Heaven was a beautiful place, where kingdom after kingdom stretched out beyond the horizons- each land complete unto itself, with its own unique, individual beauty. Through these many kingdoms, angels walked through fields of luminous green and saffron gold, caring for the flora and fauna, sharing meals of rich, soothing ambrosia, and singing hymns to celebrate the beauty of their land. The hours were expansive, and passed with a feeling of purpose and ease, each moment spent as it should be, and in the evenings they lay down in downy beds to sleep the deepest and gentlest sleep, and dream the most vivid and magical dreams.
Each angel wore a garment of fine silk, spun by silkworms who loved their craft and devoted themselves completely to creating textiles of ethereal lightness, soft to the touch, in the most brilliant jewel-tones. Each garment was a different color, and perfectly suited to the angel to whom it belonged.
Lucifer has leathery features and a rugged nose that gave him a roguish charm. His sandy brown hair is touched with bits of gold that flicker, in the sun that he loved so much. His light blue eyes peer at you brightly when he flashes a smile, and he has a direct gaze that pierces the depths of your soul. He wears denim cutoffs with flip-flops, and had a chain of keys hooked on a caribeener to his belt loops- the keys to every locked door and cell in hell. He jangles them lightly as he walked around. He grins for no reason in particular, and has never shed a tear. He talks like a cowboy, probing and teasing in a slow drawl.
For Lucifer, thought and discourse were neither idle sophistry, nor a fencing match between opposing dogmas, but an autobiographical doodle- a book of roughly hewn sketches of etheral graphite hen-scratches and cloudy pastels color-fields, amounting to a subjective self-conception that seemed, to the casual viewer, to thoroughly justify his lifestyle.
Laila a dark-haired beauty with doe eyes. She had a lilting walk and fluid gestures, her tiny waist swaying over gently curving hips. When she spoke, her hands would gently stroke the air, as though she were conjuring some absent smoke. She would look at you long and deep, and when she smiled she smiled slowly, her rosebud mouth gradually widening into a warm smile. She was always semi-present and gazing- gazing into mirrors, beyond doors and windows, past the horizon- gazing into memory, gazing into the future. She once wore shift dresses of midnight blue silk that grazed the tops of her knees and caught moonbeams, but those were long gone now, replaced by a boxy-cut ciice of rough brown burlap. She could sing like a songbird if she wanted to, but she rarely spoke.
For Laila, thought remained confined to the realm of the logos endiathetos- a mineral-rich magma that gave her life, and inner fire, but which, upon rising to the surface, found its motion stilled by the frigid atmosphere surrounding her. She learned to speak little, and quietly acknowledge Lucifer, whose dedication to his own philosophies was unwavering- a sureness of self that gave him the air of a man who was both Pied Piper and Don Juan, Rimbaud and Jesse James.
The house that Laila & Lucifer shared was beautiful and filthy. There were racks of roasted lamb, burnt at the edges and stuffed with caviar, laid out to grow rancid in the sun. On their table, an ashtray spilled over with gray mounds of cigarette ash and rolling papers, and the scent of warm stale beer and spilled sake permeated the air. Neither of them could cook, and housecleaning was a task for lesser mortals. In the evenings Laila would slowly file her fingernails and wanly comb her hair as she peered through the drapes. Lucifer would pinch her cheek and kiss her with a grin as he walked out the door to wander.
Laila’s room in Heaven had been simple, and perfect in its simplicity. She had an arched window that looked out beyond the edge of Heaven into the vast expanse beyond. She could see in one direction the milky white Arc of Doves, the Fields of the Blaue Reiter, and the Grove of Eternal Morning. In the other direction, she could see…. everything and nothing. There was one white orb that circled their world like the moon, and she knew that this was the Oculeye, the portal that led from their world into the world beyond.
El Toro had once been a fancy man, who wore knee-length pants of jewel-toned satin, in brilliant patterns of zig-zags and checks. He wore waist-length jackets adorned with silver conchos, and high-collared capes of velvet. He had worn boots with spurs that jingled when he would walk. He had fine features that gave a working man an air of nobility; although his elegance could be equally attributed to the air with which he carried himself. Like Laila, his fine clothing was also long gone now, and in his new life as a cherry tree he was clothed as the lilies of the field, naked in the afternoon sun.
His voice had been sure and true, surprising for its depth and musicality. He was a solitary man with a habit of taking long walks in the evening, and he would occasionally read poetry aloud as he walked, to no-one in particular- the sonnets of Shakespeare, the love poetry of Pablo Neruda, and he would occasionally compose an impromptu haiku aloud to a peony or a a moonlit succulent as he walked through the city. He dreaded his work as a professional prizefighter, but he had been apprenticed into the art of fighting, like his father and his grandfather before him. It had seemed an unbreakable chain, until the day he broke it with the simple act of walking away.
He succeeded academically in school and could easily keep up with his classmates socially and competitively, but he could ultimately conjure little interest their rat race, preferring instead to take meals of fresh fruit and brown bread with butter in the courtyard and write quietly in his room in the evenings. At his writing desk he kept in a simple terra cotta pot a white orchid, which he cared for meticulously in all seasons.
The atmosphere within Pan was labyrhinthine, but lush- fertile. The air was heavy with moisture and a feeling of vivacity and growth, like a spring morning. The peacefulness was gently melodius; distant birds called out through the lemon-yellow canopies and the clicks of insect wings rustled in waves. An unseen river cast a shimmering sound into the air, and you could practically hear the whirl of flowers as they bloomed, and the ecstasy of new green shoots bursting forth through the topsoil.
The HARPIST and her apprentice occupy a small summerhouse in the fields of the Blaue Reiter. Their little belvedere is wallpapered with rose & chartreuse chinoiserie paper, and they keep a 10-stringed standing harp in the drawing room. In the house they have one of every type of harp that has ever been played- Victorian Zithers, Grecian lyres, Korean gonghus and Chinese konghous, Medeival Wartburgs, Burmese saung-gauks, and Afghani Kafir harps- even the Indian bin-baia harps of the Padhar.
Choir of Ephemerides