Time shifts in small earthquakes. These quakes do not register on a regular scale but can only be detected by machines buried deep in the earth. With each spike on the paper, each anomaly from the steady rhythm, tectonic plates move and time skips forward. How many of these little quakes had shaken the invisible layers of crust floating above the mantle?
Years had gone by, hundreds of tiny tremors, unnoticed, beneath her feet.
And now? Now she stands against the parapet of her domain watching the orange crystal orb, lifted and spilling magic, spin marking its own passage of time. With a sigh she pushes off the edge and walks slowly to the floors below. What a fortress she had built, castle walls rising high above the water on her rocky island, orange crystal orbs spinning, pulsing, lending magic to her world. It was lit and blazing among the dark walls, lights that cast a beacon to the sea.
Another vibration of the ground, another tick of the clock.
She could no longer remember if she had been walling the world out or building herself in. Her feet echo as she makes her rounds, pushing through huge ornate doors to check either outer room on the next level, eyes scanning the lamps to make sure all was aglow.
Down again, empty low ceiling rooms, she slides fingers down gleaming orange silk curtains that lead out to the balconies, they whisper and shift at her touch. The flames outside always stayed lit, but it was part of her evening to check them, part of her routine. Leaning against an edge her golden eyes rake over the gardens below, gardens full of the same magic that held the edges of her dark home together.
Tectonic plates drifting, moving where they cannot be seen.
Silence in her castle, huge, stony, empty silence. She had let them all go. “Where have you gone?” she calls out in a frantic moment darting her eyes about. No sound, she tenses, concentrates. Once she had lovers and she had grand parties; once she had laughter. More empty rooms checked. Then she descends the cherry wood lined stairs letting her skirts drag upon them, rippling and swooshing. These were the things that kept her company now. Above an epic fireplace hung a picture of the very castle she was walking, what strange vanity she had.
Near the wooden castle doors she pauses and breathes in the mist that rises from a formidable opening. For the first time she smiles. Reaching out a hand she lovingly touches the vines that had pushed through her stony floor. “Hello,” she whispers and it is as if the vine arches like a cat to her delicate touch.
The needle moving on a seismograph, making electronic notes, recording.
Her pitch colored hair ruffles in the breeze as she crosses the long bridge, her spinning, soothing sculptures riding high above the grounds. Through the gardens that kiss the base of her castle she whispers, “Speak to me, speak to me…”, her once lithe figure passing glittering mushrooms, twisted vines, blue lights with a magic heartbeat and the peaceful fountain.
White rolling mists leave wet droplets on her silk shell as she reaches her final goal, the place she stays in more and more, longer and longer. Far below her castle lies a lush grotto soaked in her magic and the nature of the earth. In this grotto, beyond the low hanging branches of the trees, over bridges and bubbling streams, was also her eternal winter. “In here, in here, in here…” she whispers inside her own madness for as each castle wall rose it destroyed the high built edges of her mind. Adrift in the magic she was lost with only shimmers of clarity. She lay down by a blazing fire, content in her lost mind.
Time passes in ways that cannot be seen, in ripples and tremors that move the earth.
Inspired by Tusk built by Amberly Kinsella