Slave Wind

Sandor Szabo

In the dim, silk-shrouded depths of a nameless opium den I take a gilded dragon's tongue between my lips. Inhaling the scented smoke that conjures memories of autumnal leaves, terrene sounds coalesce into a comforting, meaningless sussurrus. The slow flush of fervid mist spreads dilute rapture from lungs light as a dragonfly's gossamer wings to the breadth and depth of my languid body. Drab reality is revivified in prismatic hues as terrible scenes unfurl across a horizon gravid with occult possibilities.

Nameless beasts bellow and rear aloft on shapeless legs, stretching and thrusting beyond the clouds into the stratosphere, ripening obscenely into swollen orchid flowers whose serpentine mouths drip vermillion poppy-juice. Spattered by the viscous, incarnadine fluid I float in a pool of corporeal memories, cocooned as completely as millennia-enduring ants encased in amber.

Pnelotic presences spirit my recumbent form far away over snowy escarpments, through ethereally dreadful forests of upas trees clutched by living kurkus vines to an eld, long-forgotten glade. Here, beneath pale usultrious stars a rosy succubus at length descends to this dreaming planet with leathery wings outspread, come to drown my sins in illimitable seas of wickedness. The air echoes with Pannic threnodies as I spread my own coriaceous wings and launch into the atmosphere, spiralling after my temptress in mad ecstacy.

The unseen fingers of a withered Chinese crone remove the opium pipe from my palsied hands.

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