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Interactive Quest  - Madness dwells in the surge

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'a fire inside everyone that can burn forever'  

The garden has always been a vineyard.

It's trees have never given birth to fat red apples or pears shaped like gentle hills out of a wide valleys. There have never been snakes black as pitch swimming through shadows and rolling over frothy waves of green grass. Nothing has ever walked in the garden on four legs-- nothing but the hind with golden hooves and two great saplings of gold rising from behind her sweetly curved ears.

She has forever been alone in the vineyard and her belly is round and bloated with fermented grapes and desiccated leaves. Years have passed since her legs have given themselves over to the ambrosia of flight and her golden saplings have long since forgotten how to be bloody and molten when the days grow shorter. Even her red hide has turned dull and fawn-like with the passing of time.

But her eyes are still alive with secrets. There is a jungle in her eyes, a humid sea where the air is hazy and thick. In that salted smoke things twine around her strange pupils. A moon dances there, black and sickle thin. A pair of wings flutters in the gray mist in patterns ancient and profane. But she does not know, oh she does not know that another universe lives in the heady smoke-gray of her gaze.

And it's that smoky gaze that she turns when the stag comes to her vineyard. She looks upon him and her belly feels pregnant with all that too sweet fodder, and her bones feel like vines grown older than their lost religion. Because she knows, when she steps from the boughs of fruit, that they are the last of a splendor that does not belong in this too tame world. 

It's the last blade to the throat of it that falls to the grown when her antlers start to shed, and drip, and liquefy. Religion is running down her face in crooked rivers of icy gold. Every profane thing she has ever seen is pooling in the hollows the secrets in her gaze. She steps closer to him and her legs tremble like a fawn under the weight of the dead vineyard between her ribs. 

She bows, and where her nose touches the grass there are great broken streaks of gold, and more gold, and even more gold. The hind has forgotten if she was growing grapes, or religion or maybe it's always been gold blooming in bloody spheres from her branches. 

All she knows when she lifts her head (one last time) is that the vineyard no longer belongs to her. Each secret in her eyes blinks out on the image of Lysander standing dirty and dappled so near the golden pools of her death.

The hind bleats and it sounds a little like-- drink.

And then she dissolves in a chalice of golden liquor.

Deep in the swamp forest there is a garden waiting. It's full of grape vines and leaves forever turned up into the humid air. This secret place is always drinking, always growing. Everything in it is changing and becoming bloated with all the magic of a dead religion. Everything but the hind that seems like she is waiting for @Lysander to stumble upon her hidden world. And oh (finally!) when it seems like it has taken him forever to learn the song the trees have always been singing to him, he finds the golden hind with a universe in her gaze.

But when he finds her she crumbles..

Was there ever a golden hind?

Or is this all just a memory of a time lost brought on by the sulfur in the air? One of a time trapped only in the fermented blooding running, and running, and screaming inside Lysander's veins.

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This quest was written by nestle <3

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