#1939

“Tangaloor, fire-bright
Flame-foot, farthest walker
Your hunter speaks
In need he walks
In need but never in fear”

– First-Walker prayer, Tailchaser’s Song

As Fritti Tailchaser spoke this prayer into the darkness of his final moments, goosebumps crept up my arms. Though ancient texts do not name Tangaloor Firefoot or his brothers as children of Kemet’s Bast, in the moment I read that passage Her presence was overwhelming. I felt compelled to memorize the prayer, should I ever need to call on Lord Tangaloor’s aid, and I have been mentally repeating it like a mantra for days. I can’t seem to let it go; its words slip over my tongue like prayer beads and bring me as much comfort.

The experience has me considering the role fiction can play in our worship, and in the wills of the gods themselves. After all, the gods speak to us in myriad ways. If we listen, we find their messages are everywhere, in forms and faces we might not expect. I think it is thus with Bast, who can be found in the religion of the felines in Tailchaser’s Song (Tad Williams) and the creation myth in The Wild Road (Gabriel King). Rereading these books as an adult, I finally recognize Bast’s purposeful influence in these stories. Their authors are extremely talented, and I don’t mean to say they couldn’t invent such a story on their own, but Her role is too obvious for me to overlook. When I mentally smack my head for not realizing the connection sooner, I hear Her gentle laughter. She made these stories come into being. She wanted them to be read. She wants them to mean something to me. They feel like scripture, like missing pieces, but I can’t yet figure out where they fit. If my thoughts seem scattered and incomplete, it’s because they are. I’m going mostly by feeling, here.

Below are the creation stories from both Tailchaser’s Song and The Wild Road. I feel compelled to preserve them somewhere, to make them available to other followers of Bast. Do with them what you will – and let me know if you feel the same power within their lines as I do. Luck dancing, friends!

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#1938

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Hers are a sorceress’ hands, all silver rings and long white fingers. The left wields a saber or a stiletto or a pistol, whichever the moment calls for. The right once held a hook, but now arm and metal have melded into something black and many-clawed. Her hands are a book of shadows made flesh; they raise whirlwinds, call forth lightning, summon rain and ravens and monstrous things from the deep. Just as easily, though, do they steer a ship or climb rigging, lower sails and raise anchors, get dirty and bloody. Her hands weren’t meant for an exile’s life – they should know only the touch of silk and velvet, they should be adorned with delicate jewels – yet they serve her admirably. With her right hand she tears the light from the sky, and with the left she raises herself up a queen of wrath and ruin.

#1937

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His are a sick man’s hands, slender and pale. In another life they might have belonged to a pianist or a violinist, but instead they belong to someone who cares not for beauty or creation. His hands prefer knives, small and sharp, though broken glass or shards of metal will do; it is the edge that counts, and speed. His hands make every movement a dance, whether lighting a cigarette or wiping blood from his mouth, and they might be beautiful if they did not seem so strangely menacing. After all, these hands remember IVs and wrist restraints, locked doors and starched sheets. These hands remember forced captivity and are ready always to attack or defend, fight or flee, to do what they must to retain precious freedom. His hands might shake with cold or ache from old wounds, but they know where and how to plunge the blade and they will be steady when the time comes.

#1936

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His are a rich man’s hands, smooth and strong. His fingers could knot a tie in the dark and discern Armani from Prada from Dolce and Gabbana with just a touch. Crystal decanters, gold watches, diamond cufflinks, his hands have held and discarded more fortunes than most will see in a lifetime. These hands served him well in the world of blue blood and white teeth, where a firm handshake might speak more clearly than words. Having left that world behind, these steady, capable hands have learned to wield a syringe with care and how to make a stranger climax in a dirty restroom. His hands never cared for the money and riches that passed through them, but they strip clothing and grasp flesh with the hungry strength of the addict. So, too, do they twist hair in misery, hurl glasses in anger, light cigarette after cigarette until the ashtray is full and the bottle is empty.

#1930

I fight the desire to find some hidden hole in which to die, but it becomes harder every day. I made that choice once and he found me anyway, just this side of in-time, and look what that got me. He’d turn the whole city upside down searching for me if I did it again, and so would do me no good. But still my animal instincts urge me to hide somewhere, anywhere; in the closet or the bathroom, beneath the bed, on the roof, in the fucking walls if possible. Death is a private thing, and having been born alone and lived alone, I would prefer to go out the same way. There is nothing romantic about dying in your lover’s arms, of that I can assure you. Better to die alone and save them the misery of the aftermath, and yourself the guilt of leaving.

#1928

[ This is the kind of BS I waste my time on. (I’m not sorry.) ]

Mage’s Lament


There are few who’d deny, at what I do I am the best
For my villainy’s renowned far and wide
When it comes to destruction on a moonless night
I excel without ever even trying

With the slightest little effort of my fiendish charms
I have seen my enemies turn white
With a wave of my sword and a well-placed jab
I have sent the very bravest to their graves

Yet world after world, it’s the same routine
And I grow so weary of my captive’s screams
And I, Mage, the Pirate Queen
Have grown so tired of this wrongdoing

Oh, somewhere deep inside this black heart
I think I’m just playing a part
There’s got to be more out there than this
I’ve spent too long fighting Alice

I’m the mistress of pain, can be held by no chain
And I leave a red trail in my path
To foil Alice and her friends, I broke the light’s lens
Now I’m known for my hate and my wrath

And since I’m so skilled, I can’t count all I’ve killed
Though I’m sure it’s ridiculously high
No animal nor man can slay like I can
Which I’m sure my victim’s ghosts could testify

But who here would try to understand
That the Pirate Queen with the murderous grin
Has tired of her reign, if they only understood
She’d give it all up if she only could

Oh, there’s a restlessness in my soul
That can’t be eased with bullet holes
The infamy I used to adore
Just doesn’t cheer me anymore

#1925

I pray you never know what your lover looks like curled up on the bathroom tile, trembling and covered in a cold sweat. I pray you never know what his voice sounds like scraped raw and coated in blood. I pray you never know what his cracked lips taste like or how erratically his heart beats beneath his pale skin. I pray you never know the urge to cut out your tongue and eyes, scrape off your skin and mutilate your ears, anything to stop seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling the end as it approaches.