A Beautiful Curse

For more than a decade, I have been wandering aimlessly, kissing a rose, complaining to the sea, or just admiring the rocks on the road. Then I have seen it; a luminous place. I could hear a crowd cheering, hands clapping, and voices enchanting. I draw closer to find a Greek theatre where hundreds of people are seated. Some are joyfully dancing in their places, others clapping their hands while singing with that magical voice coming from behind the curtains of the stage. I draw closer to the stage to better listen to the magical voice, but it stops. I ascend the wide steps to the stage thinking that I should stop having a daring heart.

With a graceful move from my slim hand, I push the curtains aside to find her; Erato*. She laid her graceful, fair body on a softly curved marble sofa covered with light blue velvet. Fine maids with long, black hair were swiftly hovering around her with silver jars filled with sparkling waters, shiny fruit plates, and feather fans. She looks at me with no surprise as if she were expecting me. She waves her hand for me to draw closer. "What brings you here, wandering maiden?" she says while I take unconscious steps towards her seat. "Looking for an aim, a light" I murmur. "And would your heart be content if you are offered one?" I look at her blue eyes and say with hope: "Yes! My heart would rest content and joyous." She straightens, stretches her hand and touches my lips, "I bestow upon you a voice irresistible. Sing, sing for us!" I start enchanting with a voice I have never heard any sweeter or softer than it. I hear the crowd rejoice and cry with joy. I finish my chant and kiss her slim fingers in gratitude. She asks: "would you like to keep this enchanting voice forever?" I could not think twice and I immediately answer "Yes!" "Then you must put on this golden chain around your feet so that I would guarantee you would not run to sing for another Muse or for another audience other than mine." I look at the thick golden chain that ends with a heavy ball. I deem it a reasonable price for the heavenly voice I now possess. I willingly put the chain around my feet to find her maidens coming closer to me to place on my head and neck crowns of lively flowers. "Now," she says, "in celebration of your eternal company, sing for us. Enchant us!" I sing more and more, sliding over tunes untrodden, reaching horizons undiscovered, and touching the heart of the innermost intimate secrets of the earth. The journey is draining. I breathlessly fall on my knees before her.

I hear her command: "Sing!" I open my mouth but I cannot utter a word. She draws closer, holds my neck, and presses on it with a merciless "Sing!" I gasp for air and start singing. Whenever I stop, she presses more till I am on the verge of the bottomless hole of death, then she eases her grip. I sing, sing and sing till I feel a warm, thin stream of blood springing from my mouth to push its way down my neck. When I have no more drop of energy, she releases me, returns to her seat and stretches out her hand to snatch the moon and takes a bite from it. She always leaves it incomplete. I cry droplets of pure pearls that I send to the poor moon with a compassionate dove. It turns full moon again till the ever-hungry Muse snatches it again to take a bite from it.

I try to escape but the golden chain is too heavy that I crawl in vain without moving an inch. I hear the crowd outrageously objecting: "Sing! Sing!" She draws closer, raises me by the neck and commands me to sing. I sing with pain, passion and torment. I sing of joy and love I cannot feel. The crowd insanely rejoices behind the curtains and cries: "More! More!" They do not see me. They do not see the blood or the tears. They can only hear my sweet voice chanting soft songs of a forlorn heart. My tears mix with my blood to softly slide over the necklace of virgin rose petals around my neck. I wonder when will the audience have enough, when will she have enough. I close my eyes to a black vision of an enslaved heart under a beautiful curse.



*Erato: Muse of love poetry; also known as the Muse of music in Greek mythology.

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