Friday, May 06, 2005

The Music Of Delirium Act 2

previously known as Booze Me Up, Scotty: Let Me Climb Your Mountain

[First Part]

The Fates have their own brand of humor. Entire lives would sometimes be just an anecdote, their scissors ready to snip at any thread they choose. Justice has no jurisdiction in their realm. On and on, they weave the tapestry of the world as they have always done since the dawn of time.

When we last left young Orpheus, he was entrenched in the abode of the fabled Sirens of the Isle. He fell into a lucid dream, an effect of being around their hypnotic beauty. As the fates would have it, all is not as grim. Orpheus found friendship in two of the siren brood, Aglaope (she of glorious face) and Ligeia (the bright-voiced one). Unlike their sisters, these two had a semblance of human compassion. They had long sought to let go of their ways, however, their elder sister's command can not be challenged. Orpheus played his lyre for the two maidens, and his songs were some of the best pieces the world should have known.

Out of the 5 sisters, Orpheus adored Aglaope the most. Eventhough Peisinoe was the eldest, she was not the fairest of the brood. This was a jewel in Aglaope's crown, however, the physical attribute is not what Orpheus fell for. It was her wit, her bravery and her honesty. Though they sing in enthralling songs that give the hapless mortals sweet tastes of fantasies in their last moments on this reality, never had she succumbed to using illusions for deception. She had sent an immeasurable number of mortal men to Hades, however she is just driven by her nature. An ardent soul was what Orpheus saw in her.

She was Orpheus's companion in the moons that followed. Aglaope showed Orpheus secrets that had been kept from mortal eyes since man's first footfall on this planet. She taught him to talk in the language of the stars. One odd springtime night, Orpheus rescued her from a crazed cyclops that had come lumbering after her. She had been waging a word war with the beast and when things got out of hand, the monster tried to devour her. Orpheus managed to diffuse the cyclop's anger by using his lyre.

This newfound friendship was shortlived, however, because Peisinoe was becoming too suspicious of the two. She contrived ways on how to split them up. She would hold banquets at night, where all of the sisters' attendance was required. She would give out orders to everyone and make sure that Aglaope gets the farthest location. She would even bring her sisters companions just so that time would pass faster. Aglaope had no choice but to comply to her sister's whims. But before she lost her communication with Orpheus, she was able to give him a crystal shell unlike any other shell on the Isle.

Saddened by the abrupt separation, Orpheus was melancholic for several moons. He found solace in the arms of Dionysus. They had nights of mutual adulation and carnal lust. The god of Wine even introduced him to his harem of beautiful slaves. Bacchanalia at its finest was what Dionysus offered. Amidst all this, Orpheus had that searing emptiness in his heart. Loneliness in companionship, ironic yet true to his predicament. He held on to the memoir of Aglaope. The closest thing to warmth he can find.

The luminous object was a Fidelis Shell. It radiated with a warm glow that thaws frost bitten hearts. Within it lies a dormant spirit that only awakens once held by a heart in despair. It has its own voice. It soothes tired souls. It listens.

This oracle gave Orpheus renewed strenght. Everytime he would converse with the entity, life flows back into his sinews. He managed to spring forth from his gloom. He faced the crowds again, rejoined the revelry. His beauty illuminated people's desires. Men and women wanted to become his consort. He gloried in the newfound freedom and fame. The Isle seemed to have found a new god. Much to the displeasure of the Sirens, specifically, the queen of the brood, Peisinoe.

She wouldn't allow anyone to ursurp her throne. Not even a demigod. All around her, her sisters were secretly enjoying the festive mood of the isle. For the first time in seventy eight millenia, they could fade away into the background and rest their fatalistic existence. But in front of Peisinoe they showed a different face. A sympathetic one. The eldest sister deemed that Orpheus is overshadowing her land.

The self-appointed queen of the sirens held a banquet the next moon. A festivity that the Isle had never seen before. She had invited people from all over the four corners of the known world. Kings, pheasants and everything else in between. The Isle bustled with so much activity, even the sleeping Titans could wake up any moment. Every color, every race, every kind made their presence felt. A banquet that even the god of Wine cannot match.

The Sirens presided over the occassion. Clad in splendid ensembles, their beauty induced delirium to those who glimpsed upon it. The festivity was held in the cavernous hall of their abode. The place had been decorated from wall to wall with exotic flowers and intricate, and almost life like murals. So detailed these murals were, the subjects were eerily alive. Unearthly music was drafting throughout the hall, with no visible source. Like the wind it carresses the ears, like a gale, it shreds your inhibition.

The music stopped. And so did everyone in the room. Purple smoke was steaming from the middle of the room and all attention was drawn to it. And in a blaze of spectacular fireworks, Peisinoe came out of a gigantic shell. She had the allure of a thousand women encased in a body, mortal men would consider perfection. She bade the merrymakers welcome to her abode. She even welcomed Orpheus, who was just sitting in the far corner of the room. He could almost swear that he heard a hiss after the seductress mentioned his name.

The music resumed in full blast. Peisinoe astounded all those who watched by calling forth a golden chalice out of thin air. It was heavily bejewelled and adorned with carvings of an unrecognizable language. A droplet of the moon, she called forth and water from the hidden founts of the Ellysian fields she added. She uttered in a queer accent an almost inaudible chant. And then the cup overflowed.

In it was the sweetest nectar one could ever taste on this earth. She passed the chalice to the mortal nearest her. He drank his share like it was the last drink he'll ever have, and then he passed it to the one beside him. Which he in turn did the same. And so on and so forth until it was halfway across the cavernous hall. What's perplexing about it, is that no matter how many men drink - or even spill- from the cup, it never empties. The nectar once it enters anyones body will take control of their faculties and induce illusions of varying degrees of morbid beauty.

Orpheus experienced Nirvana in the instance the liquid took hold of him. Every color became alive, leapt out of the the murals. The painted faces suddenly became real, the bodies gyrating in the mind numbing melodious music. His body started to sway in the same rhythm. Everybody transformed into crazed worshippers of a pagan shrine.

Souls both mortal and immortal, took their sip of the forbidden concoction. Everyone except Peisinoe and Dionysus, who sat on high diases way above the crowd, just looking on. Peisinoe with a hint of a sneer on her pretty face.

Orpheus was lost to the intoxication. Delirium took the floor. Aglaope and Ligeia took this time to let go of their shackles and had the time of their lives. They danced with Orpheus until they screamed. Emancipation.

And then things went dark.

When Orpheus came to, he was in the courtyard. The music seemed to come from so far away. Still a bit dizzy, he noticed that the two Sirens were in front of him surrounded by a glowing barrier. They were out cold too. He tried to knock the barrier with his fist. However everytime he attempted to do so, a bolt of lightning struck his half-immortal frame.

A voice came from behind him. Sultry, sophorific, deadly.
"You have desecrated my sisters. Now prepare to die!"

[Music of the Moment: that ethereal music played by the wood and water nymphs of the Isle ]
[Mood: drunk in revelry ]


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