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The Lamia

(Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford)

Archive 1967-75, 1998
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, 1974

Rael touches his face to confirm that he is still alive.
He writes Death
off as an illusion, but notices a thick musky scent
hanging in the air.
He moves to the corner where the scent is stronger,
discovering a crack
in the rubble through which it is entering. He tries to
shift the stones
and eventually clears a hole large enough to crawl out
of. The perfume
is even stronger on the other side and he sets off to
find its source,
with a new-found energy.

The scent grows richer, he knows he must be near,
He finds a long passageway lit by chandelier.
Each step he takes, the perfumes change
From familiar fragrance to flavours strange.

A magnificent chamber meets his eye.
He finally reaches a very ornate pink-water pool. It is
lavishly decorated
with gold fittings. The walls around the pool are
covered with a maroon
velvet up which honeysuckle is growing. From out of
the mist on the water
comes a series of ripples.

Inside, a long rose-water pool is shrouded by fine mist.
Stepping in the moist silence, with a warm breeze he's
gently kissed.

Thinking he is quite alone,
He enters the room, as if it were his own
But ripples on the sweet pink water
Reveal some company unthought of -

Three snakelike creatures are swimming towards Rael.
Each reptilian creature
has the diminutive head and breasts of a beautiful
woman. His horror gives
way to infatuation as their soft green eyes show their
welcome. The Lamia
invite him to taste the sweet water and he is quick to
enter the pool.
As soon as he swallows some liquid, a pale blue
luminescence drips off from
his skin. The Lamia lick the liquid; very gently as they
begin, with each
new touch, he feels the need to give more and more.
Rael stands astonished doubting his sight,
Struck by beauty, gripped in fright;
Three vermilion snakes of female face
The smallest motion, filled with grace.
Muted melodies fill the echoing hall,
But there is no sign of warning in the siren's call:
"Rael welcome, we are the Lamia of the pool.
We have been waiting for our waters to bring you cool."

Putting fear beside him, he trusts in beauty blind,
He slips into the nectar, leaving his shredded clothes behind.
"With their tongues, they test, taste and judge all
that is mine.
They move in a series of caresses
That glide up and down my spine.

They knead his flesh until his bones appear to melt,
and at a point at which
he feels he cannot go beyond, they nibble at his body.
Taking in the first
drops of his blood, their eyes blacken and their bodies
are shaken.
Distraught with helpless passion he watches as his
lovers die. In a desperate
attempt to bring what is left of them into his being,
he takes and eats their
bodies, and struggles to leave his lovers' nest.

As they nibble the fruit of my flesh, I feel no pain,
Only a magic that a name would stain.
With the first drop of my blood in their veins
Their faces are convulsed in mortal pains.
The fairest cries, 'We all have loved you Rael'."

Each empty snakelike body floats,
Silent sorrow in empty boats.
A sickly sourness fills the room,
The bitter harvest of a dying bloom.
Looking for motion I know I will not find,
I stroke the curls now turning pale, in which I'd lain
entwined
"O Lamia, your flesh that remains I will take as my food"
It is the scent of garlic that lingers on my chocolate fingers.

Looking behind me, the water turns icy blue,
The lights are dimmed and once again the stage is set for you.

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