When at last I came upon the pointed archway, through the way I noticed an unusual bend in the light.
The arc of the shadow that split the light and dark of where the Cathedral began and the world ended was awry. Facing the threshold the sun shone hot against my back, and yet the shadow cast outward, as if the black were bleeding out and down the steps; an oily pool stretching towards me, relentless and unwilling to be contain. I shivered. The structure had it’s own breath of cold as I walked up the stone stairway and through the unnatural shadow, holding my cloak close to my body and into the blemished doorway; the gothic figures and beings, tarnished and twisting, carved into it’s curvature, seemed to grimace in mad delight at my entry.
The dark enveloped me swiftly—a knife cutting the light of the outside away, making it feel so very far… Like a phantasm or a mirage. Peering in through the shadow, I heard the dripping and running of water and felt the dampness of the stone beneath my bare feet, my eyes adjusting revealing paler configurations, buttresses, form and artworks of the frightening architectural wonder. I stood alone in the vast scape and gloom of the entrance hall, hands linked and held up to my chest. I felt unmoving eyes watching me, and to my ears most alarmingly could now hear cold mouths speaking of me amongst themselves in impish whispers, quick and glib and hellish and high.
“A young woman – !”
“Pretty, pretty girl, she go to him she seeks him out!”
“She comes without, she comes without, she comes without!”
“She comes without weapons, she comes without arms – ”
“It’s the Magician the Maiden searches!”
“Bard of Bewilder!”
“Quipster of Quiet!”
“Master of MAGIC!”
The last voice had boldly hissed from the nape of my neck, and a sharp scream escaped my lips as the fear gripped me. I quickly raced ahead in flightful fright, and to the stone of the narthex I pressed my back, the doorway leading into the heart of the Cathedral. Here I gazed down into the stretching deep of the church, her long aisle sinister in ebon depth. My gasps leaping, I dared not go further. A single chuckle I heard, yet it came from everywhere.
I tried to calm and slow my racing heart and pants. I withheld all cries and tears within my throat. I had come here to seek an audience with the nefarious Magician, and it was an endeavor that was rarely thought of, much less attempted by anyone. My reasons were even stranger, for I had none but dreams and awakenings in the night, but my feelings I could not shake, my feet leading me to the Cathedral gardens on their own accord while I slept; the visions and profound vibrations that would strike me without warning. I could not tell if it was his doing, or powers beyond the realm of my consciousness. It all would slip or shred away, moments before the shadows broke to reveal his face. I could not grasp his face…
Now, afraid and heaving, and leaning against the gothicist stone, looking out, down into the nave of the Cathedral, her points and streams reaching down into her belly, I realized that if I were to go beyond this threshold and enter into her I might not be able to leave of my own freewill. This was not a church, but another world; the Magician’s world.
In my mind I heard Nana’s voice, “Take courage, Dear.” and leaving my illusioned safety of the wall I bore myself upright, and turned to stand before the mighty dark. The massive doors of the entrance triangled me, and the archway gaped as a mouth to swallow me whole. I took one step.
I was unable to turn back.