Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Xibalba: The Room of the Broken Dolls.

The little ghost stood before an obsidian door. It led to the next room of Xibalba that lay before him.

Xibalba, the Realm of the Dead, is like a great spiral seashell with many layers. In it are level after level, many houses and many rooms. The only way to escape from Xibalba is to pass through all the rooms, one after another, and face whatever is in them.

And what they contain is different for each person.

This ghost only recently had come here, to Xibalba, through the black hole in the galactic core. He did not remember very much. The passage through the black hole had wiped away most of his knowledge of what had happened, and who he had been.

The ghost touched his face; it felt strange, like something was missing. But he couldn't worry about that now. He approached the black door.

He knew there was something horrifying behind it. But it was the only way to go on. He pulled it open; it was dark inside. Slowly, carefully, he slipped through, his bare feet feeling the ground. The door clanged shut behind him.

Inside, at first, it was as if everything had vanished. There was only darkness and the soft murmur and ripple of waters; the murmur and ripple of waters beneath the darkness.

Then it began to become more clear and solid. There was a faint shining in the distance, at the edge of the horizon. Distant lightning flashed and crackled beneath the black sky.

As the ghost's vision grew accustomed to the gloom, he saw that before him was a desolate, forgotten city. The buldings lay in ruins, the streets flooded with black water that murmured and gurgled, littered with upturned carts and wagons, fallen trees, dead animals, piles of refuse and rubble.

And everywhere there were the wooden dolls, large, like mannequins, floating and bobbing in the black water. They were broken and mangled; their clothes were torn, paint smeared, eyes ripped out, faces missing, arms and legs broken off, bodies shattered and splintered. Some of them looked like they'd been gnawed by animals. A woman doll was standing up incongruously, leaning against a pushcart, blank eyes staring lifelessly.

He was sickened by the stench, everywhere the smell of putrid water and rotting wood.

The air of the room was permeated with a sense of unspeakable sorrow, unbearable loss.

There was something he ought to know about this place.

He was afraid, terribly afraid. But he stepped cautiously forward into the mud. The water lapped about his toes.

Recognition began to dawn in him.

The wooden figures were just dolls. But, somehow, they had once been alive. And now they were all dead. No, not just dead. Worse than dead, much worse. They had been rendered lifeless, inert, inanimate. Turned into mere objects.

Something bumped against his foot. He looked down.

It was a little girl doll, life-size. She had a pretty brown face and long black hair tied in pigtails. One side of her head was gone, and the other side of her face was painted with a bright, cheery smile.

He screamed; he couldn't help it. The sound echoed through the ruins, through the hollow, empty space. Some sea birds flapped up into the dark sky.

The ghost was crying now; he couldn't hold back his tears. There was only the sound of his weeping and the murmuring of the waters.

But it is not safe to stand still for too long, here in Xibalba. A person who does that might get stuck in one spot for centuries. So he stepped down into the flooded street, and began making his way through the piles of rubble, through the vast ruined city.

He knew that, somewhere, at the other end of this room, there was a door leading out. But he would have to go through this whole place to get there.

And it might take a very long time to find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment