Take the Book with you, you may need it to refer to or to pray on.
The Talisman around your neck will let you in where you need to go. Use it wisely, and show it when you need to buy trust.
The Siren’s screech is fearsome and will beset you without warning. The only way to be rid of it is to face it head on and answer its call.
Choose your battles, pick the right weapons to fight with. You have but a fraction of a second to decide and not many second chances should you get it wrong.
You will not have all the answers, you will not know all the paths. May the powers that be grant you the mental agility to know what you lack, remember what you know and work out what you do not.
If all else fails, hope the cavalry arrives at the right moment.
Above all, have heart. You will have moments where your courage wavers, but remember that as you are toiling, dawn is racing to reach you. Hold the line until it does.
Did you even realise they were gone?
You seem the sort of person who would not understand the importance of the unnecessary, like the feel of silk or the influence of cherry blossoms. Or of loyalty or kindness or trust.
I did not, until today, comprehend the significance of them - satirical symmetrical comet tails of facial hair on ridges of bone -and for what? Do they serve as a relic of our shared part-simian origins, a comical remnant from the time of our forefathers? Are they objects maintained only for the enjoyment of fanatics from the cult of aestheticism?
Out of the gloom it suddenly appears. Pale, pulsating and otherworldly it floats upside-down through the shadows, it flirts with the idea of becoming visceral.
But it does not, and instead shimmers and teases in a sort of grotesque fascinating burlesque, a vague ethereal organ.
Like a deep-sea creature it half shimmies, half propels itself through the darkness away from prying eyes.
Like all things that bear a resemblance to living substance, hair has a wisdom of its own. Observe how left to its own devices stray strands will coalesce into little whorled balls, or weave together in silent unopposed rivers on carpets, streaking down stairs, into corners where they are discovered, in eruptions, matting together quietly.
Even when it belongs wholly to one owner, hair never is content to be sat complacently in one place. It waits for opportunities.
She washes her hands until they bleed. The actions intended to cleanse, banish and sterilise also chafe, sting and destroy.
As the cracks appear weeping their tiny wellfulls of blood, she thinks, they did not tell me this. They did not say that purification, that trying to remove the remains of the day from oneself is self destructive.
She watches the loss of skin swirl down the plughole.
The problem was that she could not remember from whence she had come from or what she was called. It is a difficult concept, struggling with the ambiguity of one’s existence, for a being who has lost their identity and past is often regarded with frank suspicion for trying so hard not to exist.
In truth, the darkness that currently surrounded her was so enveloping in it’s totality that she had begun to doubt her own existence. Sensation is a reaffirming state of presence that we often take for granted. She persuaded herself that her consciousness was true and felt for her own face in the void. It was there.
So was the sphinx that she surreptitiously tripped over as she was feeling her way. It lit up indignantly like a lightbulb and wrapped its tail closer to its body while scrutinising her intently.