Pitfalls of Plenty

“The proposals put forth in the Fairy Tales competition create entire worlds of the imagination – they build their immersive stories as much by what they don’t say, as by what they do. The winning entries in this year’s competition include oblique references to current events, mundane daily activities and human emotions that we all easily relate to – they make visible how we shape space, and in turn, how space shapes us. The images and narratives are so wildly outlandish, and yet, so grounded that it seems like we could mistakenly stumble into any of them. They are personal and powerful – a testament to the power of architecture as a world-builder.” Competition Jurors.

Pitfalls of plenty is a competition entry for Blankspace Fairy Tales 217, by Rania Francis and I. Our fairy tale, titled : Pitfalls of Plenty, aims to depict the destructive nature of overconsumption that we see in most of our civilisations. The narrative is told through the eyes of a greedy king and his enchanted object, called the Pyxis

spoon.271.png

 

 

Download text : Pitfalls-of-Plenty  or read below.

01_yawapi-tribe02_-hieroglyphics03_the-feast04_kings-room05_mouth

Pitfalls of Plenty

 

The crispy crust of the large pie, dressed in a glistening liquid dripping before the lustful eyes of the surrounding peasants, was lowered from the ceiling. The pie contained a whole horse, an entire elephant ear, seven charred chickens, ten red rabbits, eleven eagle eggs and one young odoriferous octopus, and no doubt to serve as garnish, a mash of minced meat and four pounds of fat exuding the fragrance of chopped musk glands. Standing above the pie, the King was relishing in the chants of the crowd thanking him for providing lush dinners and for making the great drought a thing of the past. The daily feast was a debauched blur of sensations as the Kingdom of Krankencradle was transforming into a place of beauty and plenitude; providing every earthily pleasure to its occupants.

 

The Kingdom was insatiable.

 

Animated with overflowing livestock, the concentric roads surrounding the castle were blurring into one another as vines and leaves of plants stretched in between and grew high above the castle walls. The rivers were saturated with a sweet purple pulp as vivid aromas were dispersing into every corner of Krankencradle, the entire Kingdom bursting at the seems. The colours and flavours the harvests provided caused the people to fall in an ecstatic, sensual delirium.

 

At the sight of the Pyxis the celebration was initiated. Pyxis was The Kings most prized possession.

 

It never left his grip.

Mouth opens,

food enters,

The Pyxis refills.

Mouth opens,

food enters,

The Pyxis refills,

over and over.

And over and over, but the King’s hunger was never satisfied.

 

The Pyxis did not always belong in the hands of the King, nor in the hands of any person. Standing high above the ground, beyond anyone’s reach, overlooking the vast deserts from its altar built by the Yawapi tribe. Back when seed was the life and water was the source, the Pyxis was known to the Yawapi as their ‘Sacred Compass’, it was imagined as the lord of life, the bringer of food, and the Great Mother of the tribe was their navigator.

 

The Great Mother’s soothing screams drew the Yawapi families from beneath the sands towards the Altar, where she presented each family with a papyrus plant, holding within its perfect radial assemblage of leaves a modest selection from the gift. Each plant contained two slender silky strands and a collection of colourful crunchy cubes, all fresh from another good expedition.  The tribe revolved around the Altar, and in a single voice, whispered their gratitude and prayers, awaiting the Pyxis to point to the direction of the next gift, before they quietly took in their communion.

 

Although they lived in the dessert, The Yawapi were known for being a self sustained tribe, ever changing by rebirth in time and season and the elements of life and light. The Pyxis being their eternal ever-coming, ever-renewing spirit of youth.

 

Even when a drought of severe magnitude hit the planet, the Yawapi seemed unaffected whilst the surrounding kingdoms were falling. Armies desperately flocked the flat, unprotected Yawapi desserts, attempting to steal the source of their bountiful reserves, whilst scholars took up nearby residence to understand their mysterious longevity.

 

 

Krankencradle being one of the kingdoms to suffer the effects of the drought, was suddenly revitalised once the King had snatched the enchanted Pyxis. The land was overflowing with crops and the livestock was multiplying at an unprecedented rate. The King with his new magical instrument, now had the ability to command forests to emerge, rivers to flow and fruits to blossom. Krankencradle was seeing prosperity like never before. Every day, people from the city would gather in the palace for lavish feasts. At the centre of the feast was always the King, in his hand the Pyxis.

 

It never left his grip.

Mouth opens,

food enters,

The Pyxis refills.

Mouth opens,

food enters,

The Pyxis refills,

over and over.

And over and over, but the King’s hunger was never satisfied.

 

Every time it slipped through his lips, in and out, the Pyxis became more attached to the King. Yearning for the sultry warmth of the orifice behind his lips. The Pyxis blissfully scraped its edges across rows of large enamel columns wedged in between slippery flesh guarding the main chamber, to finally be clinched by the amorphous walls of the tongue. As its bowl rubbed against the tongue, the Pyxis seemed to tingle as the glands at its drop began to inflate, absorbing the last drops of grease and gravy dripping down the sides of the tongue. The moisture within the mouth walls was increasing, heat was rising, causing the petals around the Pyxis’ bowl to blossom, sucking in all the aromas and emulsions as they condensed onto its surface. The petals began to slide across the damp surface of the tongue and briefly stuck as they glazed past some of the larger pores on the underside, relishing in the wet, coarse textures.

 

Engaged in a bizarre dance of exploding sensations between the tongue and the Pyxis, the King’s entire body was responding to the stimuli extending from inside his mouth. No longer the master of the object, he found himself incapable of stopping. Both of them looking for release. It was no longer about satisfying hunger but a deeper ravenous desire.

 

Visceral hallucinations and cravings tormented the King for what seemed like an eternity. No longer interested in providing food for his people only looking to satisfy the longing that has possessed his entire existence, material and not. His every moment was occupied by thoughts of the Pyxis, bringing the King to the brink of insanity.

 

The King abruptly got up and began to cut and peel parts of his own arm, resting the torn flesh on his chair to recreate the pleasure within his mouth.

Eager to extend the passion to his entire body, but unable to do so with the Pyxis.

 

Alas, it was never enough.

 

Locked up in his room, the King called for his guard to enter. Barely able to open the door, the guard grabbed the slimy handle and dragged the door open across the sticky floor, eventually making his way in. Entering the room, he looked around trying to identify the source of the stench being emitted; an odour reminiscent of rusted metal and stale water. The room, however, was dark and even though he could not see the extent of the space, he somehow felt the walls suffocating him, closing down around him. The air was heavy and saturated with a damp musty fog. The oblivious guard took a few steps forward. Splish, splosh, splish, splosh. The sound of his footsteps echoed strangely across the shadowy room, yet he marched on, ready to follow his master’s orders. Finally, under a single ray of light, which penetrated the room from a small opening between the unknown drapery covering the windows, he caught a glimpse of his own feet soaked in a viscous red liquid. Looking up, the guard was met with a horrifying image. The carcasses of dead animals were spread across the floor, the walls, the ceiling and the bed. All were now encapsulated in a meaty cladding that covered the room, leaving the once chequered marble floor barely visible under the layers of dead animals and rotten fruits.

 

From beneath his fleshy camouflage, the King reached out from within the darkness, grabbing the guard and slitting open his throat. With a snapping sound the King pulled out the guard’s tongue and tossed it across the room, colliding with the wall with a wet slap, sliding down to rest on a rotting pile of flesh.

 

Immersing himself in his masterpiece, the king careered through the room, colliding with every object, rubbing his flesh against his collection of textures that now comprised the room. Overwhelmed the King was unable to remember to attend to his most basic needs. Having not eaten for days, now covered in blood, fur and a blend of fluids, the King fell down on the floor where his body was left to perish along with all the dead carcasses he had collected.

 

 

All that was left was the Pyxis; craving for a new host to fulfil its desires.

 

*******