Thursday, 23 August 2007


I am running. Fear fills me as I am running. I am fleeing, knowing that I will perish should my pursuers find me.

It is a surreal landscape that lies around me. The thick fog embraces the forest, me and all living things. The ancient trees stand out as the silhouettes of some evil creatures, stretching their thin, cold fingers after me.

I stop. I look around, can't see anything. My bare feet touch the hard and cool ground. It is almost like the floor of a giant building and the trees are like distorted pillars. I hear them coming, the enemy, the ones that will take me.

Then I hear them closer. Fear makes my heart beat faster. I run, stumble, almost falling. Then I stop.

There is something in the clearing, someone in front of me. I stop and I look at it. My heart stops beating as I see the outline of a great black horse with a silent rider on its back. I feel him watching me.

I am dressed only in a thin white garment, a thin dress, a flimsy nothing. I can't see his eyes but I know the rider is regarding me, seeing me, seeing through me, my clothes and my soul.

Then he moves. His steed moves up to me before I can run and the horseman scoops me up like I am a toy. He throws me, belly down, on his saddle before him and rides off.

I am lying there, helpless, captured by the dark rider. We rush through the forest in an overwhelming speed and I begin to realise that we are leaving my pursuers behind. The strange rider is not going to bring me into the hands of my enemies. He is going to save me.

I turn my face and look at him. It is dark. I can't discern his features. I see a square jaw, dark eyes, a grim expression. He is a demon, a dark and menacing demon. But he has saved me.

A strong arm around my waist tells me to try to sit up. I move slowly, carefully, terrified of the speed, of the thought of falling off this moving, living world that is this horse, this rider.

At last I sit in front of him, my feet dangling on one side, my arms desperately holding on to my rescuer. My face is closer to his face now but I see nothing more of who he is, this grim and silent rider. He doesn't look at me. He sees only the forest, the fog and the ground before him.

I look at him but I dare not speak. I wonder why he has saved me, if he has saved me. I hold on to him for my life, scared of moving. The fog and the forest rush by and I do no longer hear my pursuers. Then the rider speaks.


I stare at him. He doesn't look at me.

'Take off your clothes!'

His order is clear. The fog, the forest, the horse and the rider, my fear and my pursuers, all of this makes my head dizzy.

I know I have to obey him. I am nothing. He can easily throw me down, give me to my enemies. I am his. I am at his command.

I dare not move my hands, dare not release my grip for fear of falling off but I have to. Carefully and slowly do I manage to slip my dress from my shoulder, I shift my grip and slip it down from the other shoulder. I work the thin fabric down my sides. I hold on to the rider and lift my hips, just a little, as much as I dare but enough to slip my dress from my hips, down my legs. Then I let it go. It seem to float in the air for a second and then we are gone. My clothes are left behind. I am naked.

He doesn't even look at me. I look at his face but I see nothing in his grim countenance. He has taken his prize. He has snatched me from under the nose of my enemies. I have stripped and I am naked but he doesn't even look at me. He knows he will have time.

I know, then, that my destiny has taken a new turn and the road ahead of me is still clouded in mist. I shiver as I press my naked body to the strong frame of this dark rider, my rescuer, my master.


Simon Kade said...

Somehow trusting that your fate with this "rescuer" far outweighs the fate of the alternative. I guess we just have to use our imagination that this indeed was the case.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Simon. Interesting that the hero is a demon. There are fates worse than than death -- and perhaps worse than Hell? But suppose, just suppose -- that the "fate" she is fleeing is, hmm, the vanilla life? A thought...


Anonymous said...

What are you running from ? This was the question which came first to me when reading this.

I wonder whether Masquer is right, the pursuing enemies are those of boredom, and the rescuing demon is the fantasies in the mind to which some of us run to escape the dull reality of our lives, appreciating all the time the strangeness and dangerous appearance of those fantasies.



Janice said...

Thank you so much for your interesting and insightful comments. This piece is really just a fantasy vision or snippet. I have no idea what I am fleeing from. Maybe you are right, maybe it is boredom. The only thing I know is that it will destroy me, it is really dangerous. Maybe I want to live a more dangerous life, after all. It is a good question and I am not trying to dodge it by telling you I have no idea. I will ponder it, though. I tend to dwell on details such as stripping while on that horse. The sense of clothes and the old life being stripped away and lost and a new more naked and sensual person being born. But she has to be forced. That is a crucial point. It is also important that the rescuer, demon or whatever he is, is very grim and not friendly in any way. Is it about having to face up to a destiny that is good in some way but not welcoming in the way it is perceived? Many questions. Thanks again for you comments.

Anonymous said...

My compliments to opb -- nice idea, that the demon is the fantasy world. Indeed, it explains why the rider is a fantasy creature, not a more "realistic" character like, oh, a bandit or a barbarian king --It's fun, isn't it, deconstructing Janice? And, Janice, how do you like being deconstructed? (Haha...) Wystan E

Janice said...

I don't mind being 'deconstructed', makes me feel important...smiles. The only qualms I have is about the term, reminds me too much about post modernistic confusion.

Dave said...

Is part 2 forthcoming? :)

Janice said...

Dave, I think you have to give me a hint about what may happen...smiles.

another dear reader said...

Suppose that the demon captor takes you back to the pursuers and hands you over to them, just for sport. Better yet, he threatens to do just that, unless you can "persuade" him not to. Just how persuasive can you be, hmmm?