The Secret Samarkand. The one that first arose within the Other World.
Outside the Golden Gates of which hair-covered giants still crush stone menhirs in their hoary hands and the Green Sidhs terrify those caught at night beneath the scattered scir torn by raging, blackened, sallic skies.
Baltic ranges and Black sea ports do not describe those fertile lands, but Mariners of Silver Brows and ships of torsioned keels sail unknown seas deeper than the dreaming dark; and heights many times greater than the unfinished tower of man pierce the unmeasured vault of heaven.
There, far to the future yet to come, there is another Tower old as rime whose engraven blocks of titanic basalt were hewn by nothing man now remembers except in fevered dreams of nightmared dread. It stands upon a ruddied rampart made of things long vanished beneath the silt of time. It watches still, invisible to human thought, though by thinking nothing it will reappear as other than it really is.
And Samarkand, the ruins of that Secret Samarkand, watch it watching all else, convinced its purpose is dark indeed. As was written in the still surviving fragments:
“That unnamed Tower, Blood and Moon
Reaching forward through the past
Made by methods no more known
One of Legion, or all alone?
I sit and watch for it to show
Wond’ring what it ever sees
Steeped in manners deep and dim
To all the Wise invisible…”
I too, while walking the well-worn streets of that ancient city, have seen the oldest thing yet alive rise arcanely high into the air so that it may peer through a distant lens of night half a world away at the Tower that does not know it may still be seen.
Or does it?
Does it watch the Watchers and only pretend a kind of burnished blindness that assures it will once again become an awful and Eldritch thing? Is its blindness to its own observation another and more scissioned type of second-sight? Does it possess a covert, inner eyelid, one painted weird with glyphs which mirror every orb that peers at it?
Does Secret Samarkand even know?
Agapolis, fair Agapolis, City of the Countless Minds that race into this world from origins far beyond – she who cannot be known except by he who lives there, can even it comprehend these things when her mighty founders are so often absent on urgent business far away? Does Agapolis also perceive what that Tower sees, or does Secret Samarkand, so long in league and so deep in trade with new but timeless Agapolis have any reckon if both are blind?
And still that Tower, omen-built, prophecy-woven, lore-entombed, hewn by nothing man now remembers, looms over us and invisibly watches, while being watched, and none are ken to whether it was made to be our kin, or our doom, or if it guards the frontiers we may not pass.
Is there a Messenger among you who will speak of it?
I say only what I wot – scouts and unwared idol-merchants along the Road of Worlds have seen it wyrding as they pass, and so have I, and in the old and hidden haunts of Samarkand the shadows of suspended sages still know less than this.
Far less than this…
Those who know me know that I feel a very deep and personal connection with four ancient cities: Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Samarkand.
Why, I don’t really know, as I don’t even like cities. But, be that as it may, I still feel the connection and to me each city symbolizes a certain aspect of myself.
Alexandria represents my mind, my inventiveness, and my mental and scientific capabilities. It is my problem solving side, my empirical nature, and the seat of my experimental impulses. It also accounts for a quarter of my poetic and writing skills. I think all of this is true because of the Museum and Library that used to exist in Alexandria.
Constantinople represents my soul, my psychological nature, as well as about half of my pragmatic business acumen and my detective skills. It is the basis of my psychological abilities and my ability to understand the psychology of others, especially criminal and abnormal psychology. And my strategic side. And about a quarter of my poetic and writing skills.
Jerusalem represents my spiritual and religious nature, my musical and compositional skill, my song-writing abilities, and my relationship with Christ and God and the Holy Spirit. What I call “possession,” or more often, “my enthusiasms.” In the Greek sense of the term. It represents almost all of my sacred poetic and writing skills.
Samarkand represents both my body and physical and sexual nature, and my sensory and sensual nature (the sensory means by which I perceive and understand and study the world). It also represents my more vulgar and colloquial poetry and writings, and it is the basis of my tactical side and my combat skills. It is the basis of some of my artistic skills as well as about half of my business acumen and my detective skills
From time to time one of the “cities within me” will come out in one way or another. Such as with the story above, what I tend to call, a Surreptitious Short Story. If it is a short story. That’s just what I call it.
Also I built the Internal City of Agapolis primarily of parts and components from Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Samarkand.