The Secret Calcutta Flower Song


One can only guess as to how these stories come to be or how they seem to spread so far. I can remember a time so long ago where communication was only through letters, telegrams and word of mouth and yet? These stories were already there circulating through the aether everywhere. Tales about secret places and the creatures that inhabit them.

My favorites of these stories have always been the tales of the Taureans and the Saturnines. A Taurean was born when a person couldn’t control their own desire to know something, especially something considered forbidden. They read a book that wasn’t meant for their eyes or they forced the darkness to tell them a secret they were never meant to hear. In both cases doing so after being warned not to. The result was a creature born of what that person was and what that desire turned them into. A Saturnine to me is worse because they’re a creature born of an innocent person and a curse.

One such story floating through aether is about and Saturnine and a secret place. Secret places are between the reality of the everyday and that which lies beyond the dusk-lands. This story involved the Secret Calcutta, or to be more precise, just outside the gates of this hidden place.

It is said if you go at just the right time between the day and dusk you’ll see a most ferocious looking Saturnine moving there among the tall wild flowers. This female creature is dressed in her best Victorian finery and from the neck down might be any woman of polite society. Yet as you move up to look upon her you’ll find a wicked looking bird-faced creature with a wild main of sharp quills for hair. At her feet is her pet the Calcutta devil cat, who has his own troubling stories to be told.

As the story goes if you manage to catch the creature’s eye she will speak to you through the wild flowers around her. The blooms will begin to vibrate with an eerie song and soft whispers will blossom from the flower tips that float towards the sky. This is not a sight a rational person wants to witness. The Saturnine’s song is not one any person need hear….

A sample from Etta Diem’s Tales of Bete Noir from the Riker Rouge Anthlogies.

A print of this artwork can be purchased at The Attic Shoppe Trading Co. Related artwork also available.