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"...Hell hath no fury..."
Tristan in Hell

"At the entrance to the cave, one must step through the the spider's web. Otherwise, you will be caught, never to see what lurks behind it, hiding in the dark," Orpheus warned him. "The spider will descend from above."



The spider is easy to kill. Weak. He had only to shear off one of eight legs.

Tristan paces forward. The path is steep and narrow, treacherous and wet. Right foot. Then left. One by one. The oil and fire of his lamp raised in his left hand, his sword drawn down by his right, Tristan proceeds. He hides his fear from the eye. Down, on either side of his feet, is the endless chasm. He must not look down. Keep moving he thinks, inside his breath, inside his nostrils. Behind him scurry tiny bodies, moving in mass, a single body against herself. Against one another, like one thousand innocent blood hungry kittens, or mice, all and at once alone inside themselves eating their own meal, eating one another with very little noise, so little noise in fact that Tristan is not sure if anything is there at all.

He looks back.

And there, there—his eyes search, but there is nothing. No mice, no varmints; no baby kittens—not even the fresh carcass of the child-sized spider that he had slain.


Three days ago, Tristan journeyed to the home of Orpheus, a modest hut, high in snowy mountains, far from Hell. Tristan made the trek without his faithful slave Pedro, in order to protect the secrecy of his mission. Tristan brought a burlap sack with wine, olives, and oranges. Tristan felt proud to carry this on his own back, with his own arms and on his own back to Orpheus. He felt holy doing this, like one of the saints revered in Sunday School.

At the threshold, a tiny caged window opened. A small door inside a front door. Without hesitating, the gentleman informed Orpheus of his quest. Then he opened his burlap sack for the noble poet to inspect. Orpheus was—remains—weary of strangers.

More than the oranges, Orpheus eyed the sturdy pair of tall black boots on the feet of this supplicant. He heard nothing that Tristan said. He may well have been watching a dog barking, as dogs imagine they are understood. Orpheus said nothing of the boots at first, but secretly hoped to swap them for his own once they were off this pompous gentleman’s feet. At last he opened his home to Tristan. Once inside, Orpheus made sure to give Tristan his very best glass, and to keep his grail laden with the drink that makes men senseless.

Tristan regaled Orpheus with a thousand conquests, hoping to impress his host. Orpheus said little, smiled politely, looking into the fire. They were now sitting in two chairs by the fire.

Orpheus had told him (the same Orpheus who no longer speaks, who no longer forms words, the first piper before the coming of the Piper known as Piper): Beneath the tower of song there is a cavern. To find the one you love must enter there. Orpheus closed his eyes at this thought. Tristan (Tristan the impetuous who stays himself for none) waited for him to speak, praying his host might speak just a bit more.

Orpheus looked up, into, through Tristan, as no one else. If you are lucky, and you have courage, and you do find her, know: she will not return with you.

For some minutes, it seemed that Orpheus had more to say. His thick fingers wrested on his lips, his brow furrowed. For hours, perhaps, it seemed that Orpheus laid on the edge of speech.

Tristan by now grew restless. It was already dark. The tavern where he would sleep was a three hours' walk down.

When he stood to leave. Nothing about Orpheus' disposition changed, however.

At the door, Tristan was just about to step outside, gazing out over the mountains. The winds were cold, and the snow was deep. Something in him made him look back, though this was not his custom. Orpheus was still, but he had turned his head. His eyes were like stone, compelling Tristan to stay. He looked down at the gentleman's boots, then into his eyes:

One thing more, Orpheus said, before he looked to the fire, sticking his rod in the embers with his left hand: When walking through the cavern, on the narrow path, you must not look down, or you will fall.

Tristan acknowledged this, and made again to depart.

And do not look back. Orpheus' gaze was now lost to the fire.



His voice, Tristan's voice, his own breaking voice calls back to him:

I know it IS you…I KNOW it is you…I know it is YOU… Over and over throughout this cavern it echos, as if Tristan were the cavern, if a body were a room and a voice a body. The words bleed together, sounding: It is no use.

Here, inside the cave, it is very dark. There are shadows of bodies, but nothing to see. Eyes, yes, but no bodies. There is whispering but there is no sound.

Come out. You ARE here. I KNOW it is YOU...I...

He stammers, catching himself. Now there is nothing. No bodies, not even shadows.

He must proceed. He wills himself to proceed, wills the procession of his body into darkness; although his mind has no part in it. Reason--the same woman he now pursues wrested his years ago. Before the many.
Tristan edges himself to the other side of the narrow path, where there is space to move. Now the lamp rests in the center. He surveys what little he can. There are many paths from here. Many places to hide.

He knows she is here, among many. He feels them. He feels the one. Her. He feels her, inside the many. Which of the bodies are hers and which are her own body—divided—this is harder to discern. The half dead break apart and halves of the one come together in mutilated form.

A voice beckons from where hung the spider:

...Come to me…

That voice...was it her? Was that really... her? No echo follows her voice. The power of that voice swallows itself.

Tristan looks back. At the entrance a web weaving itself anew...

Tristan must laugh. Ha! He is stamping his feet. He leans against his sword like a cane. Why so afraid of little old me...dearest Queen... Her vanity is her weakness. I can't harm you here... now can I? You, who have an army, a veritable nation of cursed women, groping one another even now!

Scurrying. The half dead women mutiny amongst themselves.

Yes, I saw you in church. You drank the young people's blood. You drank their blood with your eyes, your all seeing eyes, distracting us with your skirts...pulling them down. As if you were modest...Ha!


You hoar. You beast! You, the High Priestess. The Queen of Pentacles. Queen Mab. That I would give a lifetime of my blood for a single night, for one night to ravish you. Taking by force what you deny me. And yet, you have not the courage to reveal yourself.

...Shut up and fuck me...

No, Queen. who are so seeming in your supplication..In this masquerade of your own sexlessness. Your wear the guise of supplication, but your end is the same as mine. I will gain the upper hand this time. I will not let you from me. Not for days, or weeks or forevermore will I release this power that compels me, the power that compels you to me, I, Tristan, the greatest lover you have ever known, or will have ever known, that any will ever know,

At this, the cavern is shaking. Bellowing.

The sound of wings and birds awoken from slumber.

Laughter. Cruel, uproarious, horrid laughter--the laughter of those who suffer no muse, laughter that feasts upon the innocenct. A laughter that destroys what feels and loves, as it must, as it must never be reminded of the vapidness of its own soul. The anti-soul. A laughter that crushes souls---no longer recalling for what purpose they are borne.

A sea of winged beasts with serpents' tails, legs of fish and the teeth of dogs--each unique, partaking of some part of that woman the noble Tristan seeks--reveal themselves. Even if it is a single eye, from it has grown a beast unto itself. An acid rain drips from above, fills the cavern, the infinite space on either side of the narrow path. Her, divided among many.

The Queen herself, as she looked when she was human, with leather wings, descends from above, where she has been resting, watching--watching Tristan from the beginning. She lands ahead and yet among them, among the half-dead, broken and scorned. She is inches away. The Red Queen. Naked.

You. I knew it was you.

The good Tristan snatches her there, before she can cry. Before she can slip away, using his own reason against him. Out flap her wings, together flying--spinning round and round, as she can not control her flight, refusing guidance. Together they hit the high ceiling.

She loosed the intruder there. Tristan's head bleeds, but he will not release her. The dragon, Mab, whips down, away from on high, sinking her fangs into the youth's left shoulder. Stealing and lapping up the flesh there.

The good Tristan is hard, at last, as he has not been in some long time. He feels the Queen pulling him, down there, with her right hand. Whether she means to rip his cock from him or to torture him with the denial of entry, not even she could know.

He will not release.

Her left arm, her left human arm cups him closer on the shoulder, flapping down. The she-beasts make a clearing. She can sense Tristan's weakness now. His loss of blood. That he is ready to die for her. That he does truly love her.

The walls ring with laughter and song. It is a marriage of the damned. The closer the bodies, the more human they appear. Their bodies, their reptilian, mermaid bodies, no longer needed. There is no more fear. They move closer to him, the women. Those who had fallen. Still, there was innocence.

There are no more living among us here. Our one life, folds within the book of death, Tristan thinks.

Isolda will care for him.

Tristan is sleeping now. Though infinite paths, Isolda escorts him with her minions to her private cave, the Lover's Cave.

I am not here to hunt. Salient cunt is abundant throughout heaven and earth, above, in the tower of song, in the marketplace, where meat is sold.

Shh...sleep, Tristan, sleep.

Isolda, the bride of Lucifer, cannot be his. Yet still he burns.

Take comfort.



2017-12-06 03:33:22
Thank you for reading my story. Log in to vote or post a comment!


2017-12-06 01:13:38
Not worth a comment. SICK

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