An english essay I just wrote, the assignment being to respond to a piece of visual art. I have always liked the art of Bog Initiate, and so I went off taking it from her point of view. Credit was of course given to the artist, rk post. This was never my intention Here I am now, standing atop this little platform of decaying wood in the middle of a stinking fen. The fog around me… it picks up the stench of the mud and carries it into my nostrils. Not that I’d respond to it much anymore. I’ve been here much too long. My skin… It has gone so white that I practically glow in the dark. That can be expected though, the sun never gets here through all the smoke. Dear gods… And this hair piece is the must uncomfortable thing ever. They said I needed it, as a channel to represent the eternal cycle of life and death, but doesn’t the rotting who-knows-what that I’m going to have to hold in my hands do that better? This thing is so painful! It stretches my hair out in six directions: vertically both ways and then two diagonals on either side, a little top-heavy in its composition I’d say, but the priests insisted. Looking back I can see how it looks better and also how it reduces the pain a lot but still… it’s so irritating! Let me describe exactly how this thing works, maybe you’ll understand. First off, they make me grow my hair out to about three feet, far too much to be having in this hot, humid, stinking place. After that they actually made me wash it in the bog- a cleansing, they said! These priests… sick bastards all. I’d say all they really wanted to do was see me naked. They did, too… all part of the “cleansing”, they said. You’ve got to go bathe in the swamp, they said. We’ve got to make sure you don’t try anything funny, they said. As if I’d try to escape or something! This place is all I’ve got left, and the marsh looks endless in every direction. It could be worse. As far as I’m concerned a couple of priests ogling me is better than getting drowned out there or devoured by some hideous slimy thing under the scum. And the food isn’t bad. We get kingfisher once in a while, and the spices we can grow here will make anything taste decent. Anyhow… this thing that they put on my head… it looks kind of like one of the halos you get on angels, but instead of floating above the head it’s behind. Anyhow they put this sharp copper headpiece on to separate out my hair into six sections, and then they pull it- pushing down on the headdress they pull my hair out and starting with the bottom vertical, they twist it and braid it and then they attach this big loop to the back of my head. Suspended by the hair that is tied tightly to it. They tell me that they’ll be cutting my hair off after this whole ordeal, which sounds like a blessing to me. The worst part is, even with all the pulling that they did, they left some out in front and cut it just short enough so that it annoys my face and not only that, I can smell it and it is not pleasant. So now I’ve got this big copper thing on my head which gives me a headache already, and coupled with the hair pulling… ugh. I would like to lie down, but this thing would break if I did that, and that would not only be painful but also I can imagine what they would have as my punishment for breaking such a thing. I’ve heard say, mostly among the other temple girls, that the Witch who runs the place can, at times, be very creative. So why in hell did I come here in the first place? If I had only known what it would really be like… The temple was looking for intelligent girls to act as acolytes and I thought it’d be a better life than tilling the soil back home. I knew they worked with black magic in the temple here; but it’s never really considered anything evil here. It’s life and death. Both come and go under the black clouds of smoke. I suppose I should consider myself lucky, or honored, or something like that. It was I who they chose to come out here and do this ritual. But now it feels kind of creepy. And I don’t like it at all. And here, now it is beginning. Ugh… this stuff I’m holding now… it feels like… I think it is! It’s ****! They’ve got me picking up some kind of oily ****! Got to keep calm though… just turn up my nose a little and try not to puke. Gods this stuff stinks… and my hair smells too… and the air reeks… and my head hurts… and in this humidity, the leathery dress they put on me is getting kind of hot and tight… but now I’ve got to concentrate… A shadow’s falling over the whole place now, and I see… I see a man step out of the shadows like they were a door, and he’s carrying a glass orb and it’s glowing black… He’s got a plaque on the thing too, and it says “Der Schwartze Tod”, whatever that means. And I can see myself, and my eyes are starting to close and the left side of my face has got a tattoo on it now and some kind of muck is sort of forming around my eyes but not touching them… and the ****… it’s floating in the air now, just above them. My eyes are slits now and I can see myself just standing there helpless… I know it’s my soul I’m looking out from, I know I’m nothing but their tool now and I am seeing… Now I can see it all so clearly. It’s all about the appeal of the channeler. That’s why they made it all out of copper. The headdress and the little pauldron that they strapped to me a few minutes prior to this. Copper and leather. I guess they left the **** in as a traditional metaphor, because not even the guy in black seems to be interested in that. He’s looking at me now. His eyes are bright white orbs in a deeply shadowed face and the rest of him is covered in armor, and in the occasional beam of lamplight catches it revealing it as copper. I can see my body lurching as the **** I was holding melts away and becomes a purplish glow, and then he says it. He says… “Fools, all of you.” Then he laughs a little… I never wanted it to be like this. I just wanted to live a life away from dirt and dung and I found myself in a swamp. I never wanted to be anyone’s tool, I never wanted to be a slave to anything… but now I take a last look at myself as my soul falls away from my body entirely, as the man in black cackles and the priests and me all topple in unison, our skin drying up and our orifices foaming… This was never my intention. I just wanted to make something of myself. And now, all I’ve become…is dead.