I could not care less if my death should be ruled a murder or a suicide. It is merely a question of semantics; at the core they seem identical to me. After all, if I stay, if I let you wrap your lovely hands around my neck in the dark of some night, who is really to blame – you for your action or myself for my inaction? To whom should my death be attributed, and why should I care one way or another when I am gone? The beauty of that final moment is that we are together, conjoined in our shared sin and experiencing its climax as one. Your squeezing hands, my bruising skin, they are really not so different. Here, darling, take the last breath off my lips and keep it as your own. You may call it a trophy or a suicide note, I do not care.
Sometimes I feel I must burn like a torch in the darkness, lit from within by divinity’s gift, sunlight and moonglow and starshine pouring out my eyes, my open mouth, my skin all aglow and hair stirring in the heat. Sometimes I feel I must be overflowing with love, radiating the hot fire of my devotion so brightly that moths dance in my light, cats drowse in my warmth, and those around me can’t help but notice my incandescence, even if they cannot comprehend the source. Sometimes I feel I am born of fire, shaped by stars and moonlight, and the love with which I flare is infinite, a blessing to embrace and then release back to the universe in a never ending cycle.
[ The above image was created by my amazingly talented frienemy Inno! Her art is beautiful, as is her writing, and she takes commissions! *hint hint* Visit her Patreon to see more, and consider supporting her! ]
[ And MORE questions about Tanim and Daren, courtesy of the girlfriend. Once again, if you have any of your own, leave them in the comments below. Thanks! ]
19) If they could own any famous piece of art, what would they own?
I think Tanim would want to own Michelangelo’s Pieta. I mean, go big or go home, right? Tanim would appreciate the piece for its pure artistry, but also for the emotional impact of it as well. He in some ways is drawn to the story of Christ, though that’s another question for another day. I can also see Tanim preferring classical art and antiquities more than modern art, mostly because he would have been raised around fine art and probably be kind of a snob.
I think Daren might like to own The Anguished Man, or a similarly creepy and supposedly cursed/haunted work of art. He’d half want to own it just to prove he wasn’t afraid of a stupid rumor, and half to see if the rumor was actually true. I think he’d relish the challenge of facing off a ghost or whatever was causing trouble, and be secretly pleased to be able to say a big “fuck you” to the spirit world, as well as the real world. Or maybe he’d just enjoy the chaos it would cause for those around him – who knows?
20) If they were in the Inception universe, what would their totems be?
Daren’s totem would be his silver lighter. Only he would know its specific weight and feel (smooth, but dented and scuffed in certain placed), and only he would know if it would light in the dream or not. Tanim’s totem would be a bullet modified to a specific weight and filled with a rolled up slip of paper instead of gunpowder. Only he would know the weight of the bullet and what was written on the paper. I think Tanim would need a very original and complex totem, because he could otherwise be lost in the dream quite easily.
Oh, and although she didn’t ask, let me expand on this enough to say Tanim would be the dreamer and Daren the architect. And yes, it would be as creepy and terrifying as that sounds. I might have to write something about that… hmm…
21) What gardening implement would each of them use as a murder weapon?
Tanim would go for something blunt – maybe a shovel or a hatchet of some sort. Or a hammer, if that counts as a gardening tool. Daren would, of course, go for something sharp – maybe shears, a cultivator, or a small saw. He’d love a scythe, of course. I think either of them would have fun with a nail gun.
22) If they were gods from The Wicked and the Divine, what would their stage personas look like?
Being the Sun and Moon, they would probably perform together. They would both dress in all black, though Tanim would show more skin, and both would wear stylized half-masks – silver for Daren and gold for Tanim. They would also wear silver and gold jewelry, respectively, with a celestial/pagan theme. Their style of dress and music would be very reminiscent of Placebo. The one thing I’m not sure about is their hair… I’m not sure if it would be long, like their original Sun and Moon forms, or more modern. They might switch between the two. After all, they’re gods.
23) What would they dress up as for Halloween?
Well, I’ve already written something where they dressed up as Vicious and Vincent from Cowboy Bebop, but that was just me being a fangirl. (It totally works, though!) Anyway, I can see Tanim really getting into the Halloween spirit. I bet in his single years he loved having a holiday completely themed around being anonymous for the night. I could see him going as anything for which he could wear a nice suit and maybe a mask; vampire, demon, Phantom of the Opera, Dorian Gray, perhaps a particularly well dressed werewolf. (Oh! Or Baphomet from WicDiv.) I’m not sure how easy it would be to get Daren to wear a Halloween costume, though. He might refuse to dress up, wear his usual all black, and get mistaken for the Grim Reaper anyway. Or a vampire. Or a ghost. Or a murderer. I mean, really, Daren’s scary enough that he doesn’t really need a costume. And everyone would do a double-take when they realized the knife in his hand wasn’t fake. That being said, the man looks pretty damn cool with skull makeup.
24) What books would they re-read often?
Tanim would probably re-read the Under the Poppy trilogy by Kathe Koja and Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner often. He might also really like Roger Zelazney’s Chronicles of Amber; I can see him identifying in many ways with the main character, Corwin. I think Tanim would also like queer fiction, especially queer speculative fiction, so he’d read things like the Wilde Stories collections that come out every year and other collections by Steve Berman.
Daren would probably re-read a lot of Kathe Koja’s work, especially Strange Angels, The Cipher, and Bad Brains. I can definitely see him liking her strange, almost delusional style of writing and her supremely fucked up characters. I think he’d also like Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill and other similar horror, especially anything by Lee Thomas.
I’m not sure if either of them would be drawn to a book like Bel Canto, but I know they’d both love the ending – though for different reasons. And I think they would both be drawn to reading religious books like the Bible, Quran, and Torah, though again for different reasons.
roses are red
Daren’s disdain is black
perhaps we should go now
I don’t need a knife in my back
Body recalls the weight of silk, velvet, sculpted armor, fingers heavy with moonstones and amber, wrists dripping with gold and silver; the warmth of bodies embraced, murmured devotions, lips wet with salty tears. Heart remembers the agony of separation and the anticipation of each brief meeting, pulse beating against the vice grip of bitter, beautiful love; and the icy electric shock of confusion, dawning understanding, horror and sorrow and forgiveness. Soul cannot deny the phantom pressure of the blade slicing through velvet and flesh to pierce the life within, golden blood spattering pale hands; nor the bond, marrow deep and unbreakable, which drives every part of this unending cycle: passion, betrayal, acceptance, grief, sacrifice, reunion, again and again and again. Though the mind may succeed in repression, the body and heart and soul still retain memory of the dawn and dusk, summer and winter, life and death. Radiance. Darkness. Love.
[ My long-time friend and nemesis Inno Tenshi drew these gorgeous pictures of Tanim and Daren in their Sun and Moon forms (including designing the outfits herself), so I of course had to write something to go with them. Check out her Tumblr for more amazing, bad ass art. I am crazy jealous of her skillz. ]
Who were you before?
I long to know that man, too
I will love his ghost
[ The newest picture I commissioned from the amazingly talented E. M. Engel. I can’t get over her gorgeous artwork! Also, check out my banner; it rotates between pictures of my lovely boys each time you refresh. …and yes, I’ve been clicking obsessively just to look at Tanim and Daren. I’m not obsessed, I swear. ]
“What did you call me?”
“What?” Tanim cast a bemused glance over his shoulder as he poured two bourbons from the bar. “When?”
“Before,” Daren waved vaguely and lounged back against the couch. “Back when you were doing the cute lonely-stalker thing. You didn’t know my name for months but you’ve said before you couldn’t stop thinking about me then, so you must have called me something in your head.” A sly smile crept over his lips as he added, “Or your dreams. So… what was it?”
“What makes you think I called you anything?” Tanim sank down beside him, holding out one tumbler while he sipped nonchalantly at the other in a poor effort to hide the blush burning his cheeks. “That’s rather arrogant of you.” Daren smirked over the rim of his own glass. “Never play poker, dear,” he replied with a pitying head shake. “You’re terrible at bluffing.” Setting down his drink untouched, he leaned in to toy with an errant lock of Tanim’s hair. “Come on, it can’t be that bad. Just tell me; I won’t drop it otherwise.”
“No, you won’t, will you,” Tanim managed a glare at the attempt to sway him but his heart wasn’t in it. He never could resist that mischievous smile, so rare and therefore too cherished to fault as it was. Sliding his gaze down to the glass clenched in his hand he gave in and muttered, “Angel. I called you Angel.”
“Angel?” Daren choked on a snort of skeptic surprise, one pale eyebrow jumping high. “Why? My sparkling personality?”
“I don’t know,” Tanim kept his eyes averted to hide his embarrassment, though Daren’s remark soothed the sting of it a bit. “It was just the first thing that came to mind when I saw you. And then I couldn’t shake it. It felt right. You were so distant, so cold, so…” he traced the rim of his glass as he searched for the right word, “perfect. Someone I desperately wanted but could never have.” A foolish, impulsive smile tugged his lips and with a shrug he downed the last of his drink before adding, “It’s stupid, I know.”
“It’s not stupid,” Daren’s laugh teased but his eyes were kind. “It’s… oddly sweet, really. Maybe a little cheesy, and just a bit desperate, but still sweet.” He shifted nearer as if preparing to divulge a great secret and murmured, “You were wrong, though.” The empty tumbler fell forgotten from Tanim’s hand as Daren took hold of his tie and drew him in for a kiss, a devious smirk spreading over his face as he corrected, “I’m no angel.”
[ The third of my planned commissions from the amazingly talented Megan Engel (not the last, of course, but the last while I have no spending money). I figured if I had a serious one and a sweet/sad one, I needed a sexy one as well. It’s not all doom and gloom with my boys, after all. …just most of the time. ]