Grey washed skies reflect upon insect infested, muculent mools of lacquered darkness. Beetles hover and spiders scuttle across the limpid marsh weeds, trailing their silken woven light. Corpse candles flare from within the stagnant waters as gnarled frogs leap to reaches unknown, winged-reptilian creatures swoop and larval lunar shades mass in the shadows.

A low and resonant drumming surrounds the circular mound of mossed earth, an outcrop encrusted with glittering black stone. The rhythm overshadows until undulating haunches sway darkly before naked limbs of winter trees, shuddering and twisted, as they reach out from the quagmire in all directions. Serpent slime curls upon the left ankle and a rattle awakes the night fiercely; arousing the Stymphalides – those beaked with shimmering bronze, bedecked in deadly glinting feathers – from their slumber by the thousand-fold. Exquisite kisses from razor-sharp plumes whisperingly caress bare skin and crimson rivulets feed the slender soul-lighted pyres which rise upon noxious fumes.

Amid the cacophony of piercing shrieks and trailing blood a darkening agglomeration of bacterial ooze and mud, mingled with the cloying reeds emerges from beneath the weeping tree. Here those things rise from the World of Shells which, having died to our realm, live on in a phantasmal half-life, uniting with a polluted commingling of decaying thoughtforms, reaching back to the remotest past and drawing sustenance from them in order to reanimate the ancient ghosts of ancestral memory, creating resurgent atavisms which are born to manifestation through the backward gateway.

Primordial soup churns nebulously around its wading thighs as visions blacken in eddying dream-shudder. A pungent odor pervades, saturated with the perfume of the violet mists of emptiness; in which the cold scrolls of time recoil and twist back on themselves as those incessant drums reverberate deep and reedy veils part to deeper spells and paludal caverns beneath.

Pockets of gas break in streams of bubbles fighting their way to the surface in Mauvean-glow. Pallid lights lead down to crumbling towers and turrets of a time long lost and forgotten, and sinking further still to the depths where darkened pearls cluster in hidden grottoes, shimmering as the lustrous nightside jewel She secretes to lapping tongue, swallowed.

“Limnaios” Image and Text: Sarah-Jayne Farrer