- Metallic Choir
At the end of the end of the world the end of a metallic spiral can be seen, coming from nowhere and stopping for no particular reason at this precise spot. If one pulls the end of the spiral, it triggers a sound like that of a child's voice, singing on Sundays in a church choir. If one pulls twice, the sound of the spiral resembles that of the voice of two children. With some effort, the entire choir can be heard and the expressionless faces of children can be seen, all boys, whose voices soar together, breaking the air's purity. Their song, suspended for a moment in the air, and from there, coming back to earth, brings to mind a waterfall curtain. Through the water curtain the profile of a naked woman can be seen passing and disappearing, then coming back, and passing and disappearing. At the beginning, the woman's hair brings to mind water itself, then one notices that it is water itself. The children's voices speed up. The woman passing through the curtain moves faster and faster. She moves so fast that she seems to be spinning around herself, while the children's voices seem to be breaking into various elements that transform the song into a collage of disharmonious and disparate sounds. When the noise becomes unbearable, the children's voices will themselves have become a swarm of bees attacking their fragile bodies, which they will gradually strip of their flesh, leaving only the white bones. Then the bees will be swept into the spiral tunnel, exploring its inner walls until reaching its nowhere, while at twilight the bones will begin another song.
Alta Ifland is originally from Romania and currently lives in Northern California. Her work has appeared in Metamorphoses, FIELD, New Orleans Review, and Words without Borders.