#1429 – Summer Solstice

high above the city, the world, if it must be done then just let it be done spoken with a weary sigh to the chill night, silent night, one way or another, what does it matter? holiest night and the sun long set, where is the sun? by my hand or his, blood or bruises, or just one simple step off this edge no sun, just the darkness and the wind tugging at hair, fingers, clothing like a lover’s supplication but I don’t want simple, not this time gentle yet insistent, urging him to take that one step into oblivion no, I want to fight, I want to rebel, even if it means falling I just want to live a different kind of lover’s supplication as the hand closes around his wrist, if you fight, I fight at your side and the wind picks up, fate demanding submission to the ritual death, howling for blood, how dare they defy? but I choose the dawn not this time, not this night, destiny denied as the Moon steps down and the Sun releases his wrist, kneeling in allegiance, adoration and abdication, and I choose you, always

 

[ I have a number of new followers, so to those of you who are new to my characters, here! Have a tragic solstice myth! ]

#1339 – Winter Solstice

Do you know why the Moon first rose up to slay his lover the Sun? Some say it was sorrow or jealousy or fear that moved his hand, or that the Moon had gone mad in the darkness and did not know himself again until he knelt with the dying Sun in his arms. There may be a fragment of truth in all of these – does love not encompass all such emotions? – but I have glimpsed another sliver of truth. Perhaps the Moon raised his blade not to punish or sacrifice his lover the Sun, but to spare him. To save him. Perhaps the Moon wanted only a way for them to never be parted, to cease the chase which kept the lovers forever a horizon’s length away, and did what he must to change their fate. Can you deny that it is better to perish in your lover’s arms, rather than never feel their embrace at all? At least in death the Sun remained with the Moon, as the Moon would remain with the Sun when his turn came to embrace the blade and spill his silver blood. An ill fate, yes, but no worse than the agony of constant separation.

You must hold tight to the thing you love, for it can be taken from you without warning. Do you understand, now? I cannot allow you to be taken from me. It is better, this, than leaving our luck to fate. I spared you the blade, though, and I doubt you ever tasted the powder. (Though I wonder, darling, if even knowing, you would have drank anyway?) The Moon required suffering for his pact, but not I. You need not bleed, darling, only drift to sleep and fear neither pain nor loneliness; I am with you in this, as in all things, and I will hold you safe. You are mine, now, and only mine.

#1248 – Summer Solstice

If I stick a knife through your eye, beloved, will the darkness within come spilling out to fill our lungs and drown us both?

If I put a bullet through your temple, darling, will the nightmares inside break free and raze the world as they’ve razed your mind?

If I crack open your sternum, angel, will the ice in your heart creep out to cover us over in an everlasting winter, freeze us in a grotesque tableau?

If I cut your throat, dearest, will the screams you’ve choked down all these years finally burst forth in a banshee’s wail to haunt me in waking and dreaming?

If I slit your wrists, lovely, will the sickness coursing through your veins infect my blood as well, rotting me from the inside out?

Would I drown for you? Be razed and frozen, haunted and rotted, for you? Oh, I would, Daren, I would infect myself with your madness to know just once the richness of your blood, the tremble of your whimper, the wet warmth of your last dying gasp. Let me cut you, my love. Let me break you. Let me rend and tear and open you wide. Let me know you inside and out.

 

 

[ Ah, another solstice. A good excuse for Tanim’s darker side to come out and play. There’s as fine a line between love and obsession as between the Sun’s heat warming one’s skin and burning it to a crisp… ]

#1157

There comes a moment in every man’s life when he must decide between the easy way and the hard. It seems I have faced more than my fair share of these moments and my preference has always been to choose the path of least resistance. Not out of laziness, I assure you, or uncertainty, but simply because the leaf which allows itself to flow with the river’s current worries far less than the one striving for shore. It is safer to become an anonymous component of the greater whole than draw attention by pushing upstream.

This, too, was the easier path, though I doubt the man at my feet would agree. He took the hard way every time; that’s why we would never have worked. We were always pulling each other in different directions like prisoners chained at the wrist, one wanting to run and the other to stand and fight. Sometimes the only solution in a case like that is to hack off a hand and be on your way. Might hurt, sure, but it’s better than being bound to someone else for the rest of your life, vulnerable to their influence, their fallibility, their loves and fears and cruelties. That’s the ultimate hard path and not one I desire to walk any longer.

“It’s easier this way, darling,” I explain, forgoing metaphor or elaboration; there isn’t much point in either now. His reply is the bubbling of blood out his lips, the slight twitch of fingers that may long to wrap around my neck or pull me close for a final embrace, who knows? Those expressive eyes are already dulling over, fear and confusion faded to a kind of understanding, or perhaps simply resignation. Maybe he does understand. A knife in the chest tends to clarify things, or at least clear out all the unnecessary thoughts and worries you’ve held onto for so long. Maybe now he’s seeing how much easier, how much better it is to let go, to stop fighting. Not that he has much choice.

“Love’s a bitch,” The sticky blade in my hand feels strangely light for all a man’s life gleams and drips from its edge. “One way or another it ruins you. I’m just hurrying things along.”

[Another winter solstice, another bloody death for poor Tanim. You gotta love tradition.]

#1067

[ For those who don't know my story of the solstice and how it relates to Tanim and Daren, this retelling of the myth will explain what Daren is talking about. To read past solstice entries, check out my solstice category. I particularly liked the piece for the most recent winter solstice. ]

 

Put down the blade, beloved. You need not pierce my flesh this time. Whether you raise your hand against me or not, the cycle will continue. Fulfillment of our fate is written in my genetic code; my very cells are branded with the judgment of my crime. They turn against me now as punishment and payment for my betrayal so many countless lives before. My body eats at itself from the inside out like a seed of rot spreading slowly through veins and marrow until I taste blood with every swallow. I am my own murderer and cannibal, an unwilling suicide requiring neither rope nor razor to finish the job. There could be no more fitting penance than the constant agonizing consumption of this disease. A blade is too cold to hurt and a bullet too impersonal. Yet dying by small degree, wasting away one cell at a time, that is an execution worthy of one who betrayed brother and lover both. So fear not, my love; there will be no blood on your hands this time. Only on my lips, and yours should you deign to gift me one last kiss in parting.

It’s easy to say you would die for the sake of love. Death is a paltry price to pay for the assurance your beloved is safe.

His hands are sure as he opens the kitchen drawer and selects the sharpest blade.

And it’s easy to say you would kill for the sake of love. Any other’s life is meaningless compared to the one you adore.

His steps are even as he crosses into the living room and approaches his unmoving companion.

But if you are asked to stand aside and do nothing for the sake of love?

His heart is calm as he steadies Tanim with one arm and raises the other, pressing the blade against the taut rope which binds the man to the rafter above.

If you are asked to stay your hand and willingly watch the one you love destroy themselves? Could you let them make that decision, knowing their misery may end but you will never be whole again?

His body is steady as Tanim’s limp weight collapses onto it, and he bears his lover to the floor with utmost care.

Dying for love is no great martyrdom; it’s easy to be the one doing the leaving. But choosing to set your love free and remain behind despite the loss, despite knowing you will wake each morning alone, forever alone, is another ordeal entirely. Yet if that is the sacrifice love demands, could you deny its supplication?

… the sun blackens his skin, roasting away layer upon layer of crackling flesh. Raw muscle sizzles as it’s exposed; steaming blood and bubbling blisters glisten wetly beneath the flaking char. Pressure builds in his skeleton as the marrow cooks, releasing with the sick splintering of heat-brittled bone. His mouth gapes wide in a howl of agony but his lips have long burned to a crumbling crisp and his vocal chords shrivel and snap like overburdened violin strings.

The sun’s blaze blinds him. He cannot escape it. His eyes are nothing but melted pools in scorched sockets yet still the white light fills his vision, searing all thought and coherence from his mind. The only sound is the roar of his inferno prison as its flames lick at his body. He is trapped in an endless cycle of constant dying, an eternity of final agony without the mercy of death’s cool darkness beyond. It has become his past, his present, his future forever. He burned. He burns. He will always burn.

For a moment he is almost sure the fire hisses with pleasure as it consumes his flesh …