The cries come through with static
as Momma groans out of bed;
the squirming bundle
has awakened himself
with screams of hunger.
Bleary-eyed with exhaustion,
Momma dead-walks to his crib
bracing herself against
verdant ivy wallpaper,
the pastel canvas
of blue waterfalls,
foamy dumping grounds.
She closes her fists
around the sides of the crib,
watching her boy
exerting his newfound power.
His blind eyes open,
sensing her presence
as his wails increase
through her weariness,
at the little soul
as she scoops him into herself,
quelling his screams
with her naked breast.
Unexpected tears fill her eyes,
as she asks forgiveness
for she is no longer
she now belongs to
She travels quickly through dark metal corridors past the death and decay that line the filthy, rust-ridden halls.
Her eyes search. They don’t settle on any of the scenes flying past her as she runs. They dart—frantically searching.
Her eyes find a place to land. A hole. Jagged and low on the metal wall. Through the hole she sees sunlight.
She leads with her head—eyes squeezed shut. She pushes and strains. Her shirt tears as her body pulls through. She slowly opens her eyes.
She is blinded.
Again, her vision adjusts. Her skin dances with foreign heat.
She watches the dappled light shift along the length of her arm. She doesn’t remember her skin being this fair.
She is overwhelmed—lost in the lush green world around her. The sounds are familiar; the birds are chirping, the wind is threading through the leaves, and water is rushing in the distance.
She needs water.
The sound of liquid crashing across rocks brings acute sensations to her mind. Her lips are cracked—her mouth is dry.
She startles at a sound.
Dropping to a crouch, she waits. Then, moving forward slowly, she is conscious of where she places her feet. She is careful not to make any noise.
A creature—small and quick—darts out of the brush and across the rocks and roots. She breathes, it’s only an animal.
She walks. Every step brings her closer to water. Clean water. Water that doesn’t taste like blood and iron.
She sees it.
A thin and clear stream runs blue through the rocks. It pools in level places—in others, it crashes. Here, the water lands heavily against the worn-smooth stones.
She drinks slowly at first, then desperately. The cool water quenching her vibrant thirst quickly. Moss grows bright around the edges of the pool.
She looks up, taking in her surroundings—her focus shifts.
She finds her eyes are drawn to a pattern. Rocks are stacked in places, woven throughout with dense ivy. The green fibrous vines and attached leaves suffocate the walls of smooth stone.
These are ruins.
She stands, revealing the extent of the structures. She remembers these walls, this was her home. She had laughed and played in this stream as a child.
She walks now, in a haze, seeing her memories play out before her. She sees her life—as it was before they came. As it could have been.
She hears chimes and bells. She sees her family walking carelessly through the narrow, charming alleys. She hears distant laughter.
She focuses, extending her perception—listening patiently—clearing her mind of memories.
She hears laughter.
Shadows here and whispers there.
People angry and always stare.
One day I wish to escape over the walls through the ivy.
One day I wish to see no one cryin’.
Over the mountains and through the woods
I see shadowed figures in hoods
Wow, what amazing blue waterfalls
watch out for the ledge, don’t walk just crawl.
Keep your head held high and don’t look down.
Heed my warning less you drown.
Ghouls and ghosts all I see.
Creepy dark things after me.
Wake now my sweet from thy slumber
Worry not for nightmares are not to remember .
Oh gosh it was but a dream.
Hush now dear nothing is as it seems.
When you mention ivy walls and blue waterfalls, many assume that you’re trapped in some shape or form: as a princess in a tower, or a kid trying to survive the many dangers hidden within a maze. When I think of ivy walls and blue waterfalls, I imagine something amazing, something magical: ancient ruins, a hiking expedition, or a relaxing day embraced by nature. I think ivy walls have many stories to tell and when you see the ivy, I imagine that each leaf is like a hidden memory; crawling across the ancient history that has been embedded into the wall by unknown hands.
The blue waterfalls are mystical. They are sometimes the epiphany of a wondrous landscape, a hidden door to worlds unknown. They sustain the life around them and are just a sight to behold, no matter how small or where they are discovered. Looking at them can make you feel free and unrestrained, relaxing your innermost thoughts, before you are then opened to the sounds of nature itself. Luckily for me, I got to experience both of these wondrous things.
The ivy walls I visited, were in the ruins of Alna. Surrounded by dense forest, it took several days for our small party of five to reach them. On our last day, as the sun was setting, the ivy that grew on the walls turned amber-gold. Each leaf emitting a soft glow in the dying rays of daylight. Daring, I reached out, taking one such leaf into the palm of my hand, caressing it. The leaf seemed to hum with energy then, the edges growing brighter before a burst of light blinded me and a flood of memories overwhelmed my sense of reality and fantasy: a father, dressed in a cloth-sack, teaching his son how to create mortar; a woman, bringing lunch to a soldier during the Bian War; a child wearing traditional garb, climbing the walls with his tribeskin. When the flood ceased and reality settled once more, I knew that this place was special and that it needed protection. I then formed an organization and after many years, I then moved on from the ruins of Alna to the waterfalls of Ceruan.
The waterfalls were equally as amazing. This time crossing the vast expanse of the Denu Desert, to the far reaches of its northeastern-most corner that borders Seruq; the oasis was well-hidden. After traveling for six months, our small group of five arrived with little to no coherence. The desert was known for its magical illusions, often leading many astray, but as a desert dweller myself, I treaded the hot sands with a fervor few could match...
It took us another day and a half to reach the waterfalls. The air, once hot and dry, suddenly cooled and filled with life. It sated our thirst and our bodies cries for comfort, and breathed new life into our small company. Many of us smiled, admiring the falls and their majestic, yet natural design. Others laughed and played in their shallow pools. I, on the other hand, stared at the biggest waterfall. With water that reflected the sky like a living mirage, the fall arched like an elegant dancer: the hands connecting the earth from above, the body letting the water flow freely as it traversed between earth and sky, and the feet disappearing into a watery shadow below at the base.
Holding a hand out, I whispered in the ancient tongue of the Ceruanian people. Slowly, the water parted, its’ blue current pulled apart like a curtain. Near the base, a small area of dark shale is revealed. Walking across the shallow pool, I passed the curtain and stood in front of the odd-looking rock. Touching its cool, slick surface, I accidentally cut myself. Biting back a curse, I watch as the layers peel-away and behind them, a door of exquisite make. Made with wood similar to black walnut, lined with silver filigree and inlaid with beautiful sapphires; the door inexplicably led to an unknown world. Grasping the polished, silver latch, I move the lock bolt and upon opening; brilliant light surrounded me and sounds of ancient words drifted through, gentle like the waves that hesitantly touch the sands of the shore. Smiling, I walk through and close the door, wondering what awaits me. Wondering if this new world is “free”.
#xjenvanx, #challenge, #free #ivywallsbluewaterfalls