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Dreams in the Womb
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"She Rules the Room" - prose from Dreams in the Womb, by Brandon Gene Petit

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message 1: by Brandon (last edited Aug 22, 2013 06:05AM) (new)

Brandon | 8 comments "She Rules the Room"

The walls are sultry red with mouldings and curtains of rustic gold… intrusive potted ferns impede the path from room to room, occasionally brushing unheeded against a coat-tail or a creamy feminine thigh. The tables are white-clothed and abundant, the ambience most exclusive… like a forbidden glimpse of a sultan’s den. A stiff tiger greets newcomers at the door, a taxidermist’s boastful contribution to a room of ice sculptures and prize-winning cakes. Beautiful long-haired women sit cross-legged at the bar, each one stroking their hair and bobbing their foot in a cross-weave sandaled heel as a man leans there to woo her. I observe with a practiced stealth, a sort of faux aloofness… for I am a leaner on walls and a silent drinker of drinks, undistracted by localized conversation.

The crystalline notes of a piano meander through the room, surreptitiously necking with the tinkling sounds of glasses and silverware… In my mind it is like a lackadaisical crystal snake, or the glittery path of a bumblebee flight, the ghostly keys glinting in light of my synesthesia as they trickle loosely through the mingling guests and trays. Out of this dry orgy of decadence, this mockery of Greece or Persia in their prime, a single woman catches my eye enough to yank my head swiftly to the left. Just then she politely breaks away from a completed conversation, breasts and earrings bouncing as she purposefully crosses the room on effeminately muscular legs.

She snugly fills a slender strapless dress of white that leaves her tan shoulders exposed to the beginnings of mental undressing… caressed only by swimming black hair that spreads across her back like a waterfall of shimmering black silk. Pendulous diamond earrings pivot the light like strobes as she moves briskly, purposefully, through the crowd… one of them exposed like a teardrop dangling above her bare shoulder, the other glinting through a veil of fine hair like starlight through porous clouds.

Her species of witch has wild, Amazonian eyes… fluorescent green like jungle ferns, or a glimpse of meadow mirages undersea… altogether embodying the wildness of tropical rivers, paradise birds and exotic instruments. On cue, a spectral pan-flute incites a chill from my neck when they shoot up to pierce me from across the room. This momentary glance reads my soul and questions my presence there, just before she looks away, continuing her path with a tilt of her head and a flip of her hair from her ear. A passing wave of audacity strikes me with a sudden fever… so uncharacteristic of my humble disposition. I feel the heat rise on my neck as I call to her and interrupt her path – almost offensively against nature, it seems – shattering my unofficial oath of silence and daring to take a gamble on my dignity.

Masking her surprise and offense with a waxing curiosity, she breaks the graceful symmetry of her path by shouldering past some man to get to my corner. My body heat rises as her form approaches, her mouth half-open and her slender eyebrows curiously raised in lieu of a verbal response. Once she is close, invigorating perfume radiates from her collarbone, and I can see that a wispy, silver-charmed necklace rests there against a sloping bed of flawless skin. A cross or an ankh, I cannot tell with a peripheral glimpse, but it is too late to risk my eyes lingering so near to her cleavage… for at present she gazes up at me with each emerald jewel of an iris, as if patiently awaiting my words to see what forces they may feign to invoke. I take a moment’s swim in her eyes… for the eyes that once shot lightning at room’s length now become a thoughtful spring to bathe in.

The maddened, wanton-poetic devil inside me begs me to ask her… “Where did you steal a young native girl’s eyes… and what audacious god allowed you to combine them with the polished weaponry of your urbane form?” But I ignore the whispered assaults on my conscience, and ask her only if she would allow me to buy her a drink. But her glass is already filled, she assures me with a sympathetic smile, and she is not to be drinking much more for the night. I politely withdraw in hidden disappointment, wondering if a mad poet’s words would have fared me any better… but my eyes have eaten their fill, even if my heart has taken nary a bite.

She disappears back into the crowd, her long, black, Rapunzel hair luring my line of sight down to her hips writhing in that slender dress… like a python’s girth dancing rhythmically in a taut cloth bag… until the human gates formed from drinking, bantering fools close around her parting grace. She was a cruise ship rendezvous, a nightclub Cleopatra… but little did I know she carried more sad farewells than an airport romance. As a childish sorrow and a scolding devil-poet begin to creep up my back to join me in a stare over shoulder, I can’t help but think that somewhere else in this jungle of a place a man is pouring some radiant fox another round, celebrating the fact that his words drew more blood for the kill than mine. Alas, some men are sorcerers… tamers of the witch… others have lips long since dried of magic.

- Taken from "She Rules the Room", Dreams in the Womb, (c) 2012-2013 Brandon Gene Petit

Dreams in the Womb
Brandon Gene Petit

message 2: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 8 comments This is a study in eyes and body language, as well as the wallflower mentality and the risks shy men take when attempting to have a way with words.

If you notice, I also take the time to describe... as best as I can... what lazy piano music sounds like in a room of "tinkling glasses" and "mingling guests and trays".

I've always fancied myself to have a mild case of synesthesia (for lack of a better word... but look it up anyways) and I thought it pertinent to convey the atmosphere through the piano ambience in this way.

message 3: by Brandon (last edited Apr 10, 2014 12:32PM) (new)

Brandon | 8 comments Setting my prose-piece aside, here are some questions to try and stir up some relevant discussion:

1. Poetry is, through the eyes of many, perceived not to fare quite as well in the shadow of, say, fiction novels or murder mysteries. Does poetic prose-writing, such as above, make any difference to you in your preference? Is reading detailed and descriptive prose anywhere near as satisfying as following characters in a more developed story, even one such as in flash fiction or short stories?

2. Do any of you perceive yourself as having, or know someone who has, some form of synesthesia? I've often suspected that we ALL have it, at least to some degree, though some of us are more conscious of it than others (according to our own self-awareness and how we think). I have read much on the subject, but I welcome any real-world insights that any of you may have. If this is something that you can connect with and perceive, how does it influence your writing or other artistic endeavors?

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