The broken woman (from «The doll and the horse»)

Here is the last chapter of the fairy tale embedded in the novella «The doll and the horse».


On her way back upon the mountain she was heavy with grief. Doll and horse would never come back. They couldn’t, even if they wanted to. They were now dissolved in the blood of innumerous humans. Lamenting was already there for the red woman, but one that, unlike down in the Manworld, was orphan, because there was no one up there for her to lament with.

Moreover the mountain itself was changing: the stillness of the old days was giving space to some new specimens of life, some new varieties of colored creatures the woman could now spot here and there, as well as to a few new sounds and even smells. (It made sense after all: if within humans Gods had already appeared, then upon Olympus Chronos, the Time Spirit, had to prepare a home to the Olympians, a process that would take some time. There would be a Titan battle first, of which some distant storms were now but the very preliminary actions). 

When the woman finally reached the top of the mountain the place seemed also kind of strange to her. Her cave was narrower than ever and the path near the entrance was covered with stones. Her well-known home wasn’t there anymore. Instead Homesickness was there, but again one with no one to share with.

The woman looked around the silent cave, then looked at her hand with the cut-off finger and took the great decision. That place was not her home anymore and she was after all blessed not to be a rock or a plant: she would leave.

But she would do it in the best possible way: she broke herself into pieces and gave them various human forms so they could mingle with humanity. The transformed pieces of the red woman started then their journey down the slope in a magnificent row moving through the silence, a magical red chorus the misty mountain saw for the first and last time in its immortal life.

Before passing the border to the other side the transformed pieces gathered together in the Blue Valley. There the woman, whose spirit was within all those human beings, felt again the souls of the unicorns, of the pegasuses and of the centaurs and remembered the day when her horse, the last unicorn on earth, reached her celestial kingdom and dropped in front of her the last evidence of the fairy world, thus entrusting his entire life in her hands. With this feeling deep in their hearts the pieces of the woman crossed for the last time that magical border and got into a flourishing, complex, multicolored Manworld to stay there forever.

Since then the red woman lives in humans’ blood. She has come across innumerous variations of the doll and the horse, many of them complete failures that ended to the most dark paths of the Shadow, others average specimens and a few in whom she saw the nobility of her beloved originals. She has also lived through a lot of bloodbaths and tormenting and even dismembering, following patiently a chain of butchery scenes beyond imagination. But whenever everything seemed hopeless, some feeling or deed on a human’s part would always change her mind.

Moreover, she herself has been through time humanized too. She can now do but very little magic compared to that she managed at the Beginning of the Things, while on the other hand she shares numerous human disadvantages. Humans on their part would often mention an “embodiment” or a “personification” of some God, and we don’t know for sure whether they just talk about their official God or they express a vague, somewhat subconscious awareness of the red woman’s existence among them.

But the most important is that humans always celebrate winter solstice in joyful dinners as well as by offering gifts to each other, no matter how poor or rich they might be, while they have also established a lot of legends and stories concerning supernatural or holy beings (sometimes dressed in red), whose main duty is to deliver the solstice gifts. The remembrance of this annual triumph of blessing sun is actually the greater celebration all over humanity, the most expanded and common festivity on earth. And the fact is all these jubilations around the world, though never mentioning the red woman, seem to hold some distant memory of her. Because, for example, somewhere near the North Pole an ancient goddess is said to ride a chariot driven by deer upon the sky, while somewhere else people have built a ritual door, a kind of stone veil, for the sun to triumphantly pass through in the morning after the solstice. In the Roman Empire the solstice festivity lasted almost a month (the time period the veil of our story was open) and today in some solstice holidays humans kindle rows of candles and let them glow in the night, just like the woman had done in the Blue Valley. Everybody knows of course the famous Christmas, with the trees full of little dolls and the carousels with their wooden horses, as well as with its endless constructions and patterns of blinking lights all over the earth  and above all with its great attraction, the red saint (or “Santa”) who delivers astonishing amounts of gifts. However fewer of us may have seen the miracle of the solstice in Africa, with that enormous red disc of a sun standing motionless near equator, magnificent and omniblessing, forever the supreme and unquestionable source of life, or the various ancient and modern holidays all over China or India and among Native Americans. And even fewer may know that in one of our most important eras of the past, that of ancient Greece, a god red with blood and wine let himself broke in pieces in the hands of his priestesses and the next morning, the morning after the solstice, was reborn as a Holy Infant for the sake of humanity.

As for humanity itself, through centuries (and between slaughters) it managed to create some other interesting great entities such as Reason or Enlightment, while lately it tries, under various names (such as Ecology) a still very distant and unstable reflection of that initial Harmony of the Beginning of the Things.

Last but not least, we must always have in mind that in our lifetime we doubtless come across the red woman with the cut-off finger, for she now lives in the blood of too many humans, who are also eternally reproduced. Of course men and women who have knowledge or kindness or give a lot or are particularly creative are very probable to be her embodiments. But it’s not only them: candidates may also be among people we wouldn’t feel comfortable to make friends with, people who have a great passion compelling them to go endlessly and relentlessly after something.

Because the red woman, still possessed by Lamenting and Homesickness, is constantly looking for her original doll, for whose sake she was once self-mutilated, as well as for her original horse, that unicorn with the opalescent body and the waterfall-like mane who once came to find her, thus saving forever the precious remembrance of the fairy tales.



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