Arrangement in Greek and Silver

Because I cannot unsee a certain image in silver and indigo, and cannot paint it except in words.  Because I am, at last, reading KenobiBecause John Jackson Miller is a worker of beautiful and heart-rending miracles.  Because, as every writer knows, there is a certain terrible catharsis in weeping ink for tears, in crying onto paper.

She stands alone on the headland, staring out across the wind-lashed sea, as Eurus from the east stirs up the long silver-grey grass behind her, shaking out the dew and the solitary line of invading footprints, making every slender stem dance with him in turn.  Below her, in the deep blue shadow of the land, the hungry ocean snaps at the cliff’s white-chalked heels, nibbling only because it cannot yet leap up and swallow whole.  Scudding across the sky, chased by some unseen dragon, dark clouds suddenly become visible as they are struck from behind with argent moonlight, and submit to fate, making of their fragile intangibility veils to shade the cold glory of the moon, though, like Zeus, becoming in the act so bright they almost need veils for themselves.

Tiring of the grasses, the wind comes to play with her hair, gathering it up, flinging it in a gleaming dark streamer against the sky, roughly drawing its strands across her face to make true the adage nobody can see the wind.  But he is fickle, Eurus, and decides that the girl will be allowed to watch, if not him, then at least his midnight frolic.  The clouds are thickening around the moon as Selene gathers her robes about her, and the veil is modest now where before it tantalized.  The silverlit cliff on which the girl stands returns to darkness, where every tree and stone and blade of grass hurls an impenetrable, crisp shadow out behind it, mixing together until the edges run together in a deep swathe of ink across the land.

Only the sea remains silvered, and that only in the uncertain chiaroscuro way permitted by the shifting swells, darker at the base of each rise than the pit of Tartarus, rushing up to a spray of molten silver at the crest of the wave.  As the sky darkens with the coming storm, so the sea brightens, until, at the first growl of distant thunder, it is one boundless expanse of sparkling diamonds under a black velvet cover.  The lightning when it comes does strange things to this jeweler’s display laid on for Olympus, highlighting here a point where the sky is all but violet, there with a gilded spear stabbing vainly at the blackness of the firmament.

And then the rain begins, a shower that rapidly becomes a deluge, roaring, surrounding, making the air hard to breathe, thundering over sea and land and brink between, and surging the restless sea into deceptively convincing solidity.  At last, wonderfully, the silver disc of the moon reappears through the clouds, illuminating a highway across the ocean to… where?  The girl leaves her vigil, slips down a winding path that crisscrosses the face of the cliff, waits for an instant poised at the curling white rim between the coarse sand of the beach and the yielding border of Poseidon’s domain, foot already hovering over the first step of the argent highway, but before her journey can begin, the road is gone, swallowed up in the churning sea as the moon, suddenly shy, glides away again into the dark hangings of her chambers.

Dripping dull diamonds from hands and cheeks and edges of garments, hair and clothes heavy with the bounty of the heavens, undeterred by the inclement weather, the girl on the beach is still again, watching, waiting.  For what?  Perhaps even she does not know.

The End


About coruscantbookshelf

"A writer is an introvert: someone who wants to tell you a story but doesn't want to have to make eye contact while doing it." - Adapted from John Green
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12 Responses to Arrangement in Greek and Silver

  1. I’m crying for some reason. Maybe it’s because I had a bad day yesterday. No one told me I was supposed to come in to work! I WAS IN THE FREAKING SHOWER!


  2. Oh, and no one knows the Doctor’s name. They’ve teased it several times, but no one really knows. (“It’s not just a secret,” Madame du Pompadour remarked. River Song-inexplicably-knows what it is, but I think that worked better for the single episode than for the series. It was the oomph the episode needed to close with a bang, but the series… I don’t think it really fits well into the continuity.) It’s been rumored that the written form of the Doctor’s name encompasses the Greek letters theta and sigma, but no one knows what that would equate to in Gallifreyan.
    Also it’s kind of interesting that the Master (like the Doctor) abandoned his own name, and they’re sort of playing each other’s game constantly–almost like the Doctor is humoring the Master by not using his proper name but the Master is doing something much more sinister with his game and not using the Doctor’s name, because, they’re both Time Lords and seemed to have grown up together so they should know each other’s names, and maybe the Doctor uses the Master’s real name–in his mind–to separate the person he was friends with from the person that friend turned into, but the Master doesn’t use the Doctor’s name for an entirely different reason, like he’s always teasing the Doctor subtly. I just want to know what’s going on there!!!


    • That’s… more than faintly creepy, actually. Oh – some years ago Stephen Moffat said this: Here’s a particularly stupid theory. If we take “The Doctor” to be the Doctor’s name – even if it is in the form of a title no doubt meaning something deep and Gallifreyan – perhaps our earthly use of the word “doctor” meaning healer or wise man is direct result of the Doctor’s multiple interventions in our history as a healer and wise man. In other words, we got it from him. This is a very silly idea and I’m consequently rather proud of it. and then there’s also an article on our HoloNet (and we all know how reliable that is!) saying that Moffat has also said it’s Mildred, which to my mind is worse than the Sherlock-is-a-girls-name idea. Which was also his.


      • Yes, yes it is.
        I love that theory. It’s kinda awesome.
        Yeah, but it’s also a fairly-well-known fact that Moffat enjoys teasing the fans. It’s like “Stewjon”, which originated because George Lucas was a guest on a TV show–you know (or maybe you don’t but whatever), the one with Jon Stewart…. Which makes me glad we retconned the name into something a little less rough.


  3. Pingback: February TCWT Post | Against the Shadows

  4. Shendi folk tales just took an interesting turn… they have an enchantress who wove a net out of starlight and her own hair to catch the moon in order to get three wishes and get her beloved back.


    • Ooh, I want to read that one!


      • I may write it into another story… I don’t know. I don’t remember how long I’ve had that particular idea and done nothing with it. sigh
        I was only reminded of it when I read one of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels. I wouldn’t recommend them unless you’re into really obscure Alice-in-Wonderland-meets-Arabian-Nights-meets-hard-sci-fi territory, but it was fantastic, if a little bit off the beaten track.


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