The Night Terrors VIII


Millstone 001


As I looked on, the entire congregation was changed in the twinkling of an eye and took on the appearance of a great flock of woolly white sheep.  The prophet took his staff and led them away to one side of the sanctuary.

After this, the angel came to me and held up a bright mirror before my face.  Gazing into it, I saw that my own countenance had changed, and that I had taken on the appearance of a scrawny, straggle-bearded goat.  Withdrawing the mirror, the angel led me apart by myself to the other side of the church.

Then the angel and the prophet and the judge and the jurors came and brought my books and my boxes and my notes and my dulcimer and a great heavy chest in which were laid up all the sorrows and pains of which I had been the cause, and they tied all these on my back.  When this was done, they drove me out of the church, down the twelve flights of marble steps, down to the quay at the rippling water’s edge with the great flock of sheep following close behind.

There they took hold of me and tied a huge mill-stone around my neck and cast me into the sea.  I went down in a cold flurry of dark and ever darker green, in a blinding white fury of foam and brine and bubbles that gave way to blackness as the black waters flooded into my lungs and into my soul and stopped dead like a cold dead stone round the dead and stony coldness of my heart.

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