A Thousand Years A Night

Mornings are dark, dark as pitch, with the sun sailing in his golden barque on the other side of the world. Dangerous times — everything stirring or going to sleep is sharp-toothed and vast and ceaselessly hungry. She has seen her fellow sailors eaten by the dozens, snatched beneath the greasy current by some ophidian bulk. What happens to them? The lucky survivors shout speculations, curses, blasphemies in a thousand thousand languages, but it’s all noise; no one knows for certain.

The walls of the canyon are high, high and sheer, and the river cutting through is fast, fast. She has been drifting for centuries, helpless in the current, buffeted from lotus petal to lotus petal. The river is sunless, by definition, but even dead enough of his radiant splendor has leeched into the rock to limn everything in an uncertain half-light light.

The world rings like a glass bell and her flower snaps closed and she cowers at the bottom. God has died again, and his funeral procession gouges the canyon walls wider. She balls her fists into her eyes and shudders at his transit, her bloodless flesh searing at his presence, even so.