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(1988) [Reprinted in "Reality Module No.8" in February 1999.]
There are voices in my darkness. I have awakened. Where am I?
The air is moist and I can hear water. I reach out my hand and I feel rock. It is damp where I lie.
I gather my energy and I attempt to sit up. There is a pain in my brain. I have been beaten. Where am I?
I hear laughter. I turn towards the merry voice.
Silence...then more laughter.
"Please answer me ... who are you? Where am I?"
"Do you not see oh Princess?" says a voice; a merry voice, like that of a goblin richly feasted on goose and ale.
"I am blind."
I feel a rough hand touch my face. His fingers touch my eyes. My eyes never blink. He withdraws his hand. There is no sound.
"Who are you?" I ask.
"I am Gorfo," he replies, "You are in a cavern."
A cavern ... I had gathered such. Why was I brought here? I touch myself. My skin is damp and I wince with pain. I grit my teeth:
"Why ... am I here?"
I hear Gorfo coming towards me again. I feel his hand in mine.
"I do not know," says he, "The Wizard brought you here."
The Wizard ... and so he has finally taken me from my cosy bower. I begin to weep.
"Why are you crying?" asks the goblin, his voice revealing genuine concern.
How can I tell him? I, who had lived all my seventeen years in a tower of my parent's castle. Blind ... I was shielded from the outside world. Flowers, the wind, the songs of birds were known only from the books which my Nursemaid read to me. My room was familiar to me, all the furniture was padded lest I hurt myself. I lived in a beautiful bower ... a beautiful prison. I had never heard the sound of children's laughter, nor felt the sun dry my warm tears, and he asked me why I cried!
I cannot tell him. I have not the words to express my bitter-sweet emotions. I am terrified at all the beauty which I have never known, yet I am joyful at being beyond my prison - my prison of soft fabric and sweet voices.
"My God," he says, "You have been injured!"
Injured, what is that?
I feel his warm hands, damp with sweat, probe my soft skin. I scream with sudden pain.
"God! I am sorry," says Gorfo. All humour has vanished from his tone; his voice is that of one whose lamplight reveals an awful tragedy.
"Hell! He's raped you ... the bastard!"
Raped, what is that?
* * *
All around me the earth is damp with my blood. I am too badly injured to be moved. There is nothing that Gorfo can do to heal me. Already the mist envelopes my mind for the final time.
My friend has told me that I am dying.
What is that?
Copyright © 1988 by Michael F. Green. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: 13 February 2003