The Librarian's Revenge ©

The Librarian's Revenge ©

An Odyssey Into The Wonderful World Of Words

This community is dedicated to C.W. Hewett's epic masterpiece

O & E Part 1

Georgina HarrisPosted by Georgina Harris 02 May, 2009 12:10PM

After some lovely comments, here is the full text (split into two because of its length.) It should be noted that the extract published before had been slightly altered to be more "plain speaking" so this will appear fairly abstract! If confused, please ask!

Orpheus and Eurydice

White dress with nymph clustered about her, moving from pool to pool, marsh from marsh, blooming and flowing under quivering branches. A vision of Orpheus playing on the lyre. Shadows draping heavily about her breastbone, wiping brittle eyes. Virgin cloth reeking with ashy drops from Hymen’s smoking torch. Naiad sisters picking grass blades and feeling them to be fluid; running fingers up stems and splitting them between their vertical veins. Walking and following and leading through the grass, velvet buttercups tilting heads towards Apollo’s glare, brushing the cheeks of ankles, and beetles, and staining them with pollen. Fragments (skeletons) of flowers drifting; catching in molten sunlight, and in the distance, and in their hair.

Beneath the undergrowth, a crispness, an odour of rotting and decay. An animal slowly crumbling into the soil, a spawn of insects feasting hungrily inside its sickened shell.

A snake turning, reaching out to tickle creamy skin with the tip of its tongue and feeling suddenly potent,



A feeling of desire and design, as if commanded by stains of marital smoke within the skull.

A need to bite through tenderness.

A man was sitting in the sun, his eyes resting upon the bride. She turned running towards the shade, feeling a strange pricking at her ankle. An image of Orpheus passed dazzled in the glare across her eyes.

All of them sources, all of them rustling their cloth; brooks, fonts, rivers and wells, all of them running freely through the grasses, jaundice stained, marshes and ponds too, all running past the hedgerow, and springs and marshes, all running. The seduced and the seducers, running.

Eurydice’s head had fallen on a patch of soil which had been trampled by the bases of their slender heels and where the grass was squashed and pulped; clear juices running from their juicy sarcoid stems. Her hair, curling like ivy stalks, spread erratically out over the dirt. A beetle used it as a bridge between two tall stems. And still, in the distance, legs were swimming over the meadow, and shoulder blades working under heavy fabric and yet more hair, under the afternoon sun.


Her body began to sink into the earth, submerged in clods of soil and beetles, burrowing animals and earthworms chewing and spitting it out around her. And still Orpheus. Her skin turned sour from peach to sallow and she was aware of a feeling like a ghost’s, a translucent, colourless feeling pervading and permeating the smoky fabric of her wedding gown. She felt beads of heady ashy substance draining from her clothes and knew that her scent was being pulled away as she too felt pulled through the earth. Underground streams became more like distant rumblings rather than the hard sound of water filtering and dribbling through pebbles she had heard closer to the surface. Her eyes failed to trace the line and curve of the growing rock. She saw it as an image, a captured photograph, which formed in the centre of them and spread out like a ripple making a summary of shape and form. Her own form had become a woven texture of vapours moulded into various shapes. Marrow and fibres sank into a filmy substance, the sensation of having flesh, appearing only as an inner sponging to bulk her transient frame. The feeling not unpleasant; a gradual loosening, or a lessening of her body, mind lucid and vivid, and still concerned with her husband, their marriage and the smoke which had blown between them, bringing salty tears to eyes.


The naiads stopped to turn. One noticed a small and twisted hand peeking through a patch of crouching weeds and attached to a wrist beginning to burn in the sunlight. A scream.


Other forms descending. An awareness of similar shapes, of closeness, of similarity. The feeling of becoming a face of a many sided shape, one aspect of a cliff-face even, a singular shape part of a complex whole which she could not make out through her narrow vision; eyes like blind beams. Mind rattling as feet move slowly forward, still treading on the same spot. Confusion.

In this way she went, thinking only of fate and of Orpheus, pulling at her earlobes and hearing wails which she believed to be her own. The ground trembled with the shuffle of feet moving alongside; with the trembling came her own clatter of deafening bereft, followed by a quiet murmur of absence which lingered. And still moving. Inevitable feet still churning, ankle bitten and limping.