Be careful when promising your firstborn! Make sure you stipulate your first born human child, blood of your blood and flesh of your flesh. Otherwise the fae with whom you made the fateful arrangement might one day come for your first novel, your first painting, your first album. They are wily ones who find even the smallest loopholes in an agreement; if that contract isn’t airtight, it won’t matter if you never have a child in the traditional sense. On the day you complete your first and most precious creation, no matter what form it takes, the fae will come knocking. Will the bargain have been worth it when they leave with the product of your sweat, blood, and tears?
o wicked winter, o sinful summer, let me curl up behind your ribs to slumber amid your shared madness, let me bear witness to the cacophony of your frenzied union, blood and sweat and insatiable hunger, you are a discordant melody shivering toward a violent climax, a dissonant hymn to addiction and adoration played out on bruised flesh by forceful hands
“Then leave your schemes alone // adore the rising sun // and leave a man alone to his fate.”
We need no one’s pity, he sneers in my mind, nor did we ever want it. I remember how those lyrics fueled my indignation and anger – his indignation, their anger, I suppose – so many years ago. That anyone should suggest I change the story, or that I could even do so and thus apparently refused, offended me to my very core. I understand now, though, that I was even more so offended by the presumption that the story needed to be changed at all. Who are you to question the order of things?, I should have said. Who are you to question the necessity or fairness of another’s fate? I knew so much less then than I do now, however, and it had not yet occurred to me that most people will simply never understand what it is I record. All I knew was that I felt not comforted by their concern, but frustrated, disappointed, impatient. It’s an insult, he growls, and I nod in agreement. They do not need your pity. We do not need your pity.
“Ghosts Appear and Fade Away”
iPod gathers dust
the absence of long gone friends
haunts its graveyard songs
[ This is the kind of BS I waste my time on. (I’m not sorry.) ]
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
I used to wonder, late at night when I wandered between streetlights and shadows on a chilly, quiet campus, what it would be like to sing with you. Listening to the songs that conjured your spirit, if not your presence, I wondered which part you would take; would your voice be higher than mine, light and lilting, or would it reach even deeper notes than I could? I’d sit on cold stone steps and imagine you huddled against me, us sharing scant body warmth as we watched our voices drift away in ghostly breaths of melody. You were for so many years a siren calling to me from third-hand sources, and I the lost sailor traveling sightless in the hopes of finding you at the end of my journey. What I did not know I heard in this music was my willingness to break upon the rocks, should that be my only way to glimpse you. The lyrics did not speak this immutable truth; the notes did not spell it on their staves; yet I absorbed it nonetheless. Thus when you did finally find me, I came to you as the sailor longing to wreck, as the tower maiden eager to jump, as the innocent girl who wanted never to find her way home from Wonderland. And you? You remained as I had imagined you: the siren calling, calling, calling in the dark for the only one who could hear her voice. Now I know exactly what our voices sound like blended together, and all the words in the world can’t describe such beauty.
[in-kawr-pawr-ee-uh l, -pohr-]
1. Not corporeal or material; insubstantial.
2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of nonmaterial beings.
Ghosts are incorporeal. Incorporeal means no hands to hold, no fingers to clutch, no mouth to bite and swallow. Incorporeal means ghosts cannot have or keep. Give back, then, the songs you took from me. Give back the books, the movies, the places and people and names. Ghosts are not allowed to lay claim to the corporeal; only the living can, and I am so very much alive. I grow more alive by the day, while you grow deader and deader. I bet you’ve already forgotten what it feels like to be made of flesh and blood, sensation and experience, haven’t you? What a pity. All those wonderful things you’re trying to hold onto are wasted on your scrap of weightless soul – so why don’t you give them back to someone who can fully appreciate their worth?