by Ben Gumienny
A short allegory: you decide what it's about...
|A terrifying keening sliced through the night air, shattering Doran’s thoughts into a thousand points of light. He was shivering; the spasms wracking his body from somewhere deep within. There are many reasons that one can shiver: cold, fear – even excitement. But Doran shivered because of a horrible longing that resonated throughout his being. He covered his head with his both hands as though warding off an evil sprite, but a gust of air upon the naked flame on the cavern wall caught his eye and he rushed to shelter it. He held out his shaking fingers as a crude shelter to keep the light from going out. It mustn’t go out! In his haste, he had turned his back on it and Doran gasped involuntarily as he spun on his heels and nearly fell backwards into the torch he had been trying to preserve. His heart hammered in his ears and his eyes strained through heavy darkness, startled to find that the creature hadn’t moved.|
It sat in the center of the cavern, emitting a low rumbling sound from deep within its throat; a sound oddly akin to a pigeon’s coo as it hopped towards a crumb of bread. But this was no pigeon and the glint of light reflecting off of jagged teeth cast the scene in sharp contrast to Doran’s imagination. Why had he come here? There was no good answer to that question. Why did he do anything? Doran had long considered himself a victim to his inner desires. He reasoned that one could not really be held accountable to choose something different than what one naturally gravitated towards. Wasn’t it really the fault of whoever had made him that way? But now those same desires had led him here and the dampness seemed to reach off the smooth stone walls, grasping beyond his cloak to his skin, claiming him for its own.
But it wasn’t the humidity that had caused him to tremble. The cause wasn’t even fear, but more of a dreadful fascination, the curiosity that drives us to gaze on another's macabre misfortune. Doran felt arrested by the monster’s gaze; eyes that drew him forward, blurring the edges of his consciousness as he stepped in a fathomless pool of pulsating color. Alarm bells smothered somewhere in his fevered brain, but all he felt was a rapidly growing need. The powerful urge seemed to seize his heart causing him to exclaim with sudden desire.
The beast heard his voice ring off the dank stones and unfolded itself to its full height, resting deceptively on its powerful hind legs. But it still did not make any motion towards him, baring its teeth in what might have been a confident smile at its imminent success. Slowly the massive creature began to sway, looking like a deadly cobra about to strike as the sharp spines running up and down its long neck glittered in the dim light. The hair on Doran’s body stood on end so that he felt as if he was walking through spider webs. And yet he continued up the slight slope, absently brushing at his arms.
Heat seemed to emanate from the terrible jaws and Doran found himself sweating yet shivering, the hard knot in his stomach belying his hunger. Huge wings unfurled and beat the thickened air, causing the colors to swim in his vision. The monster’s swaying dance grew more frantic and the pressure inside him became unbearable. The surroundings seemed to scream his impending doom but he no longer cared. All he could think of was the terrible ache bashing against his ribs like a furious caged lion. He closed the remaining distance; a drowning man gasping for air. He must have relief. He must have it all - NOW.
He didn’t cry out. He didn’t want to. The torchlight flickered and finally snuffed, casting its final glimmer on lethal teeth and blood splattered rocks.