The Day She came to her SEnses
by Charles G Chettiar
The idiot sat on the swing.
"You saw! You saw!" he says as the swing goes whoosh-whoosh.
She keeps her eyes on him as she rubs them. A certain heaviness in her eyes spreads to her head like she had been sleeping for aeons.
She bites her lips and tries remembering his name. The day before is blank. Even the day before that. All she remembers is the bit of a journey through the plains along with some people. Some people with whom she had spent, as far as she could remember, much of her time.
The wind whispers and with the swoosh, a fragrance reaches her. A bit of lilies and jasmine and another perfume which she couldn't put her finger on.
Her gaze wavers and rests on the retard. He is wearing flowers above his ears—a quartet of colours—of red, white, orange & black!
Hard to see a black flower with a single black petal. And the scent is just divine.
"You know! You know!"
The tempo of the swing is reducing and light shines in her head.
"Prisanthemum," she says.
"You say! You say!"
She gropes in the dark recesses of her memory but comes against a wall.
The swing stops and he is staring at her with his idiot smile.
"Pecolo," she says. "Your name."
It is slowly coming back to her. Her feet aching after more than a year of walking pilgrimage through the plains, the desert and finally the mountains. Her parents—her people—becoming nomads in a land which had no gypsies. The archaicion had risen in front of them as they reached the zenith of their pilgrimage.
She turns and sees the archaicion—it's not a dome or a spire. It's neither a minaret.
"You will know when you see it," the wandering sage had told her father.
She turns and looks back at the archaicion. It's jutting from the ground like a challenge to life itself.
Then the sage had left them but his parting words had stayed—"Only heaven will suffice."
Yes. Yes. The foundation of their journey and it's succour. The underlying meaning to a farce of a life.
Only heaven will suffice.
"You remember! You remember!" says the idiot on the swing.
She remembers the caress of her father's hand, on her cheek, as his face contorts in pain. She twists something in her hand. Her hands are slick, but with what? Her father slips down and lies in the grass. She feels a presence behind her and turns, but it's only the bumpkin.
"They arrive! They arrive!"
She doesn't know but feels the jut of archaicion rising up as she nears the pilgrimage site. The ground vibrates and she shades her eyes to see the archaicion. It has come up from the ground—an inch, and at its base is a scattering of skulls.
She leaves the idiot behind and proceeds towards a gently rising crest in the fields in front of her. She stumbles on a white stick which juts out of the ground. She walks above it, and on closer inspection it's not just a stick but a femur. It's stuck to the ground with matted cloth on it still.
She reaches the top of the crest and looks at the fields of bones which stretch towards the horizon. The grass is rife with the jutting white bones, their clothes still draped around the once living limbs. The grass and the jutting white bones impede her progress. She raises her eyes towards the setting neon sun and her eyes don't stop from the horizon.
She turns and sees that the new arrivals are in front of the idiot. The idiot has gotten off the swing and he towers over the newly arrived congregation. A young girl, which could have been her steps forward.