Jan. 30th, 2014

[identity profile] gaueko-erebus.livejournal.com
Before Dawn
The fields and woods


Of course I went to him, kneeling before him, and he blessed me with his touch and his essence. He said that I could stay if I wished, but I said no, I would run with his fire, perhaps draw them away, but I also knew that he would want to do this alone. I understand that. He kissed me, then, and told me we would go together, even if he fell, we would go together into the shadow. And I took that knowledge, that comfort, with me as I vanished into the woods.

I knew the moment the battle began, between Sugaar and the cunt from the Carnival, the miserable piece of godspawn their leaders shat out. I knew, and I gnashed my teeth and howled and gnawed at my own legs at Sugaar's pain, but I wouldn't interfere. I understand the need to fight your own battles.

But if he had died, if he had died, you fucking rancid piece of spirit-scum, you would have found me in the shadows, all teeth and rage, oh yes you would

But he didn't die. He didn't win, but he didn't die, and I stayed away when they came to him again, because I knew that he wouldn't want me witnessing his humiliation. I lay and I moaned as the fuckers came to him, and then...

He isn't dead. I would know the very moment he died, because my heart would shatter. But he is...diminished. The feel of him in this world and the next has faded, his star has winked out, leaving nothing but the flickering candleglow that the rest of the meat-beings in this world give off. And I knew. Of course. Under other circumstances I'd admire the fucking sadism.

Your soul stays with you... until the end of things. And then you can come with me into the dark.

But now the end of things had come, and there is no dark to follow my master into...there is only a dimness, a flickering flame that could be snuffed out at any time. And I am still here.

I rage in the last hours of the night. Most of the beasts have already fled, but I find the stupid, the blind, the young and the old that were left behind. I paint the forest in blood as I howl, froth dripping from my jaws, the darkness shuddering around me. Perhaps I should weep, but instead there is fury, and there is blood, and there is the dark.

Dawn is streaking the sky when I come back to myself, my fur matted with blood, strings of meat tangling between my teeth. I should take man again, but for once I see little point. It would be going into that same, crippled, half-existence no matter what form I took, and that makes me gnash my teeth and wish for more small creatures to rend and tear.

But it's then that I think. Sugaar was forced from his bright star-body into this meat form, stripped and reduced and diminished. And I can't change that, no matter how hard I wish, no matter what sacrifice I made. But perhaps there's another sacrifice I can make. A choice. It would be just like sliding into the shadow, shedding this body as a snake sheds its skin...but this time the dark would take more, as it has always wanted. And I would let it.

I remember Aatxe, lying in the mud and his own filth, staring at me with stupid cow's eyes. I remember how I hated him.

Forgive me, old friend. I understand you better now. I think, raising my head to meet the dawn for the last time.

****

And so it is, several hours later, that a great black dog with a tangled, muddy coat found the boy who wept and raged against the earth. The boy, wracked with sobs, and with furrows down his cheeks. And the dog, wagging his tail with dumb, animal hope, pressed his nose against the boy's hand and began to lick the blood from his fingers.

[OPEN to IBLIS]
[identity profile] mistresswanda.livejournal.com
After the dust has settled.
Outside the water tower


Yesterday

I came out, as the sun started to set. He's not here. I hadn't realized how much He had permeated this town until He no longer did. All I could compare it to was... breathing freely after some great weight had been lifted from your chest. I could suddenly breathe again. But still, I had to be sure. I had to see for myself.

I ascended the stairs without fear. After what I had endured, survived, what had I to fear of heights? I pushed open the door with my sword blade, not knowing what to expect---

but somehow, I did not expect this. And yet, I should have, for it was all a grand production, wasn't it? I wandered amongst the discarded furniture, a stack of little girl's dresses I will not weep! and a rack of dresses that might have resembled a red wedding gown I wore in a former life. Books and bottles, tea cups and trinkets; a space filled with things that meant something to someone, I suppose. Things to tempt, things to tease, things best forgotten. A oaken cabinet I recognized, a bed of twisted vines, a tea table I saw in a book of Miao's once... And in the middle, a throne. A throne a prince might have sat on, now forgotten and worn. I sank down in it, and sat there alone in the gathering gloom for a very long time, feeling very much like the cat that cared not that she gazed upon a king; slouched to one side, leg thrown casually over a arm rest. Sat and thought and replayed everything in my mind...

And then I rose. I placed a necklace with a stone as dark as a starless night and a ring with a black heart on the threadbare cushioned seat, and I left with them a thousand memories, and then I turned away. Went back down the stairs, and told the two I trusted with this task they could start whenever they were ready. But not to take anything out. Leave it all there.

Today

I stand alone on a bluff overlooking the tower. There are only about two dozen people here to witness what is to be done. I doubt it is really necessary, but I think this is important. Symbolic. It is also my last official act as Mayor. Edmund White will be sworn in tomorrow. I can think of no one better to lead Excolo into the future as I shut the door on the past.

I watch as Kent and Ares make a sweep of the area one last time, to make sure everyone is back far enough. The all clear is given, and they look back to me, waiting on my signal. Ares' looks like this is the world's best party and Kent looks... determined. I take a breath, raise my arm....

then drop it. The fuse is lit, and I watch it snake and flare through the tall grass as my husband and my friend run----

The explosion is loud, and the force of it knocks a few people off their feet.

But not I.

I stand my ground, and watch the past go up in flames.

closed
[identity profile] tezcatl-ipoca.livejournal.com
After the end, time unknown

And the wire snaps.

I scream, thin human sound, and start to run, barefoot and right now entirely mortal.  I'd know if he was gone.  I'd know it.  He must be here somewhere.  He must.

I look for him and look for him.  There is dust, smoke, blood, things and people fighting.  I go through it all blindly, again and again, like running my hands through loose grain over and over, everything slipping through my fingers.  I can't find him.  I can't find him.  I search until my feet start bleeding again, from grit and broken glass in the once-clean streets.

In the dawn there is an explosion, and I go out to the tower on bloody feet and it's a dead and broken shell, hollow, only the smell of cordite and a fading illusion-magic still trying to make me see what it thinks I want to see.  There's nothing in it.  He's not there.

He's not here.

Things are dying down.  Dying.

I go to Management in the end.  I'm not afraid.  I'm too tired to be afraid.  I know they fought.  I know he was - protective of me, in the way someone else would have been scared of me going near them.  I don't care any more.

It should be different in there with them.  But everything's the same, except even the hairs on my arms are too tired to rise.  I don't think they're very interested in me any more.  I know the smell of triumph, can hear it in their dry, haha, yes and, run along, dear boy, run along and play.  As they tell me what they did.

I look harder.  He'll be in danger now.  He's human, as I've been when I've been human and stupid and he's - loved me anyway.  The town is trying to put itself back together as it shook itself apart, Nanshe-saturated, people helping one another through the ruin.  Kindness to kindness.  I'll find him, I will.  I will.

I don't.

Closed
[identity profile] marbasthefallen.livejournal.com
In an empty field, twilight
A fortnight later


I sat there and started at the space that once held a dilapidated water tower for a very long time. It seems almost inconceivable that it's gone...

almost as inconceivable as what befell Iblis.

Oh, I will admit I felt a moment of prideful satisfaction; let us see how you enjoy being trapped in a flesh suit!, but no... what those creatures did to him was much more than that. More fulsome. The did not trap him, they remade him.

And then the horror replaced the amusement.

Not him. Never him. He should not be so reduced; diminished. The brightest, the most beloved...
And I wept.

And then... the world stopped. Time stopped. And I was no longer alone.

لدي اقتراح بالنسبة لك، معالج ....

And I wept at the sound of his voice, for I had not heard it since before recorded time began.

*************************************

It may have been centuries we talked, or a fraction of a second. I could never gauge time within The Presence of Ahura Mazda.

And I have been called upon to serve man once again; but as a necessary evil. To fill a void that Iblis left.

تفهم الحاجة إلى كل من الظلام والضوء، وكنت أفهم أنه أفضل من جميع أولادي.

I pinch the bridge of my nose and take a deep breath.

"Lilith..." I breathe into the air. We have much to discuss.

(Open to Lilith)
[identity profile] hopenotfaith.livejournal.com
Two years later
At The Dormouse


Bin a busy day 'ere. Sunshiney sort o'day, so we put out tables an' chairs on the street. Really drew people in, so we'll prob'ly keep doin' it.

"Might need a permit," grumbled Faith, an' I smiled.

"Good thing'm married to the mayor, then," I said.

Still enjoyin' runnin' the tea shop. Feels like ours, now, not Miss Wanda's. Got a letter from 'er a while back. 'Ad a postcard of the new place she's livin'. Card took ages to get 'ere, think she sent it months ago. Ain't like there's a regular system. But it reached us, an' Faith 'eld my 'and so I could see it. The coast. Stroke a picture of the wave with my finger an' smile. Glad she's 'appy an' safe. Wonder what our Genny's up to, an' all the rest. 'Ear from them from time to time, but don't reckon the carnival'll ever be back 'ere, an' I don't blame 'em. 'Ope Nu's growin' up strong. So strange to think she was born jus' six months before my little girl.

Joy's such a good little thing. Toddles about in the shop, but 'ardly ever cries or frets. She is a joy to all of us, an' with me an' Faith's names, seemed good to 'ave another virtue. 'Cept to me she feels more like a blessin'.

Gettin' ready to close up now. Faith clears up, then kisses me goodbye cos she's off on a date. Been on a few dates with the same person. Might even be serious. I'd like that for 'er, though I don't dare bring it up. Use my cane to tap my way over to the door, then feel for the sign an' turn it over t'CLOSED. Sit down at a table to drink a cup o'tea before 'eadin' 'ome. Joy clambers up into my lap an' starts describin' 'er cookie t'me. Learned early that she's got to tell me 'ow things look, an' she's already talkin' a lot. Kiss the top of 'er 'ead an' smile. 'S good to feel at 'ome. Edmund should be leavin' the office soon to walk me back, an' I've got some news for 'im.

[Open to Edmund]

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