Banquet for Good - Breathing the Light

On this, the final day of the month, we stand in awe of the Banquet for the Good.

We stand in small clusters, in our formal dress. We drink and slowly break the ice, all the while ignoring the absurdity of our presence in such a place for such an event. The colors are bright, as people are encouraged to do their best to stand out. The women are lovely in many different ways. Some of them are so alluring, while others simply make you feel shy. The food is great, and the drink is plentiful.

The performance hall, which houses this year's Banquet, is dimly lit and deeply awash in shadow. The walls are bathed in a very dark shade of blue. It is somehow mysterious and enticing, despite its simplicity.  The men and the women mostly stay away from each other, with only the occasional pair coupling up and separating from the collective.

In the center of the celebration is a colossal display. It has mostly been gawked at and then forgotten by a majority of the guests, but just as midnight comes upon us - the display begins to change. Originally a grand model depicting a single, closed hand; the structure suddenly springs to mechanical life... And the hand opens wide to its audience.

In the center of the display's palm is a beautiful sphere grafted directly into the metal. The sphere resembles an immense diamond with a perfect cut, and is surrounded in its place by a perfect gold ring. We all watch in curious silence as the sphere begins to glow with a faint white light. Slowly, the light becomes more and more pronounced and visible. Yet somehow, its brilliance does not brighten the room that contains it. Our eyes behold it, but it seems as if the light itself is still. And then, the light begins to reach to us.

Its form is strange and unheard of. It travels in the air above us, as something between tangible and intangible. As it extends itself beyond all recognition and toward all of us, many of us feel panic or fear. But no one is moving, or running. Everyone is simply watching, fascinated and unsure. The light finds its way to a lovely young woman with curly red hair. It pours over her and lingers, and with her eyes wide and her mouth closed, she is forced to breathe it in deeply.

At first breath, her eyes shut tight. She sits upright suddenly and rises to her feet, but stops. Her eyes open, and an expression of clarity and peace of mind falls upon her. In moments, she finds herself seated once more, only to breathe in the light deeper and deeper and as deeply as she possibly can.

Others see her, and cautiously attempt to mimic her. I do the same. As I breathe in the strange, living light, I feel nothing but warmth within me. I close my eyes instinctively, and allow my subconscious to reign. My mind fills with images of beautiful places, people and things. I can see myself dancing with every gorgeous woman that has ever crossed my mind for a second time, and I find myself smiling all the while.

As I feel myself return to my senses, I slowly open my eyes. All around me, my fellow guests are breathing the decorated air, and their faces are blissful and momentarily lost. The room itself feels lighter, more alive. I see my friends as they find their grins, and I feel happy. The light has spread far, but is not at all overwhelming. Some sit comfortably, breathing it continuously. Others are looking for company, and are leaving to seek out someone that may mean something to them soon.

I see a girl in a dress of aqua, and watch her for a moment. She sits alone, and seems content to simply breathe in the glow without a word to anyone. Besides the sphere and its light, she is the only thing that has stood out to me. Without thought, I stand and approach her.

She is very kind, and speaks to me as an equal. She is not upset by my intrusion upon her, and invites me to sit.

She tells me her name is Christina.


I tell her that I think she's beautiful, and that I'm happy we have met.

She tells me that she wishes we could have met sooner.

I tell her that I feel the same.

We sit next to the display with our fingers intertwined. We watch each other closely as we speak. The light flutters about us, but we pay little attention to its advances. We talk about so many things and with every question answered, we feel our distance lessen. The evening begins to wind down, and we no longer have space between us.

We kiss.

We kiss again.

We stand, hidden away from those we may know, and dive into each other. We turn to whispering, hushing bodies of warmth beneath a place to shelter us. We feel love, but choose not to speak of it until later. We cannot keep from each other, and disregard the approaching footfalls.

There are now hands upon us -

Driving us apart -

Pulling us to our feet.

I see her for just a moment before the people she calls for carry her away.  Her face is dusted with tears, and her expression is that of hurt, and outrage. She shouts, but I cannot hear what she has said.

Someone strikes me, across the cheek. Another, to the back of my head.

I'm dragged to a room I've never seen before. So many people, many that I recognize, are all trying to hurt me. Boots come down upon me as I fight to stand. A familiar voice is screaming in a frantic daze. I hear insults tossed in my direction. I am called a traitor and a fool.

They speak of her; of Christina. They claim she is a whore, a blight, a ruinous witch that will only bring me despair and woe. Blood sprays from my mouth as I shout back, lost in anger and confusion. No one is listening to my words. They only strike me harder.


After many hours, I find myself stumbling through a wide, arching doorway. In front of the performance hall, snow has claimed the Earth as its own. The tiny flakes of white continue to fall as I wander into the courtyard, falling to my knees and staring at the ground below. My head is aching... I can't seem to remember what I'm doing here.

The pain is so dull but so persistent.

Who did this to me?

I force myself to stand and continue walking. My jacket is torn and ragged, but the cold isn't bothering me at all. After losing track of my steps, I raise my eyes ahead and see a concrete path, forking in two directions and leading to two gates.

I remember now, this was the night of the Banquet. I met a girl.

Her name is Christina.

Arriving at the fork in the path, my mind is blank. My thoughts are still feeble and slow. My consciousness slips once more, and I stumble to the right. I fall hard, but am shaken from my doze. After picking myself up for the last time, I continue.

This gate leads me home, I think.

But then there is movement far to my left. On the opposite path, a young girl is walking. She wears a dress of aqua that has been torn and stained, and there are smears of lipstick up and down her neck. She looks shaken and afraid, but unharmed.

Instantly, my head is clear, and I raise my hand and call her name.

She stops and turns to me. I can see her face. There are tears in her eyes.

I call her name once more, as loudly as I can.

She waits only a moment longer, turns her gaze from mine, and disappears beyond her gate.


I make no attempt to follow her, because the gate she has passed through is not made for me.

I pass through my own, and find that the other side was nothing more than empty space, waiting to be filled by her.

~ The End ~

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Inspirations for this poem include a song by No-Man called Beautiful Songs You Should Know, some cliche elements of Romeo & Juliet, and the love that I have to leave behind

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sanctus's picture

 Excellent writing

 Excellent writing