The Psychopomp’s Cure

Six Sentence Stories is a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge. This week’s cue word is: DETOUR
I. Frightened, lost, running through the town, the pain inside me might have been scored by the pins of a voodoo sorceress, the blade of an assassin, the bullet of a sniper or the poison and spells of a high priestess. II. Nyx was there to guide me, to point her ancient finger to an ancient detour; an old, old chapel on an old, old hill, where it’s whispered deep within lies the Psychopomp’s Cure.   III. I moved through aisles, the fingernails of enemies scratching at the walls, until I came to a room which contained my childhood fears, and scattered ‘cross the floor were toys and games and jigsaw puzzles, the puzzle of my pain, human fragility nailed to the floor, like a carpet, a rug, I pulled it up, and there at my feet was a secret trapdoor. IV. Down I went along rickety stairs, down, down until flung open were windows to the memories of first love affairs, teenage angst through a window pane, I clambered inside to reside for a while, and dwell upon what my heart laid bare, among the scatterthrows of promises, hope, and double dares. V. I saw then a spiral staircase, leading back up to the worldly place, and at intervals I met my adult self, flanked by guardian races; for Annfred was there, Æthelflæd and Ælfwynn, and little Annan (who had saved me once before in dreams), and Michael with his sword and shield, and the Celtic triple-goddess Brigit, and of course Nyx was there at the topmost step, to point her ancient finger to a final door, Nyx… guardian of guardians and guide of all guides. VI. When I re-emerged in the old, old, chapel, there upon an alter lay a goblet which I put to my lips to drink every last droplet,   as Nyx said – shhh, go to sleep, and when you awake all pain will be gone, to be replaced with the pain of healing… shhh… Nyx said shhh, rest now until your strength shall rise, like the morning sun from the darkness of night.
Ford, Atomic Mage.

Editor’s note: My Six Sentence Story is written following an emergency surgery I had last week. Post-surgery, recovering in those first few hours after anaesthesia, I had some strange thoughts and sensations… funny, as they only come to me now with some clarity. The story-poem I’ve written features an emerging character called Nyx, created by my good friend and project collaborator Nick AKA Spira. Want to know more about Nyx ? Then read Spira’s tales here and here. The photographs used as illustration were taken by me on Tuesday during my morning convalescence walk. The scenes are from a 13th century hill, chapel and tower near where I live. And now… This… Just in! Breaking news…


    • Hi Bruce, thanks. Nicely on the mend now. Good job I saw my Doc fast and went for blood tests, as I might have done a Steve Dillon! Was reading about him after, and of course it resonated. His brother Glynn has an exhibition in the UK, with some homage paid to Steve, as well as his own work.
      Thanks for the good words my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Atmospheric photos and poetic prose combine magically… and strangely. A positive outcome for your surgery but then 😲 bam! I didn’t miss the byline on that shock report. I’m only hoping (after a timely warning) that reports of the Gatekeeper’s demise may have been somewhat exaggerated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Chris. Glad you liked the atmospherics. Those photos were a lot of fun to take knowing the subject in hand.

      So, all’s well that ends well… but hang on… I haven’t heard from the Gatekeeper for two days now… 😰

      Does anyone know a good clairvoyant?

      Maybe we should call Ghostbusters?

      Or at least check all the local bars 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  2. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln*, I’ll have a litre of whatever he’s having.’

    There is so much in the dark fringes of reality. Nice work here. Not merely on bringing it back but in expressing it in a manner that allows us to feel, even a small part, of your experience.

    Good Six.

    I’m with Chris… tell Nick the crowd at the door is getting ugly

    *damn, I looked up the quote…not even close to what I wrote… but then, I claim full-on paraphrase indemnity

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Clark and Abe Lincoln. Was good to exorcise that experience.

      The crowd at the door’s getting ugly?

      You would think Nick would make an appearance to try and clear it… even if it’s in his new form of a headless horseman, or a blob of ecotoplasm.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Keep on going with the good recovery, Ford.
    I seem to recall something else recently about poison, but cannot remember where from. Maybe they’re related… or maybe I’m just putting two and two together.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love that journey, Ford. ‘…among the scatterthrows of promises, hope, and double dares.’ Wonderful language. The story made me think of Robin Williams in The Fisher King – the wounded healer.
    And please tell me that Nick Windward has the gift of bilocation and that the body discovered was a mere shell? Please…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What more can I say that hasn’t already been said except.. I loved this, V. It would appear there were some beneficial after effects from the anesthesia. I totally read this piece as reflection of your experience 😎
    Very much enjoyed the pictures. Très cool.
    The title – homage to song or album?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s