Deep Secret

Now I invoke thee, great Cadmean queen, to bless thy mystics, lenient and serene*

It was not the flickering light in the upper storey window that drew the watcher’s attention, for there were many lights trying to catch his eye that evening. It was the melody drifting upwards through the gradually darkening sky. A rose-gold sun set the western horizon alight as resplendent Venus shone like a beacon above the rooftops. The lone figure, invisible to the naked eye, made slow, wide circles in the radiant atmosphere. Sensing her presence below, the watcher moved down effortlessly and hovered before the house he had in his sights. The flame of a candle within licked gently at the surrounding air and a heady scent caressed his face with the rising music. He inspired silently, considering the one inside. She was stretched like a cat upon the bed, one hand relaxed behind her head. An open book lay face down beside her on the pillow. Intently he watched her, his eye completely fixed. A powerful gust of wind blew the window open and she jumped violently, shaken from her hazy reverie by the sudden noise and rush of cooler air. With movements like quicksilver, he slipped inside. She searched the indigo space he left behind him, to somehow trace the formless form that had been there. Arising thoughtfully, she took a step towards the window. He watched again while she turned her head north and then south, seeking what or whomsoever had disturbed the smoky ether. Finding nothing but the dying throes of day, she fastened shut the window and lay down again, book in hand, not quite unaware of the almost unexpected arrival of the thrice-descended master. As her eyes ran over the black and white plates of the book, the two in the room became increasingly attuned to the music playing between them. In his mind it grew louder, recalling to him the daughter of memory. She reached out a hand for the volume button and pushed it higher. Lush electronic sounds swelled like waves and a soft, angelic voice swept over them through the scented air. A brief history of time unfolded in his fathomless mind. *

She was wearing golden sandals - shoes that were bestowed by her father - together with a light coloured dress. Around her wrist was a bracelet full of charms and with his bright, ancient eyes, he saw that the pendant at her throat was made from the stuff of magic; a gift from her mystery-loving mother. Millenia had passed since they had been this close. On that occasion the moon had been perfectly halved by the shadow of the Earth, and Jupiter was at the same point in its orbit as it would be in three and a half minutes, that self-same night. He looked over his shoulder and nodded to the gigantic sphere, which turned through the fragile cosmos by an intricately complex, haunting melody. Both of them saw with the eye of their mind that a gateway had opened in the ether. Suddenly aware of time, she picked up her mobile phone and studied its display. It was only half past 9.00. Strange. Normally she felt this way much later in a given day. The force was usually strongest between 1 and 2, she mused, casting aside the book. She had never quite realized why. Things take so much time * She saw him as he kissed her on the cheek. Warmth was like a firefly, dancing in his eyes, melting into liquid all the diamonds of her mind. He put both his hands into her hair. The radio crackled and grew fainter, framing the endless silence like a braid of wheat, magnetising all background interference so the air grew taut as a lens, magnifying live reactions as if they were in a scene from a lyric master’s play. A tear escaped from the corner of one eye, smelted by the heat of his star-like gaze. Silver like mercury, burning as bright as magnesium on fire. Her secret name was spoken as a seal and she felt as if light, not blood, was flowing through her veins. Why it was and always would be such a deep secret, who could say? Orphic Hymn XLIII, To Semele