Horse With Human Hands
TW // Bodily Harm, Self Mutilation
Previous Entry: HWHH: Seven – Father
Mother’s Milk for trade, and Father’s Fetish to root.
We are sick, sick, sick in the head, and dying still to boot.
But there is a light. Lighter than all lights.
Which wipes away the rain, and sun, and snow
To expose us to the elements. It is the one,
The Obol of Netzach
The Many-Headed Wraith
The Lick of Green
The Ergon Born
The Son of the Lady Waiting
The Land Alone, We’ve Scorned.
Poem Fragment from the “Niall Prayer Book”
Compilation Note: This poem seemed to be part of a speech, at one time. References from other documents have arranged these words in a different order, but this particular piece of writing seems to have been written after, judging by the original translations and the nature of the words. Someone was taking the speeches, or perhaps, sermons, of “Niall” and compiling them into songs and poetry. We are attempting to compile information into a singular location, for ease of understanding. Dr. Browning has been working on the dig site where these texts were discovered, along with a series of strange bodies. Signed, Marianne Fletching; 2019
“Man is condemned to be free.”Jean-Paul Sartre
It was in my approaching death, the occasion which I heard the tolling bells. The sound of foreign wars come to claim me, of soldiers with pikes construed by bone and filament. In the distance, beyond the crowing call of daily strife, this intermittent struggle of life which wraps itself upon us all the same. The chanting of tribes unknown, praying for the downfall of that which offers them their own unholy supplications. To be made rich, wealthy on the blood of the poor. To be known wholly, accented by the unidentifiable. The be grown into power, atop the root-bed of the meek. These are the calls of humanity and to know them as I know you would reveal to me, once more, their counterfeit sound.
I knew as soon as it was born within me, a meager larvae adopted in some abandoned apartment, transferred perhaps by the lick of a needle. In the wake of it’s profane adoption I came to know the meager thing, at once unwelcome within the cage of flesh and bone prescribed to me by that which lies above.
It was a familiar, writhing thing who spoke first to me. The Grub With No Name became to me as a dear friend, and even so close as a lover with whom I shared little passion. We grew to know everything of one another and before the bloom grew around its vestibule home within my throat. Our wants, at first were disparate, but with time and understanding, and the sweet cajoling of its infant voice I came to learn it more aptly, and came to call it what it wished.
It was a part of me, and I a part of it.
The Grub consumed what I consumed, be that as it may, and it fed from the parts of me which I no longer desired. Made strong in my throat it contained itself to grow further yet, encased in a shell of small calcium and promises of new life yet ungiven to me.
The bond between father and son is so remarkable, and in my budding relationship with the grub within, I came to know completely what Geoffrey desired so desperately. His claim to be the head of our family was not untrue. He was the patron saint of our multiplicitous debaucheries. He did introduce me to the grub, before I knew its true identity.
It came to me as any other blessing, through the long cave of a difficult life.
I did not live in fullness until long after I became a man. Through the experiences engrained in me and the bonds with which I was made to bear, between myself and the men who called me brother I learned I was worth more than the average man. I was blessed beyond measure, in the makeup of my being, I learned through the Grub, it was my destined duty to carry this burden that my dear Murphy and Clyde need not bear the weight.
So it were, as I found Geoffrey and his illuminated, fluid soaked kin, that I found the Grub through the pore of a steel needle. Carefully, he pushed it into my vein and in a release as powerful as any I’d been given by his sons and daughters, I was brought to a new understanding of completion.
I could feel it, joyfully squirming through me, unabashed in its desire to find my center, and I wondered then if it would consume me as the dear Father had promised. After all, this sacrifice I was made to make was for the greater good of all. Our world is tainted.
Tainted by a virulent plague of ceaseless wonder. Indebted to god and man as if we do not understand the power from which we were all born, a power infested within me like pox upon the ancient man. Though, this knowledge came with itself a forbidden curiosity, if I were to bear this burden, would I succeed?
It is for all fathers to wonder those same questions. We all seek to be the best we can, in our fatherhood, in our hopes for a brighter tomorrow. So too, did I, as the Grub are from infant to something more. It’s first shell, I passed with little trouble, and I knew it was a matter of time before my call would be complete.
The Grub, as it grew, grew too more hungry. It’s desire to be full from my loathing was no longer enough, but craved more.
I do admit, knowing I will be furled from this coil soon, to the extent of horrible crimes. They were in service to the Grub, as all that I have built has become a piece of it.
I took only from those unwilling to give, or, in some instances I took from those selected by the Grub itself, ever searching for a new meal. My growing boy was hungry. What kind of father would I have been to deny him nourishment while he became that which might save us all?
That is the crux of this memory I’ve sent to you. In your reading of it, I will have long since ascended, but you will remain, and my dear, dear child will likewise still walk the halls of our generously sinister home. He will come calling, one day. It may not be soon, but he will come. He always does.
The passing of the second shell, much larger and far more solid than the first was a task I believed, in the midst of, I was not suited to accomplish. Like a good child, he spurned me onward toward the culmination of our united efforts, and I slept, a final time, to prepare for him soon coming.
His third shell was the largest I’d known, and I could feel its weight hanging delicately inside my belly. In quiet times, between draws of the needle, I could hear him, whispering and cooing gently as babes often do. He was telling me secrets of things I couldn’t begin to fathom. Answers to questions which I’d long held and still was unable to decipher. The cleverness of his tongue a disguise, not unlike that which we all wear. Our own silvered tongue a mask to hide ourselves from those things which we are too unstable to face.
Fatherhood, as it turns out, is one of those things.
In my third stage, as The Grub grew to something larger, I could feel it calling out for more. More death from my hands, more nourishment, and it became so frequent I was called to kill each night for a time which I will not reveal to you. I was asked by my child the impossible, he wanted me, against my own understanding, to offer my body as a vessel for him.
Oh it could have asked of me anything, and it had. But to offer myself unto it was a request I couldn’t accept. I had so much life to live. I believed, it told me, I would live alongside it.
This was, I learned, not the case. As if it did not have its own body growing within my belly which I could feel, each twist of its body a kick to me, each shiver from excitement a prickling of gooseflesh on my own skin. It was not merely a spirit, divined by a vengeful esoteric. The Grub was, and is, a truth which I found myself doubting.
In my doubt, I faltered.
I knew it would disapprove of my choices, of my decision to rid myself of the duty, but as it grew it became something far more real to me than anything I’d felt before. So much so that I began to think of the Grub as the only real thing left in my life.
I considered, on a particular evening, with my plot organized and prepared and the Grub screaming through my stomach of my old friends, Murphy and Clyde. Two men whom each had spent their share of time searching for me.
I couldn’t tell them what had become of me. How would they ever forgive the atrocities of which I alone am guilty?
It was as if called by this wistful memory, that Clyde arrived in our Manor. Suited for a lecture, he found me beside the private beds and spoke to me, my friend from so long ago, who came to my side an angel in my time of need.
We didn’t speak longer than a moment, and when Father returned from meditation hour he patiently asked Clyde to leave, but in those moments he’d shared with me the horror of life he faced while we’d grown apart. Where he’d been, what he’d been made to do, the things he’d seen in the jungle beyond.
He urged me to do what was right for myself, and I realized I must rid myself of the Grub.
There was no other right decision.
I knew, of course, I could not think it lest the Grub would know, and in my desperation I imbibed the last of Father Geoffrey’s medicinal tinctures. The properties of the injection a favorite of mine as I went through the old pain of passing the shell.
In a state of unbridled euphoria, I wandered to the park where we’d so frequently sang our united songs. Rarely alone, I was surprised when none questioned my exit from the Manor. Father had returned to the rear quarters for a celebratory bedside cajoling, and I found myself uniquely alone in what would soon become my final moments.
I did what anyone might do, for fear of their lives. I took a knife, one which I always carried by my side and laid in the grass. The Grub in an instant, my mortal enemy.
It was a painful procedure, but I could not bear to carry the child longer than I’d already done. It had consumed me. My thoughts devoured by its will, it’s desire to subsume the man I was meant to be changed, and in a single night of understanding, I plunged the knife into the sea of mine own skin, and tried, though it fought me, to tear the egg from within my hollow vein wrapped womb.
It was, of course, outraged at my action.
Had it not been for my own personal angel, who had months before been brandished a heretic to our family, I might not have lived long enough to explain my actions.
Instead, I am resolve to this, in a place between life and unlife where I must tell you. The doctor who is no doctor.
Diana, an otherwise untrustworthy heretic was the one who found me. Had she not rushed to my aid, perhaps I would have bled out, perhaps worse, Father Geo would have found me and taken what was rightfully mine.
Overwhelmed by what I imbibed, and coupled with the stress of the day, I do not remember the ride to Saint Mary’s Hospital. I simply remember waking, on a bed being rolled through the halls to meet you, for the first time, Frances. You who are not what you say you are who met me and brought me in for care. The Intensive Care Unit of your crumbling hospital was enough to save me, but I am not saved, yet, am I?
I am here, with you, and without my darling, fearsome aberrant child. When I looked into your eyes, The Grub, in its panic, told me what you were. So I whispered the words to you, to tell you what I am and who I was meant to be.
Though I hate it, though I would give anything to rid myself of the pest, I am, still grateful for what threads of fate brought us together, dear Frances.
I do wonder, what became of my child. Where it has gone since my untimely, and suspicious death. Your testament to my swift expiration was admirable, but you did leave out something, I fear was of dire importance.
I am not dead.
I am reborn.
Thank you for reading the FINAL entry in Horse With Human Hands.
Horse With Human Hands is a fiction story I’ve been wanting to tell for a long time. This is only the beginning. These characters and the lives they’ve led are part of a much larger whole. Immediately after Lifeis+2023, I’ll be focusing time to expand this narrative into something I hope you are excited to be a part of.
I’ve honestly had a lot of fun writing this project, and after I take some (much needed) time off in the aftermath of Lifeis+ I’m going to begin releasing further content in this storyline for you.
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