o wounded Lucifer, beautiful in your pain, your wicked smile daring make it quick as the blade presses against your bared throat, there are none more perfect than you, none more suffering than you, none who dare lay claim to your crown of madness for you were born to wear it
Dreams of you leave me dizzy and exhausted, unable to grasp who or where I am. This one lingers long and I’m still half-blind from the sun reflecting off your metal wings, my ears full of the screams of your victims. I have seen you neither happier nor more powerful than as you hover in the sky raining down death, and thus never more beautiful. With minute motions of your hands you sink seabeds and thrust up cliffs, topple causeways and twist mountain ranges until they leap, suicide-like, into the roiling ocean. There is no escape for the rebels and fugitives who sought to hide in this remote corner of the country; you are barely human, devoid of empathy or concern, and their fear means nothing. What is the death of others, innocent or guilty, to you who are death itself? There is no judgement, only joy in the destruction. You are a weapon that loves its purpose.
So many dreams of pursuit, and I should have known you would be waiting at the end of them all. You are at every end, o radiant angel, and no matter where I run I always run toward you.
I am no princess
but I spend each night in a strange land watching you dance
and wake each morning exhausted.
This is no fairy tale
but I would prick my finger on a thousand spinning needles
to lose myself in your curse.
We will have no happy ending
but at the very least we will be together
at the end.
Hail to the Sun and Moon, lords of darkness and decay
Hail to the Sun and Moon, lords of light and love
Hail to the Sun and Moon, lords of my heart, lords of my life
Hail to the Sun and Moon, proud, cruel, fickle
Hail to the Sun and Moon!
In the dream I lay on my back, Daren straddling me so his knees pinned my arms to my sides. His hand clenched around my neck as he growled, “You are not just Elyssa”. He did not need to voice his unspoken threat: stop doubting us, you are not the only one who suffers from your lack of faith. Yet anger made me bold and I lifted my chin to spit back, “Prove it”. And so he kissed me. But it was a punishing kiss; his teeth tore into my lips, blood mixing with saliva, and his slender fingers tightened around my throat. His dominance promised to repeat that night beside their altar, though this time just the two of us, no gentle Tanim there to balance Daren’s rough embrace.
I woke in a daze, vision kaleidoscoping in the darkness as the dream dragged at my consciousness. I felt a hand between my legs and a presence beside my bed, yet nothing was there.
A dark stage. Tanim stares down into the glass in his hand, gives the amber liquid an idle swirl while I sought you in the last sip of laudanum, he muses aloud. From the darkness behind him, the snik snik and spark of a lighter. The flame catches, burns a small spot in the darkness to reveal Daren as he lights the cigarette poised on his lips, closes the lighter with a metallic snap. Tanim, oblivious, continues. I sought you in brothels and fight rings, and Daren, pacing, wreathed in smoke, they say madness is repeating the same action yet expecting a different result. I sought you nightly like a man possessed, Tanim finishes the drink in one long swallow, as if parched, yet you evaded me. That is not quite true, however. Tanim lifts his head, eyes searching, seeing nothing. The hand holding his glass shakes slightly less than his voice. I prayed to you; you did not reply. I prostrated myself before you; you turned your back. I courted you like a lover and yet you denied me time and time again. Daren drops the cigarette, madness is repeating the same action despite knowing you shall never produce a different result, leaves it burning in the background while he moves closer. I loved you most dearly of all hence we enter this dance again yet you are fickle, o death not because we hope to change the ending and I have winced in the light of so many unwanted dawns but because we know we cannot. Tanim, with a sigh, Can this be the end now? Can I be done? Come, fifth sword, and cut down this hanging man. I am so tired. Daren steps into the candlelight, lays a gentle hand on his jaw. Hello, brother, softly. Did I keep you waiting overlong? Tanim’s weak smile, oh sweet relief, oh final mercy. Never. They kiss. The gleam of the blade in Daren’s hand is the last movement seen before the stage goes completely dark. The glass hits the floor, shatters. The cigarette burns itself out.
There must be times when you hurt more than others, because some nights you run me through all your old wounds at once. You plunge me down, yank me up, brief immersions into this death, that argument, the first night, the last night. It’s as if you’re urging, Remember this? And this? And this? You must remember all of it, every detail, every second, you must preserve them all, remember, remember! Do you really think I could forget any of it, though? Or do you just need someone in which to spill it over sometimes to ease your own burden? I don’t mind either way. I’ve cried your tears and choked on your last breaths; I’ve sat up with you at night as you fought withdrawal or overdose. Your pain and I are old friends, and I can always make time for a friend.