The Meadows of Ebony

Phillip A. Ellis

Who knows what number of travellers have sought ceaselessly through silent time for the meadows of ebony? What foot has trodden on that life-forsaken plain where no beast, terrestial or otherwise, has given voice to its plaint to the shadow-scarred moon? Where is the eye that has beheld that moon which lingers white as a skull bleached blank by uncounted aeons? Which person has described that field, where all that grows is as dark as those infinite gulfs falling between the few stars that lie scattered as a handful of deathly pale pearls lie scattered over an endless swathe of black velvet? How many have truly beheld those stars, which slowly die and gutter as feeble lamps in the unremitting night, to leave only the moon alone as a swollen phosphorescent corpse afloat in an inky sea?

For few trees grow upon the meadows of ebony, trees as enigmatic as eldritch monuments hewn from nigrescent marble that have been raised through the nigromantic arts of elder ages. And these trees of living night arise high into the night air like splintered pillars to some Stygian godess, forgotten by all save some melanotic-hearted devotees of oblivion. Further, furrows mar not their silk-smooth bark as hard and unremitting as obsidian, and each tree bears but a few limbs that spread outwards and upwards as does the rigid fingers of an ancient corpse carbonised in a protohistoric holocaust. Upon these branches there grow but a handful of broad leaves limned as if by ink, or else tenebrous blooms that blossom as sweet as ashes and as fulgent as a raven's plumage in night's deepest shadows.

And no wind blows upon the grass that grows as glass lies dark upon ink-smeared vellum. No wind bestirs the funereal trees and swart grass into giving voice to some mourning dirge or hymnful paean to oblivion, which speak of bleakest sorrows brought about by blackest despair. Truly, all things wait in expectancy for uttermost oblivion to overwhelm all, and to finally darken even the moon and stars as if all existance was swallowed into the unseen depths of an unlighted oceanic abyss, or else into the very maw of the swollen corpse of the collapsed star that beckons this final planet with sweet promises of nihilistic destruction.

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