We’re pleased to present our latest excerpt from The Chromatic Court – an exclusive look at Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.’s “Love and Treachery.”
The moon shines whitely.
There were leaves, (yellow and rust) whirling about, (lover’s red) in tango, (rust and brown and tan) leapfrogging, (half not washed of green, drenched flame) colliding, (epilogue brown) undercutting, (darkling orange) solo dervishes.
The moon shines whitely. Her pale hands rebuke its cold words.
November covering autumn with nothing. Camilla stands at her window, whitely (paler than the bones of the throne of the ghoul-king), and looks upon the rows of equations gone, digests the empty that no longer reflect, or weave melody from wedded heart-strings. Plots void of kindness, absent the drums’ synchronicity. The blooms she placed as mourners are done withered dry.
The moon shines whitely, brightly, yet it finds no tear upon Camilla’s cheek for old lovers.
Outside, something alone calls.
Only a spell of wind, speaking of ownership, replies.
Knowing how hard it is to digest the empty page, she wonders if the thing is anchored to a flame curved and shaped by split.
“Yes, the currents inmost.”
Her ivory teeth, barely a shade whiter than her bone-white skin, flash, as she grins.
Turning away from the window, her eye catches the chessboard. Shoeless, slipperless, bone-white feet cross the bone-white carpet to the small table it rests on.
“The white queen, tingling with life, stands. Black, struck, now sails in landless blackness.”
Camilla’s slender bone-white fingers remove the black king from the board.
Each thought to make me a pawn. “To hurt my heart and chain me to a drowning anchor in Frownland. They thought their poison would bind my last breath in Death’s dark ink, but my destination, heart-deep, King-promised, is a full horizon, not the poet’s ‘skeleton dimension.’”
Beside the chessboard sits a 22 pp. quarto, The King In Yellow A Play In Two Acts. “White always moves first.”
Camilla moves the quarto and sets the black king, fallen, upon it. Beneath the play rests another quarto, 8 pp. thicker than first, The Moon Shines Whitely Upon The White Queen A Play In One Act.
Camilla is quick to pick up the quarto an open it. There is joy in her fingers, in her eyes. The ivory teeth her smile reveals shine brighter than the steady beam of the white moon. She seems to be floating.
Her lips part, and her tongue, singing, releases the content of the first page. “‘She will be there. There is no weakness in the flame of the thundering Queen.’”
“This is my play to cast. Fools. They though petite held no power, thought they held the sword and thus the path to power…I am no frail wisp; I am the wolf, the avalanche that cleaves. The consequences of intrigues and follies born in Oblivion dance upon my fingertips.”
I am my father’s daughter.
Standing in a ray of crazy moonlight that’s crashed ashore, she looks down at the scalloped tatters of her bone-white gown. Wiggles her toes.
“I am the one who stands on the moon-bleached balcony and reads the mosaic of the cloudwaves; Uhot failed, Thale failed. Aldones was unworthy of rank in the Dynasty. Denis had his chance and chose unwisely.”
Her eye turns from the bone-white page and addresses the small black pawns on the chessboard. “No man shall decide where my bridal flowers shall swoon. I will never be what mere, lowly men like to think women to be, I am Queen in the towers and in the Winter Garden. It is my image that graces the halls and corridors of Carcosa—I am not dim. Delight is what I am—power, the light in a star, the lamp that inspires and strikes. I shall never be content to be seamstress or a cleaning lady, nor shall I be the set-dresser for some fool’s play. I am the canon and the lead actor; I have created the sets and stages and written the dialogue. They will bow and call me Mother, and the song of beauty never to be hidden away and boarded up, and, as they knee and pray to the vast unknowable I hold in my hands, they will call me Titan; I control the production.”