The One Thing

Is it really so difficult to do?
The one thing I truly ask of you?
Anything for me, you’d always say
So please leave me alone, get out of my way.

There’s nothing for you here,
and my patience is thinning.
I’m tired of your lies,
this cycle of atonement and sinning.
Go where you must,
you know i will not stop you,
turn into fire or dust,
there’s nothing left to be true to.
Continue or cease breathing,
Just leave me alone.
Your heart may be bleeding,
but mine has turned to stone.

And i shall not ask again
so don’t mistake this for a request
You may want to haunt the city of men,
but, leave me to find my rest.
And, so, don’t come knocking on my door.
for if you do, you’ll find it barred.
You may delight in sleeping on the cold hard floor,
but i’ve had my fill of scars.
And, i know you think, you truly believe
that my hatred will come to an end,
but what you want, you will never receive
And you will think thrice before calling me a friend.

So, please, leave me alone and get out of my way.
Anything for me, you would always say
Then why is it so hard for you to do
the one thing that i truly ask of you?

.
Prompt: First three lines from 14.03.2013

Molten

I cannot hold you in my hands anymore
Flowing out of my veins, like lava in flames
Shining like an intense ocean of red and gold
if I choose to burn, is it not only I who is to blame?

Though sometimes I still dream of that very first time
That my ice-cold soul felt the burn of your skin
Around your fingers, you wrapped my reeling mind
Leaving my edges on steam, and my core, molten.

And you should know I’ve been melting ever since
First in cracks that trickled, then in streams that screamed
And I wonder if you ever truly were the lost prince
Or simply a lord from some nightmarish tale I once dreamed.

My love, how can I follow you any further into this night?
When I know not the way through the depths of your mind
I set out following the treacherous moon and its light
Only to leave myself somewhere too far behind.

And now the embers falling from my skin
from all the places we have touched
are all I have to light my way of sin
Not enough, but always too much

I like to believe I’ll catch up with you sometime
Before going up in flames, or melting out of sight
And if being too weak to help you was my only crime
Then I hope at least my pyre provides you with light.

 

Storms and Cottages

He woke up with a start upon hearing the heavy wooden door to the cottage swing open, drenched in sweat, and his hair all disheveled, yet instinctively reaching out for the sword. Before remembering that he had lent it to her.

It was hers in the first place, said a niggling voice at the back of his mind.

“It’s just me”, she whispered to him, the quietness of the cottage hidden away from the snowstorm outside suddenly too much to bear. Her eyes drifted to his slowly healing bruises and he looked away, scowling. He waited until she had knelt by the fire to stoke it before risking another glance at her. She appeared alright, he thought, as she placed the sword beside the door.

It was much too large for her anyway.

“Why are you smiling?”, she asked, curious. He blinked at her blankly for a second, before giving her a curt nod and gingerly laying himself down again, even as she turned to unpack the medicinal herbs and plants that she had been out collecting, wary yet hopeful that they would suffice.

“Did you run into any trouble?”, he asked, and her hands shook as she remembered the horrors of a nearby village she had stumbled upon, terrorized by a pack of vicious dogs, and their even crueler masters. They had followed her into the forest,barking and laughing as she had stumbled along with the village’s orphans. A year ago, they would have hunted her down and killed her, laughing as their beasts tore her apart. But the year had been a long one, and it had changed her.

Her voice was steady when she turned to answer him, “Just some hungry dogs. But I took care of it.”

The smile on her face was a new one.

One that hadn’t been there before. And he didn’t know what it meant.

Nevertheless, he nodded in a way she had begun to interpret as relieved, and in turn, she was glad that the darkening evening kept the blood spattered sword hidden from his sight. At least until she had had the time to polish it, and feel the sharp edge of its steel, light against her skin. Just once more, and then she would return it.

She was only its guardian. It was time to let go.

He watched her gaze drift to the sword by the door, eyes full of emotions he couldn’t begin to decode. He wondered if she had been living by this underground lake for the entire year that she had been missing. He thought of telling her how he had looked for her. How far and low he had searched. How desperately he had hoped and prayed.. How hollow everything in the world had suddenly seemed to be. How he had learnt what it meant to be drowning in despair, feeling insanity clambering on to the sides of his mind; the absence of her, a raw wound that never learned to heal.

But he was not the same.

And, neither was she.

By choosing exile, by choosing this, by leaving when the war broke out, she had made a choice. Abandoning him, but also saving him from having to make any sort of choice himself. They would have never trusted him as long as she was around. Her hair was too wild, and her skin wasn’t pale enough. She would never be one of them. He would have had to make a choice..

“I can mend your weapon, you know”, he said quietly, and watched as she whirled around to face him, body taut and disbelieving, eyes boring into his, searching him for any sign of deception, or doubt.

He showed none.

“You”, she whispered. “You can fix Estel?”

He nodded, then pushed himself off the bed, swaying as his feet hit the ground. She rushed forward, her small cold hands reaching around him, steadying him as he gritted his teeth and shook his head. The Winter had hit him hard. He would need some time to recover before going ahead with his plans.

He glanced down at her worried expression, before letting his eyes drift to where her pale hands rested against his bruised skin, causing her to blush and look away. He leaned forward and closed his eyes, taking in the scent of the forest from her hair and clothes, trying to figure out where exactly they were, and how he would get them out of there. His eyes snapped open and fixed themselves on hers as he smelt the blood on her clothes, not her own, and that on her scratched and swollen wrist, her own.

She looked back at him in a confused mixture of fear and raw, aching desire.

“I can fix Estel”, he said.

The Lost Archers – I

Later, he would recall how the sun had nearly set when she had walked into his office; her slender frame fraught with a sort of tension that echoed in the sharp noise her shoes made against his polished stone floor; as it did in the relentless way she clutched at her deceptively delicate bag, even as she closed the too-large door softly behind her.

And he waited, silently, for her to set the tone of their meeting.

She took a step forward, taking a moment to focus, in the relative gloom of the room, and he waited, patiently, for that familiar look of pain and desperation that always danced just beneath the surface of the mask she had painstakingly perfected, always crumbling fascinatingly under some sorrow that she could no longer tolerate. Only for him.

She never came to him any other way. Not anymore.

But, she did not look at him as she made her way in. And the cruelest, hardest part of him wanted to laugh as he remembered their last meeting. No… if he were being honest, he’d have to say that she hadn’t really looked at him since the day they had said that they were going to vote in the new Constitution, and he had chosen to leave their little syndicate..

It hadn’t even been a minute since she walked through his door, and his peace of mind was already in pieces, but this was no surprise; and though he hadn’t moved a muscle since he caught sight of her, his narrowed eyes followed her across the room,  until she stood in front of him, with only his large wooden desk in the way. And, in the cold harsh light of his sunless room, he wished that the ridiculous ring on her finger would stop distracting him from those dark eyes she had on, and then wished those damned eyes of hers would stop distracting him from the edges of the worn out, ornate dress that was wrapped around her; but he knew what he really wanted: to reach out and undo it. Her. Them.

He motioned for her to take a seat, she graciously accepted, and he waited.

No one can understand me the way you do…

Mido.., she began, hesitantly, and he started at the softness of her voice. Surely it hadn’t always been this frail…

But, the war.. It changes people. Sometimes it destroys them.

And maybe he had forgotten.

She still hadn’t looked him in the eye.

Sūtra?

She lifted her gaze then, to meet his, even as he savored the aftertaste of her name. And, for the tiniest moment, nothing had ever changed.

It’s Agni, Ban, she said, frowning slightly.

He looked about them, and allowed a small smirk upon his face, “And, who are you performing for now?

She took  a deep, calming, breath of air, even as he laughed and leaned back in his chair,So, what’s the plan? Storm out again? Maybe disappear for another few years?

He was still smiling at her, but his eyes were hard.

You know I wouldn’t be here if I had any other choice.

So you keep telling me.

I -‘, she stopped to glare at him, her hands clenched tightly at her sides.

Why don’t we get you something to drink?, he said, making his way to the bar.Maybe it’ll help us…”, he paused as he opened up a new bottle of Scotch, “talk.

She shook her head, and he watched her bare wrists as she pushed back at stray strands of her long dark hair, clearly frustrated.A bar inside your office?“, her eyes flashed dangerously,Real classy, Mido. Must help with the ladies.

You’re one to talk.

I’m not the alcoholic slut.

He chuckled, “It‘s funny you would say so, because that’s not the version of events I remember.

“Shut up“, she said, through clenched teeth.

Why don’t you make me, Princess? I’m sure you’ve learned another trick or two since we’ve last met.

You’re disgusting.

He laughed again, “And yet, here you are. Again.

I- Yes.

She looked away from him, then.. and he followed her gaze as it fell on her ostentatious ring.

Why?

He knew why.

You know why.

It’s always nicer to hear you say it.

It was her turn to laugh, now. But, he intensely disliked the new way her voice drowned into corners rather than bounced off of them, and he waited, silently, patiently, for the mask to crack.

But, she wasn’t looking at him again..

“…I need your help…”

Haters gonna Hate

Well, when they tried to reach her,
she slipped right out of his grasp
and smiling sweetly at his frown,
she shattered like china glass

And then there were a hundred,
but he couldn’t find the one
A hundred laughing voices,
shining brightly in the sun

Fear is only a side-product,
Hope is what causes all human pain
And a hundred pieces of glittering glass
know better than to try again
I guess that’s why they’re laughing
but I really wouldn’t have a clue
If I can’t keep myself together,
what right have I to ask it of you?
It’s only your pedestal
that I wish we’d managed to save
And as it sinks into the sea,
I mourn its distant watery grave.
I meant what I said, you cruel fool
If you’d only stop to see
The dagger you’re so worried about?
You’ve only forgotten it in me.
Well, this dusty shade of rust
may be all that saves me from the gray,
yet, if  we were to meet again
there’s nothing I’d have to say
And even this rant is redundant
’cause it’s watered down with contempt
If all of you are all the same
Why bother to attempt?

Perhaps, in the end, it must be said
There’s no real conspiracy to this scheme
for stranger things have happened,
yes, life is surely, but, a dream.

And I shall live it my way,
I’m not dramatic, just intense
At least I don’t deviate from my own code,
And I’m friends with my conscience.

What we are, we choose to be

For all your talk of freedom and rage,
My pet, you are, but, a bird in a cage
Flap your silver wings as hard as you like;
This cold golden ceiling is your only sky.

Oh, your disposition may be smart & sunny
And your voice, lovely, sweeter than honey
But you will never see the dawn of day;
for your golden palace faces the other way

And sometimes, you cry, lament and complain
But, princess, you do always sing again
And that is why, I know, you shan’t leave this cage
Despite all your talk of freedom, and rage

The emperor makes traps in his tower of ice
Alas, no one ever taught him how to play nice.
You wait in your prison spun with your sins & snares,
and worry about drowning in forgotten cares
When it matters little, princess, can’t you see?
Your World is on fire, and it’s not just a dream.

But if it’s all the same to you, it’s all the same to me.

Night and Day

On hallowed grounds, the twin towers stand
unshaken, unbroken, they twist and turn
And with every dream of the promised land,
they twist some more, and burn and burn

Her hands are small, her steps are light
She bows her head and prays for dawn
Watching her, hidden in the dark of the night
He is determined that morning shall find him gone

But her words are earnest, he cannot go
Eyes drawn to lips that don’t stop to breathe
And he reaches out, desperate to show
He is still here, he will not leave.

Ah, dawn is near, and they, still here
He watches as she reaches for the last fading star
He wishes she would stay, she has nothing to fear
But she cannot hear him when he stands so far.

And now the Sun is here, he shields his eyes
even as she smiles into the light
And the towers burn, as they reach for the sky
Even as he aches to flee back into the night.

A flash of thunder, a spot of rain
and her laughter hurts, like shattered glass
But he stays still, to soak in the pain
for he knows he has chosen what has come to pass.

But, she’s only smiling aloud at the stormy sky
and there is no reason to ache
What could be killed, was killed with goodbye
There is nothing left to break.

And he watches her climb the tower of fire
Even as he lays his claim to the tower of ice
Yet they both burn in unashamed desire:
The towers of truth, and the children of lies.