Sanctuary and Depravity

A proud refugee from his cold and cloistered home, the abbe was free to wander a seductive road.  His femininity encouraged his billowing curls to flow down his back in a dangerous, romantic cascade; and willed his body to become soft and inviting.  His complexion was white, like a princess'.  His small head nestled between curls and cravat like a bird.

But he was still masculine enough to be proud.  In scorn he held his cane like a sword, cutting the air with its stiletto point.  Yet his grasp was pale and his hand tiny, like a starry moth.

His cape swept around his figure in sculpted, cold waves.  In the midst of the curves and froth, his face was cruel and profane – although the tassels hung from his sash like a priest's incense burners.

He stood, a portrait of conflicting sexuality, in darkness and glory.  Behind him there was an eruption of shadow and shape – a living brocade that moved with the sibilant, patterned grace of a snake.  Creatures – with a courtesan's sickly sweetness – reflected his daintiness and pretty decadence.

All – the crawling forest, the spotted and languid creatures, the moon looking in like a worried parent, the abbe himself – shared a common source.  Every living thing dissolved into inert lines, delicate, trembling streams that branched into pools of black discovery. And they all merged into five rivers:  fingers, thin and strong.  Then they moved through muscle and bone, revisiting nerve and flesh, up, up until they reached their birthplace:  a mind that was contorted and stunning, tormented by a shocking imagination.

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5 responses to “Sanctuary and Depravity

  1. I love the description of the moon looking in like a worried parent. I wonder if Aubrey was slightly mocking the the overblown finery and vanity when he drew pictures like this.

  2. I love this line: Every living thing dissolved into inert lines, delicate, trembling streams that branched into pools of black discovery.

  3. Mesmerizing. Engrossing. The last paragraph is prose in motion.

  4. Love that weaving description of the crawling forest. I have a special love for vines so I especially like that passage.
    This also reminds me of some movie where the protaganist found a magic brooch….I'm trying to remember it!

  5. Jando – Aubrey mocked these decorations while at the same time admiring them. Many thought his conversion to Catholicism was sincere, but others (me included) thought he did so because the churches were pretty.
    Emjay – Thank you! I honestly think that I spent five minutes on that sentence!
    Waterbaby – That final paragraph occurred to me first; the rest of the post grew out of it. And it wasn't like a thought I could push away; once there it had to be developed; or I would get no peace.
    Emmi – I understand your vine-like feelings – they are endlessly delicate; I could draw them for hours and hours with never an end to their twists.

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