Gilgamesh and Aletha or Searching for Love - published theatrical novel to visual novel
This story is a part of my larger work that I published years ago, a theatrical novel "Gilgamesh and Aletha or Searching for Love". I plan to make a visual novel in Unity based on this work. The answer to the most important question in the novel (see below * ) is given, of course, at the end of the novel (not translated into English yet).
At the moment, only a small part is translated into English. Here it is an introductory allegory story of city doves:
PROLOGUE BETWEEN THE SKY AND THE EARTH
An important moment in the life of a city dove Gavrilo
At the beginning Gavrilo wanted to be only Gavrilo and he didn't like when somebody accidentally called him Gabriel. He wonted even less (in fact not at all!) to be called Gibril. Regardless this question, which mainly concerns the hearing, the city-dove Gavrilo was very doved dove. He was even unusually doved, having in mind the circumstances of time and space between the Sky and the Earth in which he has lived. Being an unusual dove sometime he had problems. For example, many doves have, without a bit of hesitation, pecked at everything they have found on city streets. To tell the truth, one must admit that at the beginning Gavrilo accepted this behavior as quite usual. Later on, which was unheard of in the world of city doves, Gavrilo found this way of feeding unacceptable. Lately, it was clear to him that he didn't want to feed in that way. Naturally, he continued to find something to eat here and there: in the park, on the balconies under the windows behind which lived generous old ladies -- but Gavrilo never, even at the price of starvation, wanted to eat carrion. He was a very proud dove.
With the time passing, the city dove Gavrilo had less and less need for food, and more need to reach the heights. Now, when he was a fully grown up dove, he became fully aware that doves were not vultures. He was cooing to his neighbors and his friends and to the other doves: "One who eats carrion will became eventually a carrion himself." But the other city doves were answering to him: "Won't you became a carrion yourself? Don't you think perhaps that those who don't eat carrion live forever?" Gavrilo, of course, was thinking of dove's soul. Other doves didn't understand that. Many of them were denying that a dove had something similar - the soul. Just imagine - a dove having a soul! Even Gavrilo at the beginning (at the very beginning!) was suspecting that. However, since he started to observe and notice the things around him, to think while contemplating, to notice while looking, to hear while listening, he started to understand that the soul is what remains behind each dove. How much of the soul will remain when some dove flies away forever, depends on how much he cared about his soul. Once, while Gavrilo was standing on the balcony of an old lady who often fed him, he heard somebody say: "One should never abandon himself! Even if the salvation doesn't come, I still wish to deserve it every minute." Gavrilo was thinking long time about these words. He understood them in this manner: in each dove there is a shining spark and each dove has a possibility to care for it; the doves who stimulate and care for that spark create their soul; when such doves fly for the last time, their soul remains behind them and transforms itself into something which at some moment is salvation for somebody -- into a song, sun ray, into cooing of doves in love, in a new spark in somebody's eye. Who gave this spark and this possibility to doves, Gavrilo couldn't understand. But, he understood that soul didn't really remain behind some doves. Such doves were really soulless -- concluded Gavrilo.
At the same time while he was meditating in this way during his lonely flying high over the city, Gavrilo was becoming aware of how much he differs from other doves who were on the streets and squares, roofs and balconies. If he had been human, and if he had known reading, he would surely have quickly concluded that sea gull Jonathan Livingston is his closer relative than his next-door neighbor from main city square, dove Jovan.
In the city there has been hardly any dove alike Gavrilo, truly. Therefore his feelings and meditations have turned to more lonely tune. City doves have sometimes sneered at him, and now and then have shrunken from him. They also have felt that Gavrilo has somehow been different from them. Recently, Gavrilo has begun wondering himself ("Just imagine, he doubts even that!", were screaming city doves while having a break between plucking feathers one another over food on the city streets) if it had been so momentous that his name has been Gavrilo, and hasn't been Gabriel or Gibril. Indeed: if he had been human, and if he had known reading, he would surely have remembered those well-known words: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." What's really behind that name? What's in me, thought Gavrilo-Gabriel-Gibril, that's more important than a name. "Of course it is," told him his next-door neighbor dove Jovan, "A name's of no importance. What's in me, what I ate, that's important." The other city doves thought in such a way, too, and didn't care what he's told about. They found him to be even boring. "You do nothing but philosophize", so told to him even his closest relatives, "You'd better look out for what you're live of, and coo less, otherwise you'll end badly." They didn't want even try to understand what he cooed about. On the contrary, they began calling him insulting names, being rough on him, driving him away from them, and avoiding him at every flutter of wings. There was nothing left for Gavrilo but to withdraw into his shell. He avoided customary noisy quarrels about food. He didn't want plucking feathers to other city doves because he considered plucking feathers to be suitable for hens and roosters, and screaming for jackdaws and magpies, not for doves. But, he realized that others, the majority, didn't think in that way. He began suspecting they didn't think at all, and he stepped aside. So he became into solitude.
High in the sky where Gavrilo flied, there were no other doves. They pecked at trash of city and simply never raised their head up to the sky. They began forgetting Gavrilo. At first he was filled with scorn watching their running after garbage, afterwards he looked at them with compassion. Finally, he ceased watching them at all. More and more often than not Gavrilo raised his head up to the sun, and more seldom, if ever, looked back down to city rubbish under him: his desire for food was almost completely passed away, and flight up to the sun was satisfied almost all of his needs. Almost all...
... Because, one spring day, after a long time of loneliness, when almost everybody had forgotten odd and peculiar dove who had been talking that it hadn't been important if his name had been Gavrilo, Gabriel or Gibril, somewhere at the summit of the Sky, in the heights where other doves had never reached, into the dove Gavrilo's loneliness, by pure chance, in a breath of some country breeze, flew in the most beautiful dovess that Gavrilo had ever seen. "Divine gift!" - quivered all Gavrilo's down. And really: Natasha was her name. Divine gift. Gavrilo was wondering if he had been dreaming. Is it possible that somebody else flying in these heights? "Oh, well, I am always flying high like this!", -- cooed Natasha nicely and cheerfully - "It's quite naturally to me."
Not until when dovess Natasha, carried away by spring breeze from the south, had flown in the sky above the city up to the heights of Gavrilo's loneliness, where he had been given in to the wind by every feather of his wings, city doves began raising their head up, not because of the Sun and the Sky, but out of envy. At first astonishing, then with jealousy, and at last angrily they caught sight of that Gavrilo is not just still alive, but that wing near wing with him flies young dovess, just arrived in the sky above the city. They watched them irately while they high - unreachable high to city doves-vultures - were performing dove's dance of love.
And dovess Natasha fervently cooed to Gavrilo about her grandma, Russian dovess after whom she had been named. "It's a beautiful Russian name, and I like it very much", - cooed Natasha. "Wonderful name!", - Gavrilo was enchanted, too. It isn't important, truly, thought Gavrilo for the moment, that Natasha hadn't known neither that her great-grandma, named Natalie, had been maybe brought by some southwest wind to a Russian steppe, nor that her great-great-grandma, whose name possibly had been Nathanaella, had been probably blown by hot southeast zephyr from desert sands to warm seas. So had thought Gavrilo just for a moment, and then again given up to warm flickers, which he felt at every feather after Natasha had come. Is it possible that he has a friend, after so much time of loneliness? Then Natasha, in a gentle swing of her down, touched the feather at the top of his wing: "After all, I love everything: the sky, the sun, the air, and I love you, too", cooed dovess Natasha tenderly, and Gavrilo all sparkled raising still more up towards Unreachable. Oh, how he was able to feel every breath of breeze now, how he could to raise his head and throw out his chest, how he knew for a long time to hover enthralling in the whiff of winds and not to move even a single one feather on his wings! Her voice was his food, he drank anything but sunbeam gleams from her eyes. "This is everything!" - lit cognizance up Gavrilo's soul, and then he truly felt that it was everything.
That way just everything was prepared to an important moment, about which is being talk here, in the life of a city dove Gavrilo.
After a few hours, days or months, dovess Natasha experienced for the first time a city hunger. It was cruel, metropolitan, tearing void that couldn't be fill either by any sunbeam or by any tender coo of lonely dove. While she was making loops, spirals and circles during the play with Gavrilo, at one moment, when she was flying down before a new ascent, she looked by pure chance below, toward contagious air of the city, and her sharp eye caught a glimpse of mob of city doves, and among them, in the middle of a metropolitan street, something over which they grabbed, something that was similar to food. Gavrilo was still longing to the Sun, so he felt more than saw sudden turn of her wing. He was aware at once what was pursuing her to the filthy asphalt of the city. He shouted after her: "No! Don't do it! That is not good to eat, that is a carrion! One who eats carrion will became sooner or later a carrion himself! Don't do it!" But, dovess Natasha didn't understand him now. Her down was gathered, her wings were stuck on her body in a headlong tailspin towards the street and the food, her slavic-latin-hebrew heart was become heavy by the metropolitan void, and she was, in a horrible self-willed fall, lustfully rushing towards bottom and center of her field of vision which suddenly was made narrower. Then Gavrilo, at the most important moment in his life, breaking by a painful scream off a secret immemorial vow with the Sun, the Height and the Sky, flew down after her, hurrying to say to her: "Natasha, doves have dove's soul, Natasha! Doves are not vultures! Natasha! Don't do it, Natasha!" He succeeded just to pronounce her name: "Natasha!" - and yet at the next moment, in a meter above the street, while Gavrilo was exerting all his strength to reach the most beautiful dovess of his life before she touch a filth on the asphalt, abruptly, rapidly like a gleam of a sunbeam, something was running into him, was breaking his wings, was throwing him away from Natasha, away from life, was holding her countenance up in his eye, was for good leaving partially said her name in a shout, and was rushing off somewhere farther, leaving feathers smeared with blood on the asphalt behind. The last that Gavrilo desperately caught a glimpse of, a moment before came a glass, a metal, tires and a darkness, was a sight of recently arrived metropolitan dovess Natasha, who was snatching a piece of her new, to city doves usual food.
In such a way, after the important moment in the life of city dove Gavrilo that had been just described, his and Natasha's life story were separated. Yet, both stories went simultaneously forward. What, in fact, happened with dove Gavrilo and dovess Natasha?
The last Gavrilo felt was desperate wish not to look on further transformation dovess Natasha's slavic-latin-hebrew heart. And he was almost reconciled with that desperation. Almost... Because, then happened something very peculiar. He saw a light. He heard a voice. And the voice didn't come from outside, but already was inside him. "Quite unusual," - thought Gavrilo -- "I'd be better listen to carefully. Maybe I'll find out something."
The voice was quiet, clear and gentle: "A dove and a boundary. The boundary is part made of two parts. The Sky and a sky. A fissure in the Sky. The boundary is partly both of them. The fissure of the Earth, the Air, the Fire. Somewhere is a passage. An illusion. When something is and is not. A rift. Through the fissure of the Sky is falling a wing-broken dove. The boundary was crossed. The dove is and is not. The part made of two pats."
The blow was not painful. Gavrilo felt just some kind of vague passing by through countless layers of bright stripes and gleams. A kind of insecurity, which he felt at the first time, soon faded away. Gavrilo flied to a definite fixed place, without understanding what and how was occurring. The quiet voice, an unerring instinct and the unambiguous stripes guided him to some kind of house, into which plenty of people entered or went out from time to time. He saw that house earlier, when he took some sad glance from his heights down, over the battlefield of city doves' life. That house has always seemed to him different from others, but he didn't know why. When Gavrilo reached that house, a lot of people were just gathering there. They were pushing each another while passing through a narrow door. "Almost like city doves," -- so thought Gavrilo while was, guided by gentle and unerring force, flying straight to those people. Oddly, but they didn't see him even though he flied by right over their head. Inside that house was a crowd of people. Gavrilo saw with half an eye some large golden bird-cage. "It is large," - though Gavrilo - "It doesn't matter it is golden. That's still a cage." He felt he was reaching his aim and he couldn't pay attention to the people round him, nor to the bird-cage, even though he understood later that something important was happening in it. But he was near his aim. He felt it clearly. He saw a human being. He saw a lonely human being who, messy and unwashed, was sitting on a lit scene holding his desperate head in his hands. Stripes of light were turning into light blue sparks that softly put Gavrilo on the man's shoulder.
People who were entering the house when Gavrilo flew over their heads, now were sitting in front of the person waiting for something. They didn't see Gavrilo and Gavrilo didn't pay attention to them. He was feeling all distress and sadness of the man. He wanted to help him but he didn't know how. All he could tell him was the sentence he told the city doves and to the dovess Natasha. He remembered well that the other doves were laughing at him because of that sentence. If he says it now, maybe people will laugh at him as well? But Gavrilo felt that he had to say something to this unfortunate man and, not knowing what to say, he whispered softly to his ear: "Doves are birds. They are not vultures. Who feeds on carrion, eventually becomes a carrion himself. Doves are born to fly. You also should fly. At least you should try to." As soon as he whispered the last word he felt he had finished his mission. He knew what was following next. He remained calm and not interested: he has crossed the frontier. He heard voices that the wind was bringing. He was completely calm as he felt that the voices would give him the answer to the last question that was important to him: what happened to Natasha?
Being in ardor of vying for the food, Natasha didn't even see what happened behind to Gavrilo. She just had an inkling of a peculiar glow behind her, and immediately she felt cruel ice in her heart. She knew at once that there was no return. For a moment she kept undecided a piece of carrion that she just tore off in her beak. Then she locked all old-time chests with treasure inside her soul: a hunger was stronger. Though, she didn't throw away the keys of her ancient slavic-latin-hebrew, sandy-sea-steppe chests. She only put them aside somewhere on the bottom of her soul, which was natural proceeding, like flying in the heights. Then she didn't notice yet, that dove's soul was truly there, so that was the reason she had a place to put away her keys.
Sometime after the important moment, when Gavrilo had bestowed himself completely on her creating his soul, Natasha grieved. Later on, however, when there was nothing to eat, when began a season of void inside the heart and stomach, even dovess Natasha wasn't the same who had been brought by provincial breeze somewhere from a hot sand, warm seas or winter steppes. And she also started to feed on carrion in the streets. Still, at moments she thought that the last Gavrilo tried to tell her was that the doves had soul also, that their food was not carrion and that one who feeds on them becomes a carrion himself. But that thought to now accustomed city dovess Natasha was unpleasant and she quickly pushed it out of her head, out on the dirty city snow: for some time in her life hunger was undoubtedly stronger than anything in the world.
In that way Natasha continued to associate with city doves. But still, from time to time, while she was grabbing food from other doves bickering and mucking, she would again think of Gavrilo. In those moments, the keys of ancient chests, filed with jewels of her soul, would open all the locks and she was lit by the reflections - though darkened by the city darkness - of the hights were, wing to wing, she flew with Gavrilo.
For the moment she noticed this reflection in her soul herself. Restricted in this way, this radiance was burning and hurting. Then, quite unexpectedly, she understood that she felt the same radiance at the moment when Gavrilo, in the most important moment of his life, cried her name (Natasha!) and flown away for ever. She remained there in thought of her new knowledge and feeling, not reacting to the cries of other doves: "What's the matter with you? Aren't you hungry any more?". Natasha stood without any move. She was looking at the half-open chests of her soul, hesitating to close them forever and throw the keys or to open them wide. "Oh!", called the doves around her , "What's the matter? Look at this piece of food here!" Then, Natasha's sandy-sea-steppe heart took the decision. She saw the chests opening by themselves, she shivered at the thought of the forgotten treasures in them, she thought of the radiance in which Gavrilo flew away forever and of the radiance of her own soul. Then, the dovess Natasha, under the amazed look of the other doves, started slowly to emanate sparks and melt with glowing stripes and rays. And then, in a moment of extreme fascination, in the whirlpool of radiation which could come only from the crown jewels lit by the Sun from extreme hights, under the eyes of the present doves who were watching all this in wonder, their beaks wide open, the city dovess Natasha disappeared forever from their world. The doves were shrinking and screaming, turning in circles, waving their wings and wandering what was happening... but nobody could answer the question: what happened to Natasha?
(Follows "Prelude In The Theater Hall")... To be translated ...
*The answer to the most important question in the novel ("what happened to Natasha?") is given, of course, at the end of the novel (not translated into English yet).