Mittwoch, 20. Oktober 2010

The Horseman of the Storm

Every child of the plain knew about the Rider. Some of us had seen Him in the month of august after the harvest when the land was an endless sea of golden stubbles. From time to time and quite sudden a storm would approach and I will never forget the stark contrast of blue sky and dark-grey clouds and the glorious rolling waves of the shorn, sun-coloured land beneath. It was then that some of us saw Him as a black silhouette on the horizon charging headlong towards the oncoming darkness. All kids knew of Him but only I had once seen him closer so to discern some of his features; he had seemed to halt and come toward me before he suddenly reined in his steed and again sped off into oblivion accompanied by the turba ferox of the Wild Hunt.

When we got older we of course found rational explanations for such childish fancies. There was a castle in the village that a Habsburg-emperor (the dynasty from ‘outside the land’, as it was still referred to in my family) had built for one of his maîtresses, and annexed to it was a modern horse-riding school, so that the Rider must have been one of its patrons. Yet I still never believed in such explanations, maybe because of my qualified encounter, maybe due to my otherness or due to the fact that one day he had sent me his envoy, a large black butterfly that only I had seemed to notice: it had flown straight at my face and then had miraculously vanished.

I had forgotten all about it until I was 17 years old and dying on a bathroom floor in Hong Kong, laying there poisoned by a girl for revenge of a murder that I had committed in innocence. There, He threatened to come through the wall, half-visibly looking down on my squirming form and that was when I saw Him even closer and I also saw his flesh-dripping horse. Maybe I made a promise there and maybe I did not care to remember it thereafter, anymore.

Tonight, I saw Him again for the first time in dream. I just woke up: 2:45 a.m., the room is very cold and the town unusually quiet.

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