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The Sick Child

* Edmund Dulac, illustrations for The Wind's Tale by Hans Anderson(1911)

(There are times when a certain image begs you to lend an attentive ear to the fairy tales and stories you once heard as a child- I found such impression the most in Edmund Dulac’s illustrations for various children’s books. To be frank I never found much extreme jollity in the fairy tales I have read, but instead a menacing viciousness seems to loom over those which bear a disguise of a patronizingly happy ending. Fairy tales, to me, rarely appear thoroughly naïve, I can easily spot pain that encompass the stories until the very end. Fairy tales, however, I do love to revisit often, for their haziness of comprehension that excludes everything rational, practical. In a straitlaced and sequestered garden of mine those stories might be the only thing that remains footloose.)

When I was in the apotheosis of pain, I started to see visions. The world before me turned to liquid then materialized, all in a blink of an eye. Every image I had witnessed at day was put on veil deliberately, in which I could effortlessly divine an execution of black magic ready to unwind. I heard the magician announcing his next show to be a real stunner. People bustled to get into the tent, I saw throngs and throngs of them rushing in like a roaring river amid tempestuous weather. Then a series of screams and shrieks were heard.

The screams made every sound suddenly acute, although a rejoinder of them did escape me. I pricked my ear and listened, as if the walls were also covered by myriads and myriads of ears, they, however, listened to every throbbing of my pain. I stifled a scream as the pain surged and heaved; it penetrated not the thinnest thread of my tolerance but instead tested it, incessantly. The formation of music could go wild at any moment in my head, rarely did the notes waltz by but loped, frolicked, and deviated. I felt a voyeuristic urge through my ears.

The carnival persisted. The aforementioned tent blew itself up like an air balloon, a large capacity of joy is accumulated. Such was the same elation, the elation felt when the pain within me tumbled on. I divined a freak show ensuing behind the shadowy curtains: the performers were all maimed, mutilated and mortally wounded. What was really grotesque were the spectators who gathered, gobsmacked by the hijinks those weirdoes strained to do. People like me could hardly resist the warped magnetism that propelled us, like an interminable spell that echoed eternally in our heads and ears, into the carnival. The carousal might cease at any moment but our entities in this place and time felt ever excluded.

So we left, abruptly heading to the faint of light that we followed blindly, and trails of bodies scattered submissively along the path we walked. For pain could be translated to the ones that were the most impassive. With bitter pain inflated our hearts so much we became killers. The carnival was finally over, everything laid in extreme disarray, not an inkling of evidence could be found of how it first had taken place. When we conquered pain that was how the ecstacy came.


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