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A Beauty Unseen
I do not know why you are reading this. Nor do I care. Perhaps the title intrigued you, the picture teased your eyes, or some other profound reason. Your reason to read is a reasoning you understand.
My reason to tell my tale is something I want others to understand. To understand how I came to be.
Have you ever seen your own reflection? Maybe you have smiled at yourself for seeing it. You have probably posed in front of a mirror and then laughed to see how your face differs. Then you though, ?I love myself.? Those are thoughts that I never had.
I scream at my reflection; dry black hair falling apart, skin peeling itself off, hands huge and boney like a witch, legs sticking out in all directions, and bent knees that are not very humanly. My raggy clothes make me look worse with boney cheeks, scarred from scratches of my mother, who disowned me. My hair is torn by her hands. I have blotted blood holes, curling itself into a mess within my hair.
Everytime the sun shines, it feels like it is burning at my ugliness. The wind is slapping me and the ground bruises my feet, leaving a trail of blood. Who am I to complain for what is true?
My thoughts fill with dread at how hideous I am. I wanted to stab myself to see if the blood could make me look any worse or perhaps, it might have some remedy. My hopes dashed those thoughts once I tried: leaving a hole in my hand and my scars turning to an ugly, dark color of red, burning in pain under the scorching sun. My nose soon contained sniffles from my mental and physical pains: the burning hole and critical discrimination against myself.
I wonder, do you understand?
My name is Cisum. It sounds manly to me and also hideous. I live in a forest away from Rome, my dreadful country. The tree groans under my weight when I sleep on its branch. Then I would have the same thought trailing through my mind, ?Why am I here?? It is both an answer and question I always know.
My country, Rome, banned me when I was a child. I have never learned to count and I hardly knew about the world except that my mother taught me what I look like. Ugly, demon?s child, horrendous big eyes that seem to pierce into your soul, and somehow, my whole stature gave people the idea that I can read their minds.
?Ugly? was my first word I remembered the event very clearly. My mother took that as an offense and thoroughly battered me with a wooden stick, almost the size of her arm, but only thinner and very flexible. I was like a toy who was battered thoroughly until my legs could no longer stand. A couple of years (was it called that?) later, I ran away after realizing her intent to kill me.
To me, the sun does not hurt as much as rocks. The wind is not as bad as a hand that scratches or a wooden stick slapping across my cheeks. The ground is not burning coal which immobilizes your feet. Here, no one can tell me words of truth about myself except me, myself, and I.
I strolled through the forest one day to get a drink from a nearby river stream. An elderly, blind man was there. He smiled at me when he somehow knew I was there. He asked me my name and when I said it, he smiled even wider. My mind was puzzled at my predicament and I disregarded the thought right away.
?Do you need help, sir?? my voice pierced his thoughts, but he still smiled.
?I was just thinking about the beauty of you.? He clapped his hands merrily.
?Sir, you are blind and in need of help. I am far considered from being a beauty. I am closer to be called a demon?s child.? I would rather be called a demon?s child then having a false hope that will only be crushed once more.
?Yes, I am blind. But does that mean I am also stupid?? retorted the man, somehow, he seemed bigger now with an air of royalty. This puzzled me.
?No, sir. I am just?trying to describe to you what I really look like,? my voice stammered.
?You should be punished for your incompetence for trying to correct me. For that, you are to be my new experiment,? he proclaimed. The forest seemed to agree with him. With the wind swirling around his robe and pushing me towards him. The sun making him majestic and giving me the inability to disobey his order. I tried once more to persuade him.
?It would do you worse if I am with you.?
?Nonsense, now that requires more punishment!? he grinned evilly.
I was tongue-tied and I could not help, but tried to back away. Soon as I turned my back on him, my body froze stiff. I heard his feet shuffle behind me and his voice chuckled. It was a very joking chuckle as he found amusement in my resistance. ?My name is Apollo.?
I swallowed a lump and felt myself sweating. My eyes soon saw blackness and an unknown warmth covered my body. Once more, I heard another chuckle and this time, it felt as if he had a new plan.
?Raise your voice higher. Make it go with this pattern,? a command from my master.
I obey with little resistance now, ?Do-Re-Mi-Fa-La.?
The words on the sheet come to life as I roll out each syllable. I am finally able to read (a blessing I must say!). It has been four years (Apollo counted for me) since I have come to his sanctuary. The god of Arts is in my presence. His blindness was a punishment given to him by Sire Zeus. Apollo chuckled at the thought and I could only assume that he must have played a prank on the great god.
Apollo told me soon after I came, I am to use my voice and he is to create it to be even more beautiful. He would make words on sheets and tell me to talk with the words, but also to alter my voice as he wanted. Then he would tell me to time my voice to make a ?pattern.? I always try my utmost best to please him because he was more than just my god, he was my savior. Handsome beyond words, he grows younger each day testing me, and his robe covers his masculine body. His face was like a statue: perfectly curved, yet hard, ears sprouting gently out of his brown curls, nose perfectly matched to his unscarred cheeks, and a tight lip that loves to joke. The way his smile brings my heart to life. Every drop of happiness in him, is a day of sunshine to me.
?Cisum, lower your voice.? His commanding voice interrupts my thoughts.
?From La, sir??
?That would be perfect.?
?La,? I lay out the sound as long as possible and his smile grows wider. His features brightens with the smile and it makes me love all of him, even if he pulls pranks and angers all the gods. I try my best to express how it made me happy by following his commands through my work for him.
His hand signals me to stop. His voice is dumbfounded, ?Cisum, your voice holds something incredible. It gives life with the sheet of paper I give you and more meaning when you give it a patterned time.?
?You give me many a praises, Apollo Sire.? I bow even if he could not see me.
?Most likely, the suffering you have had before is why your voice can express your feelings. It is quite a remarkable effect to how well you express it. It gives me hope that those stupid Romans would stop looking at beauty that is in front of them and start using all the senses the gods have given them,? he retorts quickly and falls back into his chair with his head leaning outward.
?Then I shall hope your wish comes true, sire.? I take a quiet stand in front of him.
?Only liking what pleases their eyes, they shall soon die for such thoughtlessness,? he mumbles and then soon another smile comes upon his face.
?Is there anything you want, Cisum? I hope to grant it for the loyalty you have given me.?
My thoughts swim and I thought, ?Can I be beautiful?? Afterwards, I decide against it because my world is all of Apollo now. If there was anything I would want, it was to grant his wishes and give him his sight again after I die with no trace so he could not see me. Although years has passed, the sight of me has not.
?If you could?bestow magic on me?? I question and was quickly worried.
?Why would you want that now?? His eyebrows scrunch up and his face puzzles at my request.
?I wish to give you back your sight.?
?Hah. The only way to do that is to have pure blood on my eyes and the thought of that is grotesque, but is there anything else if magic can not do that?? he questions.
?Perhaps, the ability of magic will be unique. I?d like to try it,? I smile quietly with a steady body. For I knew, what it was that I want will come true.
?I can not permit you to have so much magic, but enough to do simple actions,? he waves his hand in front of me. ?Don?t kill yourself, Cisum.?
I stare at his back with thoughts swimming across my mind. A million plans set place in my mind at the thought of having magic. I feel a tingling sensation thrilling throughout my body. I ask the servant to bring me a piece of wood and a knife. I set my new plan into action disregarding what Apollo said.
I hack at the wood placed in my hand. It is sturdy, brown, and lovely with golden strings I wove together. The sound it produces is pure and I hope to have a magical effect in it. The wood is smooth from sanding it out and the curves it has gives it an unusual shape different from the shape of man and animals. Yet, the wood had feelings in the strings. Probably due to the magic I produced inside the whole object. I talk to the wood as if it was a daughter to me. I called it ?Lyre.?
My loneliness grew as thoughts of no longer being with Apollo filled me with dread. I could no longer please him for I have lost my voice. My sadness and anger at myself turned into tears, falling on to my wooden art. Thoughts of what I lost, what I am, the uselessness I am, and what is going to happen, fill me with both fear and disgust. My plan may soon blossom, but I never knew the side effects were these! I encarved ?Lyre? onto
A slap comes across my face to describe Apollo?s anguish. ?You have lost your voice?!? He slaps me again on the other side of my face.
I shiver at the slaps, but I could not produce any sound. The only thing I could produce were tears which he could not see them or my hideous face in which I was both glad and sad. The tingling sensation I had from the magical gift was gone and now my body was left stiff, wilting away from life. I clutch at the wooden art I created and try to preserve it as best as possible by avoiding Apollo?s wrath. He threw everything apart from his rampage and his voice is heard throughout his sanctuary. My body did naught, freezing on the spot, and covering my gift piece to Apollo.
?Why did you ask me to bestow magic upon you? I did not think you as stupid as this to sacrifice yourself to do what? How can you answer my questions when you lost one of the most precious things that was a part of you?? he answers his own questions with a sigh as he departs into a seat.
My mind quickly takes the chance. My heart, already broken, dies within the plans I placed upon myself. All of my arms, legs, hands, feet, and mind work together to plot, leaving out my wrenched heart. I wipe away my tears to take upon in my hand a knife. Then I lift up Apollo?s hand as bravely as I could, and place the knife in his hand. In his other, I place my departing gift.
?Kill you, you ask? I would think it?s my pleasure since you have no use to me!? he slashes through my body and my attempt to scream turns into bloody pool. Blood curdles into my mouth, swimming into a pool of red, and spilling out as I cough, tainting the glistening, white floor. My hands are covered in blood once more, but the pain is all over my body instead of a hole in my hand. I gently brush my hand into Apollo?s eyes. My body stumbles on the floor, spilling out more blood, collapsing in the pool of red, and shivering from the slash. My mind blackens and I could only hear his voice now.
?Cisum, your penalty will have consequences for lifting my punishment. You will be stripped of your name and give voice of your emotions to possess these new objects you have now made. These?instruments of yours shall share your voice. Your new name is erased and have been created to be Music,? his proclamation booms into the remaining amount of my mind until I became a new being.
I no longer feel a physical form of me nor do I feel myself to be invisible. All I could do was yell out my voice and create the Lyre to speak of beautiful sounds for Apollo, my lord and god. He mumbles by himself, ?If only you knew that your beauty is something not seen, but heard? A Roman, I warned you..?
He opens his eyes and I listen to the sound of it with an image of blue. He plucks at my daughter?s strings. My voice trills with Lyre and I feel myself at home. No matter if it was a curse, it was actually a blessing to me.
For now, I am Music, a beauty unseen. A spirit that resides in sound to give a emotion who try to talk in a different way from idle chatter. You shall know my presence with timing, some scribbles on paper, and either an instrument or one?s voice. My presence, a beauty without shape.