Bella Donna

30 Apr

Bella Donna

 

They say she is the most beautiful thing that has ever crawled out of the Sewers and yet no man seeks her bed. Some say she is only half a woman, the half that you see, while the other is something that slithers. Others whisper that her kiss will drain a man till there is nothing left to fill his boots not even dust.

The children say the worst of all but I know different. And what I know is truth because Bella Donna is my daughter.

Not that I call myself much of a mother. Didn’t I leave her to die as soon as I cut the cord? And didn’t I forget all about her until I heard the children’s tales drifting through the pipes.

Stories about a child covered in filth, barely old enough to crawl let alone climb out of the Sewers with a trail of rats dancing at her heels. Or better yet riding a great albino crocodile straight through the centre of  Down wearing nothing but a belt of bones.

I will admit the very idea of it gave me the shivering fits. How was it possible the babe was half dead when I left it? Too weak to even cry… Someone must have found her.  There are tens of thousands of us who live underground and not all of us are cannibals.

Of course I wanted to see for myself if this was indeed the burden I had carried three long seasons but the sun was too hot so I waited till the leaves fell only to find I had waited too long because the ground was deep with snow. And so it went until one day I knew that if I left it any longer it would be too late because the children were screaming for the Rite.

The Rite had not been performed since well before, even my mother’s birth, when the last of the Suits and Uniforms had all been turned to ash. There had been no need, no enemy so feared or hated until now. Perhaps I had not been such a bad mother after all for if she had died like I intended she would not now be facing a living hell that would last two maybe three weeks until her desiccated body cracked wide open for the wasps to nest in.

It was a long and painful climb from the Sewer to Down. And I had to stop many times along the way just to catch my breath. My joints are large knots that barely bend and my lungs… It is the same for all of us in our third decade some even sooner but I was so close now. I could see the brown light up ahead and knew I was almost there. Just a little way, just a little way…

All I had to do now was wedge my shoulder under the steel stopper that kept me from the surface. It was not as heavy as I had been led to believe and actually crumbled slightly as I pushed.

The streets were empty save for a few tending to whatever they could grow in the soil found under the disintegrating roadways. But even they seemed to be rushing in order to join the mass that swarmed like maggots on a corpse at the temple of the Justice Called Penney.

I wish I had been able to come charging in on the back of a giant white reptile but I had nothing save my two rotting feet so I crawled.

One of the farmers offered me a lift on his back so I was able to see her face before they doused her with the Enemy Fire which is wet like water but melts your flesh like the liquid rock that still runs in some parts of Nu. And I saw that it was true what they said that she was beautiful. That her scales swirled with colors like the pools that formed after the rain. Her eyes glowed red like the moon and I wept as her hair turned to acrid sludge.

I had wanted so much more for my daughter than I had. I had not wanted her to know hunger or thirst or the pain of being forced. I had thought only to end her life before she could have a chance to know suffering. But instead I had brought her to this.

By the time I reached the steps she was burning so brightly that the crowd could barely keep their eyes open from the pain of it. I raised myself up and clasped her to my breast. I should have been screaming but I felt nothing only my desperate, need to place my lips against hers until her breath was gone and she could go to the place that I had dreamed for her.

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2 Responses to “Bella Donna”

  1. KUKUSAN April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    SUCH POWERFUL METAPHORS, AS IS USUAL IN YOUR WORK! YOU TAKE THE READER TO THE PLACES YOU INTEND FOR THEM TO VISIT & MAKE THEM FEEL WHAT YOU MIGHT HOPE FOR THEM TO FEEL. THIS PIECE WAS VERY PERSONAL FOR ME! BTW — DO YOU HAVE A BOOK PROJECT IN PROGRESS? I HAVE MUCH RESPECT FOR YOUR WORK & AM FOLLOWING IT FAITHFULLY! BEST WISHES FOR ALL YOUR PLANS & ENDEAVORS, MARCY! ❤

  2. Meita Winkler June 16, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Very good, very unique – reads like a novel, would love more.

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