#1625

long ago, the story goes
the sun and moon were much in love
and met each dawn to share a kiss
as they passed on the horizon
long ago, the story goes
the sun and moon were lovers, brothers
lords of separate, parallel realms
one of darkness and one of light

in the dark of wintertime
we sing to the moon
we sing to the moon
in the harsh heat of summer
we sing to the sun
we sing to the sun

long ago, the story goes
they met one morn’ to share their kiss
yet instead the moon drew out his blade
and ran his brother through without a word
long ago, the story goes
the sun thus gave his final breath
there in the arms of traitorous love
and dying, yet spake forgiveness

in the dark of wintertime
we sing to the moon
we sing to the moon
in the harsh heat of summer
we sing to the sun
we sing to the sun

long ago, the story goes
the moon in mourning called down winter
’til all the land was dark and bleak
a time of grief and lamentation
long ago, the story goes
the moon swore penance, swore his life
and sealed the sacrifice with a kiss
the kiss yet owed his beloved

in the dark of wintertime
we sing to the moon
we sing to the moon
in the harsh heat of summer
we sing to the sun
we sing to the sun

long ago, the story goes
the sun arose, no mark upon him
returning summer to the land
banishing the dark of winter
long ago, the story goes
the sun then drew his shining blade
and ran his lover-killer through
though tears like gold streamed down his face

in the dark of wintertime
we sing to the moon
we sing to the moon
in the harsh heat of summer
we sing to the sun
we sing to the sun

and so today, the story goes
we celebrate the moon’s betrayal
his bringing of the longest night
and honor the winter solstice
and so today, the story goes
we celebrate the sun’s resurrection
and honor the summer solstice

in the dark of wintertime
we sing to the moon
we sing to the moon
in the harsh heat of summer
we sing to the sun
we sing to the sun

in the dark of wintertime
we sing to the moon
in the harsh heat of summer
we sing to the sun

#1621

I think I like you, little warrior, with your fierce eyes and eager mouth, your callouses and tumbling locks. You have the heart of a wolf, the pack hunter determined to serve its role, defend its alpha. You have the mind of a swordsman, always on the alert for danger, ready to protect the beloved. You make love like an acolyte in the presence of her god, a knight pledging to his king. I could see you on board my ship, sailing the dark seas alongside myself and my godcrew. I could see you in my chambers, burnished skin and supple curves. Yes, I think you more than worthy of Us, to have come so far so boldly. So, little warrior, little wolf, are you brave enough to sail with me?

#1606 – Summer Solstice

A living room in an apartment in a dark city of glass and steel. Battle lines drawn, Daren standing rigid on one side and Tanim the other. Interrogator and suspect.

“So what will it be?” Daren’s voice flat, arms crossed. “Have you decided?”

“Yes.” Tanim averts his eyes. Answer enough.

“You’re going to do it, aren’t you.” Daren scowls, disgust in the curl of his lip, the narrowing of his dark eyes.

“It’s complicated.” Tanim’s hands open and close at his side as if grasping for words. Daren doesn’t allow him time to find them.

“Complicated!” A short, harsh laugh. No humor in it, only mockery and pain. “Oh yes, you would say that, after the promises you made.”

Tanim, head flying up, “I never promised–”

“Please.” Daren’s hand cuts the air between them. “Lying doesn’t become you, darling. If you respect me at all, you’ll at least forgo deception.”

“…fine.” Tanim’s shoulders slump, eyes turn away again. “I was wrong, and for that I am sorry. I thought we could fight this. I thought we could change the ending. But we can’t.” A glance up, beseeching, hopeful of understanding if not acceptance. “It’s a cycle, we both know that. It’s necessary–”

Don’t tell me she made you do it!” Daren’s voice louder than ever before, teeth bared and finger pointed in accusation.

“What else would you have me do?” Anger now in Tanim’s raised voice as well, an animal backed into a corner.

“I would have you choose me!” A step forward, snarling, all threat in the lithe form. “Or at least own your sin, you coward!”

Chaos, then. One lashes out first, or maybe the other. Fists falling, fingers clawing at flesh, raking eyes, brawn versus speed. Then the slim little blade, always somewhere on his person, and Tanim leaps back with a cry of pain. Blood running down his arm, down the knife gripped in Daren’s hand. One heartbeat in between; before Tanim reaches, before the thunder. Before Daren, mouth open in silent shock, looks down to the blood stain spreading quickly across his chest.

He falls before Tanim can catch him.

Blood washes away battle lines. Tanim kneels, the gun forgotten, the argument likewise but for the glaze of rage and disappointment in Daren’s eyes. Blood on his lips, he finds energy enough to draw breath, hiss, “This was your choice and no other’s.” Another breath, shallower. “Remember that.” And a final one, a struggle but he manages. “I do not forgive you.”

#1604

Beware the universes into which you may wander, Alice Worldspanner. I have seen the possibilities of them, and they are terrifying. I have seen the Great War, all of us standing side by side for once, and I have seen every one of us fall. Wreckage of ships and bodies, spills of blood and ink. The ocean is wide enough and deep enough, and it will be our graveyard. Should you pass into this universe, who knows if you might ever step out again? Even dreamdeath fragments us, and in just the viewing I feel a new absence in myself. Beware, explorer. Beware, seeker. Some doors should stay closed.