I dreamed last night you set yourself free
bursting through the door of your cage
(which had never been locked, only latched)
a phoenix rising from ashes to firestorm
and your glory melted that cage down to a puddle
so you could never be caught again.
He says it simply, because it is a simple truth. He is not a god of war, armored and hungering for the ring of the blade. He is not a god of winter, bringing ice and silence to suspend all the world in cold slumber. He is not a god of the underworld, reigning over the dead from a throne of iron or chained forever in a frozen lake. He is not a god of Ragnarok, Armageddon, or the Day of Resurrection. He is not a god of plague, pestilence, change, or chance, and he will not ride out as one of the Four. He is not a god at all.
In my dreams you take the form of the wolf and stag, they who fell from that high clifftop, locked in the blood-dance of love and death. Do you simply take pleasure in wearing those skins (they must feel so familiar), or are you trying to tell me something about the nature of hunting and fishing, of devouring that which you love so it may remain caged behind your ribs? Are you trying to tell me the teacup is irreparably shattered, or that once the story swings full circle the shards will mend themselves again? There’s something here, nestled in the rocks of the riverbed; there’s something I must find, resting amid the slick blood and fine china. What are you trying to tell me? They fell – but the story isn’t over. The story’s never over, is it?
What do these dreams mean? I ask the cards. What should I do?
The Lady of the East answers in cups, trust Them, you will not be lead astray; clear your mind and let go of your fears.
The Queen of Heaven answers in swords, a journey of the heart is beginning; have faith and you will learn the truth.
The candle flames leap high. The shadows dance.
I love, but can I trust?
I wake with salt water in my throat and Charybdis curling my tongue, so thirsty I feel like I’m going crazy, I need to swallow the sea, swallow the world.
I wonder – if you were changed back, returned to the fair body for which you longed, would you be happy? Or would the insatiable beast still live inside you, like the woman lived inside the beast for so many millenia?
I think you would dream of shipwrecks. I think you would wake with blood between your teeth.
After Lucifer’s insurrection, God learned a lesson about mercy and punishment. When next an angel chose to cross Him, He did not give it the opportunity to seek succor or influence elsewhere. Instead He cast the angel from Heaven and into the wide ocean of the earth, where broken wings could no more lift the angel from its watery grave than carry it back to God’s domain. In cold black water the angel drowned, and thereafter God sealed its body in a casket of iron, a substance as anathema to angels as it is to the fae. The casket came to rest on the ocean floor, miles below the water’s surface, where only creatures that shunned all light and warmth could live. But God was not done, for He had no mercy left for the disobedient. He had cast the angel out, had drowned it in the salty waters, but He had not taken its immortality away. In its tomb beneath the waves the angel continually suffocated and continually resurrected, an agonizing cycle of death life death from which it could find no release.
Yet as God had once underestimated the force of the love of those angels who chose to remain at Lucifer’s side in exile, likewise He gave no account to how powerful the sacrifice of an angel might be, should it abandon its celestial home forever to free its kin. Yet love drove an angel to do just this, casting itself willingly from Heaven and into the dark depths of the ocean to break open the iron tomb. What it set free was no longer divine, though it wore the wings and immortality of its kind. No being, angelic or otherwise, could live and die a thousand thousand deaths and not retain a bit of each one’s darkness in its heart. On black wings it rose from its grave, a creature now of neither Heaven nor Hell, and promised retribution across all of God’s creation.