“Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived in a small glade surrounded by a ring of thornbush.
Thicker than thought,
Wings replaced words-
That jagged form steady against the dream it would build.
“It wasn’t your fault,” the woman said to the wolf.
“Are you safe now? Did you banish him?”
“I'm working on it.” Means no.
The road north to Duskwood was painted so clear in Rethelia's eyes it could have been paved in blood, a vein she could trace by running a finger up her arm. She knew the trees along the way like she knew her own scars- yet today she counted them.
Thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine...
Hammock rope pulled at her sides, bound her against the salty air. Those simple strands held her together. She listened to them creek through the dark part of the morning and felt their gentle swing as they kept her limbs from shaking.
Sometimes she was aware of Odeon close by. Mostly he was lost to that quiet section of her mind that kept her breathing- the part that was tied to the present. Booty Bay. They were in Booty Bay.
Her lips were stinging from the sea, from that short step out into yesterday's sun to wash the past month from her face. She couldn't wash the words. The demon's voice coiled like a snake. It nested in her ear and rattled at her.
“You were born quiet and still. Your mother was dying.”
“The pact was made with your father.”
She couldn't help it. Confusion flooded her face.
It washed a wrinkle in her brow and wedged a space between her lips to fill her lungs.
She could not speak, so he spoke for her.
I guess I'll post first today instead of right before midnight.
...I have bedimm'd
The noontide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault
Set roaring war: to the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire and rifted Jove's stout oak
With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory
Have I made shake and by the spurs pluck'd up
The pine and cedar: graves at my command
Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let 'em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure, and, when I have required
Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book.
~Shakespeare, The Tempest
He planted the seed.
He prayed for rain.
“You were always prettier in pieces.”
"This sheltering midnight is our meeting place,
No passion or despair or hope divide me from your side."
Tired, Vaughan Williams
Lovely when we started,
The illusion of control,
He leaves presents in his wake.
Dust shaved from temple stone, mountain roots, and bone,
Sandy, coarse reminders in my pockets and between sun-burned toes-
That I might take him with me.
Sorned flesh sinks to bone,
Weaves nettled nets around
A readied frame.
The words are carved in cracked fel stone,
They mark a quiet, moss-washed grave,
They're whispered in penitent parched-lipped prayers
And spelled in scars the fire gave.
They shape a lesson old and lean,
Teach sleepless nights, in script worn thin:
Inaction is not innocence.
Silence still can sin.