Both The Body And The Mind
Mist swirled around the mountain, a mountain upon which a woman sat, her red cloak's ends flapping absently in the wind. The hood of the coat covered her head, until only the chin could be seen jutting out from the darkness. The mountain kept climbing, even over the little camp the woman had, giving the impression of towering over her.
Orange glows from her camp's roaring fire flickered across the mountain's face. They created shadows of many forms, dancing across the rocks like little imps, rejoicing and cheering. She looked at them, dismissed them, turning back to what she was doing.
A trance had enveloped her earlier on in the evening. She sat by the fire, allowing the embers to lick her toes, bringing warmth. The woman never noticed the warmth; her mind was far, far away. In another world, you could say.
She was a woman of many forms, a lot like the shadows around her fire. She could change from the wretchiest of hags, to the most appealing of damsels with a single conscious thought. The state her body currently presented was a rather young youth, with flowing brown hair, hanging right down to below her shoulders.
This woman had a name, one that when many uttered had something to do with either learning life's miseries or one's insanities. Dealing with this woman was the tip of a knife's edge, what she may reveal might be joyous or end in anguish and agony. Her name was Dramika.
People had called her this because of her talent of revealing to people mysteries that were never meant to be answered. Dramika: 'Drake', meaning dragon, and 'Mika ', in folklore of these lands a relation of chi, meaning soul or lifeblood.
Dramika could make or break a man, without even raising so much as a finger. She would put them into a comatose state, by use of her powers, then plunge their Mika into her crystal ball, her most prized possession, in the middle of her camp, elevated by a small pillar of carved rock.
In this crystal ball, as it were, the key to the victim's mind would be witnessed, inside his or her soul. The person's Mika, -which is their mind, because it is 'sleeping', and has 'dreams', such as this 'Mind's eye'- would have to navigate its way through the mind's eye, or the very inside of the person, until they have reached the end.
If this 'end', the person never did reach, the comatose state would cover them permanently, and Dramika would dispose of the body by hurling it off the mountain, which explained the mounting pile of bones and limp bodies that lay down at the very bottom of the mountain.
Most came to Dramika purely out of curiosity of their mind, their fate. At the very end of the mind's eye maze, legend said, you would see your eventual fate, positive or not. Many said seeing your fate would bring insanity to your mind, like a dog constantly trying to catch its tail, the dog's seen the tail, and cannot reach it, but chases it, around in circles.
So, in a way, no one prevailed when they saw Dramika. However many did try, many put on brave faces, said they had strength of the mind, but no one has the kind of strength to bear witnessing their own fate.
Dramika, as previously mentioned, came in many different forms of a women type. Sometimes luring many to her domain, sometimes just being an ugly old leper in need of a few change from people climbing the mountain.
Sometimes she would lay with a man for a night, until they were completely under her little finger, then spring their mind's eye upon them when they least expected. She had clever ways of trapping many men and women to her sick little talent.
On this night however, something different happened. A being inside of her trance told her that something new and profound would become of her this evening. These trances were always spontaneous, off the cuff, never forecasted. This one she had dropped into in the middle of cooking her dinner, a dead rat, which lay where her hand had suddenly ceased to hold it, black and slowly turning to ash in the heat of the fire.
Colours flashed before Dramika, and some higher, noble voice, echoing in some deep man's voice, told her the news.
(Something new will happen, Dramika.)
'Wha-what are you talking about?"
(Something new and PROFOUND! Something you have not seen in a victim, one that shall haunt you for the rest of your days!)
"Are you saying I shall get a victim tonight?"
(Yes! A great one, that will both excite and frighten you! A mind so clear…mind so clear…mind so cleeeeaaaarrrrrr…)
"Who? What shall befall me? Hello?"
The trance ended abruptly, and Dramika's world swam back into reality, sitting cross-legged in front of the fire, the smoking rat lying near the edge of the flames. Her glassy blue eyes snapped open, and they darted around nervously. The night was as she remembered before the trance; nothing had changed, except her dinner, which was now ash.
She got up, wiped the sweat from her forehead, and took a few deep breaths. Well, this is an easy problem to solve, Dramika thought, walking to her crystal ball. I simply turn into the most hideous woman, and no man or woman will ever approach me tonight.
She smiled at this thought, as if to compliment the neuron that authored it for the brainwave. But then another, more cynical thought entered her head. You can't escape your fate, Dramika; your own talent is centered on this fact. Idiot, Dramika scolded the thought, I didn't see my fate, I was told it.
She lifted the crystal ball off the little pillar and examined it. In this moment, her cloak rippled ferociously, and her body changed to a woman with puss-filled warts, constantly popping indents in the pale green skin. Her cute little face changed, and became an old, old thing, the bottom lip jutting out hideously, causing wrinkles and lines around her chin.
Her eyes changed to little black pellets in the sockets. Scabs also ran hand in hand with these stomach convulsing warts, red and inflamed, these running all down her. As she turned, distinct popping sounds could be heard of the warts on her side imploding themselves. She smiled at this new look, knowing her fate was in safe, warty, scabby, seaweed green hands.
The hideous Dramika sat (this movement popped even more warts) and doodled in the rock that was her camp floor with a blunt rock, making many symbols and shapes, and her mind linked these to stories of her childhood.
She waited long into the night, as the wind off the mountain cliffs howled all around her. A victim came, but one she had not expected. At the sound of a sandy crunch behind her, she snapped her head around, and there, was a man, his clothes ragged and his hair untidy. They locked eyes, or so Dramika thought, and she found herself staring into the bright blue eyes of a man she felt she would love for the rest of her life. She couldn't explain the feeling; it was just that it made her mind say that. The man looked over her, at the raging fire behind, then his eyes darted to the crystal ball.
Dramika's cloaks rippled while he looked around, he seemed to have not actually seen her hideous body and face under the hooded cloak. She had now changed herself to what she thought to be the most illustrious woman in the entire world. Her eyes burned a luscious hazel like flowing Swedish chocolate.
"You look tired." Dramika said, getting up, flinging off her cloak in one strong stroke, and it blew away, off the mountain with the winds. All that she seemed to wear now was a nylon silver nightie.
"Who are you?" the man asked, running a hand through his hair, and even in its untidy state, it looked to Dramika like it was a gift on this man's head from heaven.
"I am Dramika." The goddess woman said, announcing herself and her features with one over-emphasized flick of the hand, like a finishing opera, when the fat lady goes to hold that last high note. "You look tired." She said again, making her way slowly towards him, being sure his beautiful blue eyes could take in everything her body had to offer.
"Y-yes, w-well my name's William." The man stammered, backing away slowly.
"Why are you moving away from me?" Dramika asked, and in her peripheral vision caught site of her ever-shining crystal ball upon the little stone pillar. I can't make this man a victim of his own fate; she thought suddenly, I love him! I don't even know him yet and I love him! The heavens have commanded I make him a victim and I love him! And now he backs away from the most illustrious woman in the world! Why? I use my talents, and it would get any man my talent, but why not my love? WHY?
"Do you not like me?" Dramika said, still concentrating on seducing her love, fluttering her hazel eyes.
"I, uh –"
"Come," The woman said, her footsteps increasing in William's ears, "Come, sit with me. Please, I need company..." A tender, sweet hand lashed out and grabbed his arm, a soft, yet strangely strong grip. Her perfume swept him, and suddenly he found himself longing to spend the night with this woman.
She led him to the fire, and suddenly she heard a crash behind her. She suddenly lost the warm tingle of his hunk of arm in her hand. Dramika turned, and found her grip had caused his arm to not be able to avoid the…oh no. Oh Lord no. Not the…the…her mouth opened, but no words came out. In a pile of shining glass, lay her love, unconscious it seemed, the eternal spell had already done its work, with a stone pillar by his side. He had fallen on the crystal ball.
Soon the strange pink gas emitting from the broken shining shell found itself Dramika. Within seconds, she too was on the ground, her eyes shut peacefully, seeing inside her own mind.
William's mind. Beginning.
What is this place? William thought, looking around at the beautiful forest. Suddenly a creature appeared, some sort of red hairy creature, with yellow eyes, holding a large bronze key in his hands. Key to my imagination, William thought randomly, not even knowing what that meant. The creature bounded away, down a dirt path into the forest. He followed cautiously.
The creature scampered far ahead of him, soon becoming only a red blob among the trees. William still followed, in disbelief of what was happening. He remembered something happening…something…it led to him being here…it seemed to just not be able to come out. Like a long sleep, thinning down all of what had happened the night before, leaving only snippets of dialogue or thoughts.
William pulled himself out of his thoughts, and scanned the forest for the creature. The red creature seemed to have gone. William looked down, and found his feet at the edge of a river. The water rushed by, causing much white noise to ring in William's ears. The water glittered in the strong sunshine slanting through the canopies. William stooped to his knees, staring at his reflection in the glittering clear blue river.
Suddenly the water around his reflection began to swirl, not following the natural current, creating its own circular current around William's reflection, widening, like a mini whirlpool. William's brow furrowed, and he mouthed the words: 'what the', leaning closer to his reflection.
Then the river did something really weird. It seemed to spit in his face, sending up a small jet of water from the middle his reflection, right into William's eyes.
"Argh!" William yelled loudly, rubbing his eyes ferociously, reeling back from the river. His vision became distorted, everything swirling away with the water, clogging his vision with watery gunk, like an acrylic painting that had began to run, the colors bulging and beginning to slide down, down and off the canvas, creating a puddle at the artists' feet.
William fell onto the forest floor, writhing in agony in the dead leaves. As the swimming vision soon began to clear, and William found himself in somewhere completely different.
Dramika's mind. Beginning & End.
Dramika stumbled in the hot earth. Unlike William, her talent told her she was at her mind's own sick devices. The black harsh earth raised and fell before her, jagged chunks of rock reaching towards the black stormy sky out of long crevasses, steam rising with them. Dramika could see lava spouting from the ground also, leaving large indents in the ground, as it retracted back into the crevasses as fast as they had come.
Thunder cracked overhead, the deafening screams of rage from the skies ringing in her ears. The howling burning winds caused by the lava explosions scorched her face and bare hands. The tips of her beautiful hair felt like it was on fire, Dramika didn't even dare try to run her hands through her own hair, for fear of her arms melting in the heat.
She stumbled again on her feet, the winds carrying her wherever they pleased. Dramika tried to brace herself against the wind, but to no avail. She was thrown again, like a helpless twig in the wind, turning her over, and she landed flat on the burning coals that were the ground. She peered over the crevasse she had landed next to, and saw an overwhelming pit of lava stretching for miles, beyond the horizon.
A huge wall of lava exploded up into the air, and then stayed there, in motion, little droplets of 100,000,000 degrees celcius dripping off the wall. It was like a screen, for images were projected onto the wall of burning lava, flames licking the edges of the screen. Through the burning tears stinging Dramika's eyes, she saw flicking before her images of her childhood, scattered memories.
Her birth was one of the defining first images, quickly swirling in the lava into another, her mother. Dramika's mouth fell open. The images came faster, and faster, so fast it came over Dramika like a dizzying dream of randomness.
The life projections paused on the very moment Dramika was living, right now; Dramika saw her comatose body next to the shards of the crystal ball, and the unconscious William. The images slowed to a snail-like pace, the next cutting to Dramika's hand over William's. The next was Dramika's beautiful face, her eyes shut.
Then she saw her fate, and her eyes widened, and even the fire and brimstone and lava, all those things, could not even add up to the horror she felt at that moment. The lava wall then fell in a shower of tiny red drops, back into the ocean of lava laid out in front of Dramika.
William's mind. End.
William's vision came back to him, and he found himself in a heap on a stony floor of a huge medieval-like chamber, lit only by little candles, placed on the stone wall at regular intervals. William got to his feet, and drew in one shaking breath. Doors lined the chamber, and the chamber seemed to stretch for miles, shrinking in the illusion of perspective, drawing to a little tiny dot on the horizon.
He walked towards this dot, looking at each of the doors on his sides. One had in bold black letters across it: COURAGE. Another: HOPE. These different doors William thought incoherently to the inside of his soul, yet he felt compelled to keep walking, the curiosity to look behind these doors seemed non-existent.
He stopped suddenly in front of one door, a door that caused his curiosity to suddenly appear at the front of his mind, throbbing, screaming at him to turn the chrome handle of the wooden door. The door had written across it in the same black, bold letters one life changing word. FATE.
William's eyes snapped open suddenly, and he hurriedly looked around. What had replaced the raging fire of the camp was now a small stream of smoke, wafting up from ash into the night sky. Next to him was the unconscious Dramika, her expression looked as if she was in considerable peace. A pulsing pain came to his side, and he saw a shard of the crystal ball in him. He pulled it out, not even wincing, and threw it off the mountain. The shard glinted in the moon's light on its descend to the ground, all those miles below.
The goddess woman eyes snapped open, too. She sat up, and her head moved slowly towards him, until his eyes met hers. Her eyes' pupils burned a bright, unnatural red. She stood up.
William tried to get up, but neither his hands nor legs had the will to move. His eyes felt heavy. His head fell back on his shoulders, and he felt himself lying back onto the rocks.
Dramika started to move. Too much to bear, I must fulfill my fate. I must- her legs moved slightly faster, changing from a sluggish pace to a brisk walk, walking past the man she loved toward the lip of the cliff –fulfill my fate. The fears of my mind pondering my fate or the fears of my fate itself; I choose my fate itself.
What is she doing? William thought, I don't even know this goddess woman and I feel she is going to do something- wait, she's walking towards the cliff, she's going to- Oh, no.
"No!" The woman's name suddenly came to him. "No! Dramika, no!" He was quickly on his feet, running towards the woman. She turned around and stared at him, and the burning eyes stopped him dead in his tracks. A single solitary tear dribbled its way down his cheek.
Dramika turned back to her fate. My destiny…even if it is my eventual undoing. Damn this sick fate of mine, enveloping my mind like a virus. Damn it to hell! The goddess woman broke into a run, shutting her eyes. William watched as her toes left the cliff's lip, and she seemed to soar for a moment, before her body began its descent.
My fate shall be fulfilled. Any moment now –She opened her eyes, and saw the wind that whipped her face, the darkness that surrounded her, and the dark green pastures she would eventually land in- my fate shall be fulfilled. Fate fulfilled. Fulfilled fate. Oh, life is good. I like life. It's like nice cool water on a hot day. Like nice hot water on a cool day. Like a cake that has not been eaten. Like a fox about to-
She had found the meaning of life, milliseconds before her head connected with the grass.