A little boy, about three years of age, runs awkwardly after a ball, laughing delightedly as a young couple – probably the parents – look on. A young girl, with dark tousled hair, stands on an iron gate that slowly swings open and shut. The house behind her is dark and ominous, but her eyes are darker still. A sudden fire takes on the field opposite. People are screaming and running, and everything is a sea of red, until there’s a familiar soothing voice calling for calm, even as a mad little girl, wearing a dragon helmet, hops away with the elves into the surrounding woods.
The crowd gives the crowned crones chance and chance again to redeem themselves. The crowd gets no second chance. And the Mother of the Earth drinks in the blood of a million of her children, and cries in silent anguish. Especially at the blood of the innocent. And it lines the snow, no matter how much snow falls. The Blood is Strong.
A little girl laughs, as she kneels in the dirt, surrounded by four little pups leaping as they try to reach at her face. A shadow falls on a village. It begins to rain. And, it never stops. Someone mentions that it’s raining blood, and I hold out my hand only to see that it’s true. But, it is not only blood that the rain stands for. Red is the color of Passion. Red is the color of Rage. Red is the color of Lust, of Betrayal, and yes, of Blood. But, it all begins and ends with Love.
It’s still raining when we meet the gray wolf. He sees only me. And the ice begins to melt, but it never stops raining. He begins to run, slowly at first, and it is easy to keep up. But, soon, we are racing across lands so vast that my head would spin, were I not so keen on keeping up. And the wolf stops, and I think, maybe I’m a wolf too.
But then I notice the dress I’m wearing, and it’s the wrong color. I never wear white. But, it’s snowing everywhere and there’s no other way not to be seen. The Wolf growls and suddenly we’re running again, only this time, it’s fear and panic, and thorns tear at my skin and dress alike, the wolf moving further and further away.
And, suddenly, I have fallen.
A fat king laughs at a jester’s joke, while in the woods the lions roar and the wolves howl and no man dares to go. The wind is cold, and the rain is even colder. It stings the flesh as it falls, and the King’s court titters and flees from the storm. Their pleasant tones and colorful garbs hiding terrible, vile secrets; secrets they trade amongst each other, even as they profess their loyalty to the realm. In the distance, the wolves begin to howl.
Only Blood can pay the price of blood, he says, his eyes half-mad with the ghost of his child. The fire only burns higher and higher, as two infants shriek endlessly into the night.
“Confess!” shouts an ancient priest, and a raven caws noisily at the girl’s shoulder, even as she turns around to look me straight in the eye. When she doesn’t answer, soldiers come and drag her out the giant hall, but she never looks away. I want to tell her that it’s no use, and that I’m only dreaming, but she looks like me, and I think she already knows.
Suddenly, everything is burning. The horns are sounding. And, outside the walls of the tower, the city erupts in madness. For an instant, it is a lifetime ago, and a fair-headed young child embraces her older brother warmly as he returns from a hunt. In the tower, the girl’s eyes are as fevered as the King’s. Her brother kisses her brow, and she finally falls asleep. Her brother begins to cry.
Only Blood can pay for Blood.
A lonely howl fills the night air.
But the infants have been silenced.
Until the skies themselves begin to rain fire.