A/N: This fic is most certainly SW centred, despite the style(s).
Not sure what it is, but it is whatever that is. It puzzles-well, I think. Allegorical - those who puzzle it out win a free internet.
A reading from the Epilogue of Sycorax:
Turning with millennial waltz, Phlebas
drifts forgotten, full fathom five the deeps of untold space. The ripples of the now have yet to reach this place, this forgotten abyss, and hidden so he sleeps, and twirls the swirls in the wakes of forgotten worlds in orbits of a darkened star. A darkened star – its lights are gone, and so, too, are those of Phlebas
, whose eyes are dimmed to pearls – look! Time has nibbled locks away, and in their place now gapes
Come in under the shadow of this grey rock,
Come in under the shadow of this great rock,
And I will show you all, I shall tell you all.
had a drowning mark upon him, even from his outset, had a drowning mark, though quiet then, yes quiet, dull, scratched as light as could scarce be seen, the drowning mark; but later, oh, yes, later, later it burned brilliant it did, the drowning mark, yes, bright with flames of ancient fury.
But the damn'd witch, (oh, so admired!) Sycorax, lay dead upon her island even before that mark burned bright, she did, and it was Prosper’d love what killed her, yes, yes, indeed, though not before he asked her, what else you see in that dark and brooding backward abysm, no, no. And when her leading child went off to search, oh, then, then Phlebas
had been drowned long, with a forehead villainous low upon a dash dashed, and stuck in place by aged body-rust and rot…
Full fathom five your hero lies, and under the shadow of this grey rock (a dry stone that gives no sound of water); little else about remains and all that is is now remains, all forgot.
Upon the wheel, three staves he’d had, three throws at broken spokes, three tries and fails, and none unpunished, no.
Plot, plot, plot,
Thud , thud, thud,
and chattering within,
Which will win?
In a minute there is time for a hundred little slip-ups that can murder or deviate. Toc or tic, the revelries of Fate shiver-shudder close... to lose? There is no time for such as he, and the waters, blown blue and black shall lend him no respite.
There is shadow under this grey rock,
Only shadow. Come in under the shadow of this grey rock and I shall show you all,
I shall not say just what I mean;
It is impossible to say just what I mean.
Quick, quick, quick!
Judder, judder, thud;
Full fathom five, the boulders wake him, and...
And was it worth it, after all,
After the tears, the fasting and the prayers,
The sacrifices of friends good and bad, the years...
If one, eyeing for a chestnut
Or sharpening a knife
Should break it all, end it all?
Full fathom five your Hero lies, in the shadow of this grey rock, this grey rock.
This grey rock once incarnadine, they say,
Though the fires have bled away,
And only now the strangers stay...
That is not it at all,
That is not what he meant, at all.