Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Nereid
by Jason Campbell

It is finished at last! Nathaniel, my friend the painter, he’s finished his masterpiece The Nereid. The glorious System of Rankings, the Judge who has been Watching for hundreds of years, who has seen with its objective eyes all the work of the hands of man—it has counted, calculated, proved—that this in indeed the most beautiful thing that has been made. Those who have seen The Nereid with their own eyes have been captivated by its beauty for hours, standing transfixed before its luxurious visions and splendorous tones. Two young men and an older woman required some unsubtle ministrations after its power held them too long. Even more so than Heimdall’s Requiem for Science or Pecadu’s Orimbo, Nathaniel’s Nereid has like no other before it exceeded the bounds of human imagination, becoming a doorway to the divine. This is good for Nathaniel; he has given all of himself to his art, having lost all other things dear to him in life, not least of all, Marguerite, the love of his youth. Have I seen The Nereid? No, not yet; perhaps I will not. I do not often follow the regular reports distributed by the System of Rankings, having been told of Nathaniel’s achievement by another friend who follows the reports with much interest. I’m afraid I’ve wrecked my Rankings monitor some time ago. Perhaps Marguerite and I will stop by to see The Nereid on our way back from the ocean. For now, it is enough for us.

1 comment:

James Wood said...

Good stuff, I really like it. I was expecting a twist, but I didn't expect the one you chose. My only nit to pick is with the last sentence. What is the antescedant of "it"? The ocean? The thought of stopping by? Being together?

I don't know how to describe my enjoyment of this story except to say that it left me with a satisfied smile. Thanks.