#1849

“Well, well, well… isn’t this a surprise. Hello, Alice. How nice of you to visit my little prison in the sub-sub-sub basement. I hope it wasn’t too far of a walk for you.”

“I don’t have time to swap antagonism wrapped in false pleasantries, Mage.”

“Funny, because I have all the time in the worlds.”

“This was a terrible idea. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“You need my help, hmm?”

“…yes.”

“Things must be bad, then, very bad. Who is it? Or what?”

“We don’t know yet. It leaves no useful evidence at the… scene. Just remains.”

“Ooh, a mystery. I’m intrigued.”

“This isn’t a game! People are dying–”

“–boooring–”

“–and you might be able to help. As nauseous as it makes me to say it. So… will you?”

“Quid pro quo, ‘Ah-leese’. You haven’t said what’s in this for me.”

“I guess it’s too much to hope you just feel like doing something good for a change?”

“Aww. That’s cute. No. This place is boring.”

“I can see about getting you some books, maybe–”

“I want a shark. With legs. I want a crocodile shark.”

“No.”

“Just a regular shark?”

“No sharks!”

“What about just a crocodile, then, only it has a machine gun strapped to its–”

“Again, this was a terrible idea. What a waste of time. Have fun being alone in your prison.”

“Wait, wait. Fine, show me what you’ve got there and I’ll see if it’s interesting enough. We can talk trades later. I am pretty serious about the crocodile shark though.”

“I hate you so much.”

#1848

A scribe should know her place. A scribe does not create, she copies. A scribe does not take liberties, she writes only what she is dictated. A scribe does not tell the story, she merely records it. A scribe is but the extension of the pen, and to imagine otherwise is to rise above her station; she is necessary, yes, but like a broken stylus she can be replaced. A scribe would be wise to remember her role and not dare to move beyond its restrictions.

#1847

They say to be careful with spirits. Don’t summon something you can’t handle. Don’t play with ouija boards. Don’t mess with magic that calls for blood or binding promises. Make your salt circle thick, they say. Ward your doors and windows. Ground yourself and stop before you touch anything too ancient or too deep. But they don’t know what it feels like to stand on the edge; the exhilaration of opening your soul to the unknown and daring it to send its worst. They don’t know that once you’ve had a taste, you can’t ever go back to hiding inside salt circles and candlelight. Once you have reached out to the dark and the dark has reached back, opening wide all the channels that lead through and to you, what’s left to fear?

#1846

Dear Xavier,

I don’t know what memories you will recall from age three. Maybe they will be snippets of moments, sharply focused on insignificant details, or simply blurry colors and sensations. I doubt you will remember this weekend and how you took hold of my hand and your aunt’s, pressing them together so our engagement rings kissed. I doubt you will remember how she asked you to be her best man, or how your family asked me so many eager questions about the ceremony. I doubt you will remember eating apple pie in celebration.

Above all, I doubt you will remember the following Wednesday, a day that will remain infamous throughout the annals of history. I doubt you will remember the day your birth country elected a spiteful, bigoted, xenophobic man as president.

I wish I knew what the future holds for you, little X. Will you grow up in an America striving to better itself? Will you grow up feeling this is undeniably your country, your home, even if your family came from somewhere else? This place can be beautiful. This place can be a beacon of hope. But it takes a lot of struggle, a lot of perseverance, a lot of small victories and big losses. Right now it’s my generation fighting the good fight to preserve equality and peace – some day it will be yours. This day that has left so many millions of people reeling, both across America and across the world, you’ll read about in history books. It won’t feel entirely real to you, even though you’ll know you were technically alive for it. When your aunt and I talk about it, it will be with immense bitterness. When you ask how it could possibly happen, we’ll say, “It’s complicated”.

Part of me hopes you will remain in the safe majority – that you will grow up to be straight, cisgender, and pale enough to pass as one of the “good” minorities. You have been part of my family since you were born, and I would do anything in the world to protect you. At the same time, though, I know that’s not in my power. No matter what world you grow up in, you will still be a minority of one kind or another. You will still come from an immigrant family. You will still have queer relatives. You will still be full of love and goodness, and there will still be people in the world who want to crush that.

I hope you don’t let them. I can’t know what the future holds, but I can promise you I will keep fighting to make that future worthy of you. Freedom, equality, clear water, clean air – everything I fear we’ll lose might be truly lost in my generation, and in yours. But I will fight for every scrap of that future until the very end. Don’t read about this in your history book and think it happened because no one cared. We care. We’re still fighting.

– Tita Elyssa

#1845

Mother, I fear.
Mother, I grieve.
Mother, I rage.
Mother, I hurt.

I want to keep hoping but reality’s too bleak. I want to keep dreaming but I can’t deny the truth. All my life I have watched humanity poison its home and wondered, even as a young child, if I would live to see the end of the world. Back then the wars that needed fighting felt overwhelming yet hopeful; now they just feel impossible. Hope dies under the tread of police vehicles. Hope dies from pesticides and poisoned air. Hope dies in jail cells and refugee camps and factory farms. Hope dies at the stroke of a pen. Hope dies to applause, and I feel so old.

You have seen the earth turn for countless ages, Mother, and can look into a future that makes me tremble. What I can only feel approaching like a stormfront, You watch with the clarity of divinity. Do You fear, Mother? Do You grieve? Do You rage and hurt and weep for this species that is so determined to be its own undoing? Yet I feel Your spark burning in my breast and I know that even as You weep, You stand tall. Even as You rage, You teach me how to direct my anger like Your shining, burning arrows to pierce evil’s darkness. Your spark pulses inside me and I remember I am, above all else, a Daughter of Bast. Lady of the Flame, Lady of the Truth, Your strength and wisdom and ferocity are woven deep within my soul. Like You, I will love. Like You, I will fight. Like You, I will use my teeth and claws and righteous anger to protect my home. My home, this earth. My family, every living thing upon it. I am a Daughter of Bast and I do not bow my head.

In the face of darkness, Mother, help me be a source of light.
In the face of chaos, Mother, help me be a force for good.
In the face of surrender, Mother, help me be a source of strength.
In the face of bigotry, Mother, help me be a force for love.

In the face of tomorrow, Mother, help me survive today.

#1844

Hail Inanna, Queen of Heaven
She Who Makes the Fields Red!

Lady of Dawn, Lady of Dusk
hear your children as we cry out in fear!
Lend us your protection as the world turns on us
lend us your guidance as we find ourselves lost!

Lady of Life, Lady of Death
answer your children as darkness descends!
Lend us your wisdom as we face ignorance
lend us your love as we do battle with hate!

Lady of War, Lady of Slaughter
stand with your children as we cry out in pain!
Lend us your fierceness as battle approaches
lend us your fury as we fight for our lives!

Hail Inanna, Queen of Heaven
She Who Makes the Fields Red!
Hail Inanna, Triumphant in Battle
She Who Descended and Arose Again!

[ I will not sorrow today. Today I will rage. Today I will embrace wrath. Today I will dream of vengeance and make blood promises. They will not take this world without a fight. ]

#1843

Sometimes history’s repetitions are comforting, the knowledge that others have come before to fight this fight, to suffer this suffering, to stand with arms linked until the tanks or the tear gas or the water cannons mow them down. Sometimes it is enough to know this moment’s horrors aren’t unique, that we will never be the first to want these things and can never be the last to die before they are won. Sometimes being able to stand back and watch the great wheel turn, turn, turn through all of humanity’s existence offers the necessary perspective, the needed distance to see the wisdom of the larger picture.

And sometimes the wheel’s inevitable turning crushes us beneath its rim, presses us into the mud to join the bodies of those who came before. Sometimes knowing the wheel spins in place, ever turning and yet going nowhere, is a cruelty we cannot bear. Sometimes fighting the same old fights, suffering the same old sufferings, facing the same old tanks and bigots and bullets is just too much, and we wonder if there’s any point when those who come after us will face these things as well. Maybe we haven’t figured out how to learn from history yet – or maybe as long as the wheel spins in place, we can’t help but repeat the past.