of my sword and I see the panic rising in their eyes, as I fight within with the urge to kill them all... I win the battle again, the inner battle against madness, though I loose something undefinable again in the war... a piece of my - well, I cannot call it humanity, so it must be elfishness... a piece of the soul, which by now is as shredded and torn like a flag, flying high in strong winds for years... every wind going that way takes its toll, its piece out of it, like every battle takes a piece of my soul to the winds. But I will survive, for my place is still here on this miserable land, my job is still somewhere out there, the one I was born to and had to live, and which is mine, mine alone - and which is not this one, by now it is fairly sure. But still it passes the time. I smile again, a crooked smile, a bitter smile underneath the mask, but still they can see it, feel it, for the panic left their eyes and we can go on again.

Damned, accursed land on which we travel, so no wonder that nobody lives here - I wouldn't want to, and if I am not mad enough to live here, then nobody is. Game is few and hard to find, it takes ages to catch our food every day. The others are even quieter now, the closeness of the mountain gets on their nerves. It gets on mine too. It is a famous place after all, famous for noone coming back from it. Oh, there are legends, sure - some are so old that not only these three but no other humans know of them - legends of dragons. Of course, nobody knows where the dragons went, after their last appearance on this land, the last, glorious battle, when we, elvenkind last saw them - and so every mountain or cave or otherworld can be their hiding place. Especially those that nobody has ever came back from. So this one has as much chance to be a dragon-cave as any. And that is what my companions and the instigator of our mission thought... or hoped - to find a dragon-hoard and in it something they crave. As an elf, naturally I want to see dragons once more... I gloss over the fact that my companions intend to kill the alleged dragon(s) - without me they could never do any such thing. Well... were the dragon lame, blind, deaf, unable to smell and permanently asleep - then maybe they could. I am also fully aware of the fact that our company is likely to be either a shot in the dark or a decoy for another - neither is a nice thought. Just the company, I am fitted for... mad and cursed in a mad and cursed land, and taking part in a mad and cursed mission.

I smile again in the mask, but the only one I succeed to frighten with it is myself. Curse on that old woman, babbling on the street... I am always fascinated with madness, drawn to it, probably because of mine, and so I approached her - cautiously of course. After all, who would know best than me that madness is dangerous... and so I was not surprised when she looked up to me, looked straight into my eyes, into my head, like the mask weren't even there... and said quite normally but forcefully: Smile! and sank back to the babbling heap that she was before that moment. I had had my share of so called divine interferences and revelations, so I did not bother with her any more. I got the message and it lodged itself into my brain, besides all those things that live there... and so I now learn to smile - again. I used to be able to, ages ago, when I was young and carefree and had a life and a future. I am an elf, so naturally I remember it. All of it. Remember, but not like one remembers a memory... rather like a story of someone else's life. There was no Quicksilver then. There was someone else, someone different and... someone, who is by now quite dead and will never live again. The word has made sure of that and I helped along it. And what does it matter if my smile is sometimes not an honest smile under the mask... I do try.

The last night before we start to scale the mountain. Moonless, starless night, as dark as black velvet, and we couldn't make even a fire, for the woods and bushes disappeared sometime back, and the sparse grass burned but for a few seconds... we gave up, ate cold, and set watch. I was the first one, sitting up on the neck of a huge boulder, gazing into the darkness, letting my eyes adapt to the darkness until the reddish vista of my night-vision took over... it is very much like seeing the world immersed into blood. It fitted my mood perfectly. I let the approaching shapes get close to the camp. I was fairly content to watch them being torn apart by the wolves; in fact my mind has already started to present me with vividly lifelike images, visions of my companions mangled, bloodied and eaten by the beasts... while my real eyes saw them still only drawing closer, knowing that I can still wake them and kill the attackers... I smiled, for now quite happily, as I started to loosen my arrows into the bulging shapes. One by one, they fell, and I intentionally let by the last one my arrow go not straight into the heart but slightly aside, letting it release a last groan, and waking the others... it was a mistake I knew immediately, their babbling and accusations annoyed me to no end, until I silenced them with a threat. They knew that I rarely made an idle threat, and they huddled together then, afraid of me but also calm and happy as well, once the sun risen and they saw the huge, mutant wolves.


[to be continued]

6 megjegyzés:

Nora írta...

Reggel olyan hülyeségnek hangzik... miért van az, hogy a reggelek mindig olyan józan-hideg-tiszták, az esték meg misztikusak-kalandozósak-regényesek?

Nora írta...

btw akinek az ángliussal vannak gondjai, az akár névtelenül is megteheti a panaszát itt, nem fogok harapni érte. Max. megsértődök, de az nálam alaphelyzet, úgyhogy nem számít.

smiley!

andrás írta...

Szerintem ne a panaszokat várd, hanem írd meg magyarul is! Ez még magyarul is kicsit hosszú lenne, az elejéből kb. annyit értettem, hogy visszakaptad a quicksilver nevet. De lehet, hogy rosszul értettem, mert a "ki tud segíteni, hogy visszakapjam?" szöveg még mindig fent van a blog jobb szélén. Ennyi angol szöveghez nincs türelmem, pedig érdekelne a téma. És miért nem eleve magyarul írtad? Ha tényleg visszakaptad, akkor én is örülök, győzött az igazság. (Győzhetne már az én ügyemben is.)

Nora írta...

András ez egy történet... mese, kaland, fantasy, novella. Legalább egyet biztosan ismersz ezek közül. És azért van angolul,mert angolul írtam. A valósághoz nincs köze.

P írta...

Szia,
Ne haragudj, hogy bele/hozzászólok - szerintem pont jó így angolul. Meg jókat írsz, túl jókat. (kivagyokénhogymegmondjam)

miau voltam

Nora írta...

Köszi. Nyugodtan szólj bele, nem zavarsz. Pont az a bajom, hogy senki nem akar szólni, beleszólni, beszélgetni. :-)