Ghost of Perdition

The hour of reckoning draws near
Judgment day is here and gone
Sweetly she draws me into her arms
A liquid embrace to chase the day way.
Sedate Numb Deaf and Dumb
Stumbling into solitude.
A clouded judgment day is fueled.
Take me under your black wings
Mark my words and remember me.
So sweetly she shucks away at my time
So sweetly she draws me nigh
Closer and closer towards never ending sleep
Spin the bottle
Kiss only the bottle.
The dark mistress of many, beholden to none
Slips a ring of needles around your arm in an engagement
Eternal engagement
Never consummated.
Take me under your black wings
Mark my words and remember me.
Destroyer of senses.
So take as needed for the pain
Another gray morning dawns across an ashen sky.
My sweet demoness beckons me
Ever again and again and again and again.
The dark mistress of many, beholden to none
My sweet demoness beckons me
Ever again and again and again and again and again.
Take me under your black wings.
Jacked up on the taste of self-destruction.

“11th Hour” – From the works of Randall D. Blythe

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Am I dead? Or am I alive? Or is this purgatory…

It took every ounce of energy to get myself up. I had to talk to my arms to tell them to cooperate with me. Then my torso. Then my legs. When I finally stood, a great, great sigh overcame me. My shoulders slumped forward and my head hung low. I clumsily wiped the sleep out of my eyes, picked up my belongings, and shuffled my way out of the maloca. It was still early. I had been finding myself waking around 4 or 5 in the morning every day since I’d been here, for some strange reason. Perhaps it was the medicine. As I made my way down the walkway I snorted in derision at how differently I felt within compared to that first magical night. “What a fucking nightmare…”

The door to my room creaked open. I was hoping to not wake Sam so as not to get into conversation. Not that I didn’t like him; it was just that I was so out of my mind that having a deep conversation was the last thing I could really handle. “Hey buddy, how ya doing?” He asked in his Californian drawl. “Uh, yeah… alright mate. You?” His head cocked to the side, looking at me intently “Had a rough night, eh? I could hear you from across the room.” Apparently, every single night I had been serenading the whole group with my demonic orchestra. “Yeah… yeah mate. It was rough…” My voice trailed off as I gazed at the floor. “You wanna talk about it?” He asked. Bless him, he was really concerned. “I dunno man, I’m still trying to figure everything out. Last night broke me. Everything’s a fucking mess right now man.” We talked a little more. I guess he knew not to ask too much at that stage. I started to drift off back to sleep again.

Before too long, the call for breakfast broke through the constant drone of the jungle. I felt like my body had been set to slow-mo as I forced myself up. I was kind of dreading human interaction at that point. “Effort.” I said to myself. “So much effort.” I was rather quiet. People asked how I was. I think I managed some kind of half assed reply. The good thing was that today was our day of rest. There was to be no ceremony tonight, and I was incredibly relieved. I sat next to Lynne and Adrienne. I needed their maternal energy around me, even if I wasn’t talking much. Just the fact that they were around made me feel better, and I needed all the positivity I could get. Right after breakfast I went back to my room and collapsed. I slept through the entire talk. There was no way I could handle the talk at that point. I felt bad for missing it, but my body was simply not responding. I would have been slumped in my chair the whole time, drooling like an idiot.

The hours passed by very quickly, and before I knew it, it was lunch time. I did the same thing and slowly dragged myself into the chow hall, one reluctant body part at a time. The sleep had made me feel slightly better, but I was still nowhere near functioning at normal capacity. I managed to get a few more words out of me at lunch. Lynne could see how traumatised I was from the night before. I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it did help soothe a bit of the pain within. I had had the wind absolutely taken out of my sails, rudder snapped by the storm, and could barely muster the strength to scoop the water out of my sinking hull. We had two optional activities to do that day. The first was a boat ride to see the river dolphins, and the second was another boat trip to see the giant river lilies. “What the hell… it’s better than sitting around here feeling sorry for myself.” I thought. The time came, and I grabbed my camera and got on the boat. Marcus and Juliana were on the same boat I was, which perked me up a bit. They were nice folk, and their quirkiness made me feel right at home. The sun beat down on us as we cruised down the river looking for the dolphins. After a few tries, the boat driver managed to locate the dolphins. I did my best to get into the mood of it. Everyone was having so much fun, after all. But after a few minutes of watching the dolphins splash around I said to myself, okay enough. Let’s get going. On the ride back, I felt incredibly tired again, and my head slumped into my hands which rested on my knees, and I bobbed myself to sleep with the rocking of the waves.

Home. Time to sleep some more. I realised when I got back to my room how badly I stank. It had already been days of not being able to shower with soap, or any other kind of sanitary product, and my body was taking on an odour that reminded me of my time in the army. The cold water of the shower hit me full force. I did my best to scrub off all the negativity and darkness of last night. It didn’t seem like it was coming off at all. I found myself back on the edge of the cliffs of despair again, and I collapsed onto my haunches in the shower; water running over me, and found myself sobbing once again. Eventually I got myself out of my haunted reverie, and went back to sleep, giant lilies be damned.

Sam came into the room before it was time to go for the tea ceremony, and I’m glad he did otherwise I might have missed out. I quickly dressed and walked to the maloca with him. Everything was still very much a daze. Whenever I found myself thinking of the last night, my mind screamed. I did my best to just not think of it, but as anyone would know, it’s very hard to not stare at the elephant in the room. Couldn’t remember anything about the tea ceremony. Must have been business as usual. Afterwards, I sat by the pool and just talked casually with anyone who was there. People came and went as I smoked and smoked and smoked. Anything to take my mind off.

By dinner time, I was feeling a bit more positive, but it was clear to me that my world had shifted significantly. Not in a good way either. All sorts of crazy thoughts came into my mind. I thought of the time I held that loaded revolver to my head. Oh how easy it would have been to just pull that fucking trigger and have everything just fade away. I thought of the time that I deliberately sought out the massive thunderstorm that lashed the coast one dark night, and I stood there by the rocks, watching the waves pound against their jagged edges relentlessly. The spray racing twenty feet into the sky. I thought of the time I ventured into an abandoned factory by myself; basking in the darkness and desolation of it all, allowing it to envelop me. Darkness. I had always been drawn to it. There was something about it that always called to me. Whenever the skies would blacken, I would take out my camera and try to capture the power of it through my lens. I would walk by myself during winter through fields of barren, leafless trees, pausing from time to time to take in the splendour of the absence of life.

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It has been something I have pondered for as long as I can remember. I can remember going to art galleries as a child, bored out of my mind with the more conventional, fluffy pieces, but absolutely spellbound by the majesty and depth of dark art that spoke of pain, anger, suffering, and evil. What was it about me that sought this out? My musical taste had always been just as dark. I loved violent, aggressive, moody, broody music. Of the classical musicians, I had always loved certain pieces from Mozart, Beethoven, Profokiev, and more. Who could resist the sheer heaviness and might of “In the hall of the mountain king” by Edvard Grieg, or the menacing percussion of Holst’s “Mars, the bringer of war”? Although I found joy in lots of different genres of heavy music, Heavy metal was always the central mainstay; the one that spoke the deepest to me. More than anything, I loved how the music spoke to me of MY reality. It wasn’t some manufactured pop garbage crap that was sung by plastic idols. Nor was it some mindless teenage fantasy. It was about real people. Real ideas. Real pain. The sheer violence in energy and passion would sweep me off my feet, and I would lay there with my headphones on so as not to piss off my parents, and my imagination would run wild and the blood would race through my veins. There was also the thematic imagery which I so enjoyed. A song comes to mind… Of Wolf and Man by Metallica.

Off through the new day’s mist I run
Out from the new day’s mist I have come
I hunt
Therefore I am
Harvest the land
Taking of the fallen lamb

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My mind was always over-imaginative. People would always say to me that I thought far too much about things I shouldn’t. Fuck them, what did they know? The darkness helped to feed my thoughts. There was some kind of beauty I found in it. I felt that modern pop culture totally misunderstood me, and had nothing to offer whatsoever, for life was not all about roses and puppies and fucking sunshine and lollipops. There was darkness too, and I felt it better to know the dark so as to appreciate the light. Or so I thought. Maybe I had allowed my artistic love of darkness to carry me away to places I shouldn’t have let it. Maybe it had gone too far, which was why I had experienced hell the last few nights under Aya. Sure, my own actions over the course of my life had contributed a lot to this misery I found myself in, but was it this fatal attraction which had altered the course of my life? I always wondered if my soul was just too tainted. Why wasn’t I like the other mindless minions in the playground?

Goya
Goya

From an early age I knew I was vastly different to other children. While the other kids in the playground were playing organised games like football and rugby and cricket, I would often find myself off in some far corner of the grounds, alone. I would look for dead insects, or birds, if I could find them, studying them intently. When other kids were reading drivel like “Goosebumps” and telling each other how scary the stories were, I would roll my eyes and continue to read books like “The call of the Cthulhu” by Lovecraft. When they listened to the latest offerings from Backstreet boys and Aqua, I was listening to music like “Never get out of these blues alive” by John Lee Hooker, or the “Murder Ballads” album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. When they were drawing power rangers characters, I was channeling the spirits of Goya, Munsch, as well as numerous other modern dark artists. I didn’t ask to be born this way. I still don’t know to this day what made me love the dark so much. The gloom enveloped me. I felt safe in it. It was my shield from the falseness and pretentiousness of the world around me. I hated how mindless they all were. I mocked them while safe in my cave of darkness. “How stupid they all are… like sheep to the slaughter.” I knew I was stronger, better, smarter. For the darkness had whispered in my ears and told me so.

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Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius – Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make insane. Maybe this was it. I was now paying the supreme karmic price for all my sins. Perhaps the Ayahuasca was the last thing in the puzzle to make me lose everything I ever had or knew.

Tomorrow was another day.

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