Seasons come and go
Some things change and some do not.
Watching blood moons rise.
Seasons come and go
Some things change and some do not.
Watching blood moons rise.
It was a cold winter evening, the full moon already making its way slowly up into the stormy sky, sometimes hidden, then shining brightly through angry clouds. There was no other source of light in that cold English graveyard. Something that sounded like a clap of abnormally loud thunder startled a young owl into abandoning his hunt with an indignant hoot, immediately followed by a mad scrabbling sound, eerie until identified as badly laced shoes shuffling through the fallen leaves and twigs scattered all around, and over, the unkempt graves.
A girl scrambled out from behind an old twisted tree, and her eyes were wide with fear. She clutched at her side as she stopped to catch her breath, and the owl gazed sympathetically at the still-bleeding cut on her forehead. A muffled shout in the distance made both girl and owl turn warily towards the distant church, long abandoned to the elements. A shadowy figure emerged from the darkness, and as the moon shone momentarily from between the clouds, it reflected off the steel he carried in his hand.
The girl seemed to have frozen in her place, and she watched the hooded man slowly make his way towards her.
“Don’t make me hunt you down, sweetheart.”, he called out, and she trembled at the toneless sound of his voice.
He kept moving towards her, a deceptively relaxed finger poised above the trigger. She no longer believed he would not shoot her dead if she ran.
“Why are you doing this?”, she asked him, eyes full of grief and confusion.
He was close enough now for her to see him glaring at her, and her eyes widened as he raised his arm slowly until the gun was pointed at her, but she made no other move.
He smirked at her, and then fired.
The bullet flew off into the open sky, and the Owl took flight. She couldn’t stop her heart from sinking at that fitting final act of betrayal as she stood alone before him.
“You don’t have to do this”, she whispered, voice low and steady.
The hooded man took another step towards her, “You know you left me with no other choice.”
She bristled at that, “Don’t pretend like my choices had anything to do with what happened! That was all you!!”, she snapped at him, stepping forward herself.
He waved the gun at her gently, “Stay still, babe.”
“You don’t get to call me that”, she muttered under her breath; nevertheless keeping still, her eyes fixed warily upon his gun.
A moment of silence passed, and the man pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
The girl watched him as he took one out, lit it and inhaled deeply.
“Are you really going to kill me?”, she asked, plaintively, after he was halfway through his cigarette.
He looked at her thoughtfully, “I think so, yes.”
The girl glared at him, then looked sadly at the ground, “In that case, can I have one as well?”
He raised an eyebrow at her, “I thought you weren’t supposed to be smoking.”
A moment of silence, and then the both of them burst into laughter, the sound echoing strangely across the empty graveyard. They held their sides as they laughed, and she had to kneel down and he had to lean against a tree, and yet they could not stop laughing.
Until she rushed at him with something she had pulled out of her boot, and he instinctively raised his weapon and shot her. She cried out, then smiled, then fell in slow motion to the ground. He kicked over her outstretched hand to find a red rose clutched so tightly that the thorns had poked holes into her skin and embedded itself there, even as she bled around it. And around the bullet wound in her chest. She tried to speak, then coughed up some blood, painfully, and he stared down at her with eyes full of horror.
He knelt down then, cradling her blood soaked hair in his hands, “Why did you do that?” “Why did you make me do that?!”
She smiled at him, and tried to speak again.
He leaned in and pulled her closer even as she whispered something over and over again.
But understanding the 9 words she said in quick succession until he lost her to all the blood seeping into the earth no matter how hard he tried to keep it all inside her, that understanding drove him mad.
And after that night, his face lived under a cloud that never seemed to leave, his laugh never sounded quite the same, and at night, it was said that you could hear him cursing and raging through any thunderstorm, though curiously enough, he appeared perfectly calm and composed the next day, and his loyalest circle of servants made no mention or explanation of the absurd quantities of chinaware, mirrors and glasses they would constantly be acquiring and disposing stealthily off.
And the women he was involved with, only they knew of the nine words he would whisper in his sleep after a tiring, fun-filled evening at home. (Though the ones who mentioned it to him, or anyone at all actually, they never saw him again)
“I love you, I forgive you, We are free.“
One night, I dreamed a dream of paradise
and now there is nothing I can do to forget
I wake in the guilt of sins that are not mine
unreleased from this adopted regret
And even my oldest comrade now lies blue
In this world of sleeplessness’ solitude
So cold in the sky, so distant and cruel
But, always, mine, and forever, true
Like the color of someone’s eyes
when he turned to look into mine
on a moonlit winter evening
lost, now, in space and time
Let me in, I whisper quietly
But there’s no one left to hear my plea
The cold chased away all those memories
Like goldfishes swimming off to sea..
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.
The storm colored sky stretched out into eternity, as two lone figures stood beneath it, the only sound above the waves of the distant ocean being that of the wind whipping the edges of their long coats against the rustling uncut grass.
“When will things change?” asked the girl in gray.
The boy shook his head, letting multicolored drops of rain fall about them, “When you wake up.”
Her wide eyed gaze sought out the distant horizon, full of only the unknown. “Are you sure?”, she asked, biting her lip.
“Yes”, he smiled, before leaning closer, “Wake up, Wendy..”
The building wasn’t that tall, but four floors is still high enough to kill. Especially when you add in the 2 feet of the railing and the ledge, said the slurring voice in her head, and she burst into a fit of giggles, her waif like form shaking in mirth on the railing on which she was precariously perched. The moon looked on disapprovingly, but she drank to his health until even he forgave her, smiling reluctantly at her antics. After all, there is no dark side in the moon, really. And she gave him something to watch.
Alas, the watchmen have seen everything. And the moon is the oldest of them all. He soon tired of her childish games. It was time for something harder. And with magical dawns and falling stars and lighted paths, he led her astray into the wild.
“What do you want from me?”, she cried out suddenly, tired of the changing ground beneath her feet.
“I need you to wake up”, shouted back the moon. “Can’t you see what’s happening around you??”
But she only cried out louder, and shut her eyes tighter. She knew what the Moon wanted to show her, and she did not wish to see.
“Wake up, Wendy”, he whispered, almost lovingly, before withdrawing, once more, into silence.
He then spent years cleverly shaping her path, leading her slowly towards the palace of a dragon. For, even though there is no dark side in the moon, really; Matter of fact, it’s all dark.
Luckily for her, it wasn’t a particularly old dragon, for those are as weary as they are wise. Of course, this particular one was a little weary and wise himself, but he could not help it; all dragons must be.
“Why have you come here?”, asked the Dragon in his menacing voice, towering over the girl who had long shed her gray robes for black. “I’ve always wanted to meet a Dragon” she said, reverentially. “But, how did you know where to find me?”, asked the Dragon, surprised. “I heard your voice across the ocean a hundred years ago”, said the girl, “and I’ve been looking for you ever since”. The dragon studied her incredulously before swooping down and pulling her on to himself. In ecstacy, she watched the sky change colors and the clouds float on besides them, as they flew over towns and castles, showing her the World she had almost stopped believing in. The moon looked on in jealousy, but the girl had eyes only for the dragon.
But the sky had touched her with its ink, long before she had had any choice in the matter. And now, she was forever haunted by the dark. “Why won’t this stop?”, she cried into the dragon’s chest, his wing locked protectively around her.
“You know what you have to do”, he whispered soothingly, wiping the tears falling from her eyes.
“Wake up, Wendy..”
But she was finally happy, and it didn’t seem fair to have to wake up just when things were getting better. She adorned the dragon’s head with flowers, and forbade him from ever speaking of it again. Of course Dragons don’t listen, but she was clever enough to remember that whether good or evil, they are creatures of their word. So she offered an exchange. That was how he got the third part of her fragmented heart. And as they flew higher and higher into the sun, she began to burn. Until the dragon noticed the edges of her hair were on fire, that is.
He immediately plummeted to the ground, crashing into a group of trees in his hurry to get her down to Earth safely. She tumbled off his back into the grass beneath, laughing. “That was amazing!” She raised her arms up, towards the Dragon. “Let’s do that again.” But the Dragon was saddened by her burning cloak, even when he saw glimpses of the red dress she had on underneath her burnt and tattered armor.
They’re only clothes, love, she wanted to say.
But night was falling, and before they knew it, winter was here. The Dragon was often gone for hours hunting, or flying, or doing whatever it is that dragons do. She did not know. All she knew was that when he was gone, she was cold. And she hated bringing it up, because she knew it made him think of the sun. And when he got like that, she didn’t know what he was after. So, she left him alone, and during one particularly frosty spell, she slowly froze into a picturesque statue.
The Dragon didn’t return for months, so he never even found out. In fact, it was quite undragonlike of him to do so in the first place, but he needed the thrill of the hunt a little more than he may ever needed her. It was a simple calculation really.
At least that’s what the village children say. But what do they knew? They’re idiots. Especially the young boys who liked to make faces at her frozen statue as she stood next to a shrine, painfully aware of every passing lifetime. He’ll come back, she whispered to herself fervently, her thoughts icy cold inside her mind.
But he didn’t.. At least not in time. And one night, a few of the boys hopped over the little fence that surrounded her in order to get a better look at her. She managed to slip away from them, only to fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces. The boys scattered back to their homes, even as she slowly melted in the rays of the rising sun.
The Sun, she remembered fondly, and then closed her eyes, sliding down into a passing river that was making its way towards the sea. The Sea where the Dragon went hunting… She sat up at once, all the pieces of her focusing themselves into who she needed to be.
“Why don’t you look for a wizard, dear? You look like you need one.” called out an old lady from a passing boat.
The girl began to laugh again, and her tattered robes fell off her shoulders, only to reveal a beautiful red gown that now hung loosely from her fragile form. “No ordinary wizard can help me, old mother”, she cried, even as the river tried to soothe her “Can’t you see? I’ve been cursed by a Dragon.” The old woman turned and hastened the boat away. For everyone knows how ancient the magic of a dragon is. And no one wanted to involve themselves in this tale.
The Dragon found her floundering about in the Sea, surprised to see her oddly rearranged form swimming in the cold winter sea. She raised up her trembling arms, and the dragon lifted her into the air, gently gathering her broken pieces that fell back into the reluctant river. “He’s not going to hurt me, River” she said, so tired that she had begun to slur, “Well, not much. But I’m not that weak!” The Dragon looked at her flowing gown and growled softly at the scent of the village boys about her.
“Why didn’t you come back?”, she finally asked, her voice a trembling whisper. “I never left”, he replied, quietly. She didn’t believe him, but pieces of her began to, and after years and years of icy solitude, it was simply too much to take, and she burst into tears. “What do you want from me?”, she cried.
He growled at her again and transformed into a wizard before her very eyes. She took a wary step back even as he smiled at her, wolfishly.
“You know what you have to do, little girl”, said the Wizard-who-used-to-be-a-Dragon as he moved in closer towards her, somehow so much more menacing than he had ever been as a Dragon.
“What?”, she whispered, her breath warm against his cheek.
He kissed her for a moment, before pulling away and cursing out reluctantly, “Wake up, Wendy.”
(10th August, 2009)
We live in constant fear, tired and paranoid eyes scanning the gray seas for any signs of their ships. They wish to hunt us down like the supposed criminals we are. Criminals? We are, but mere, dreamers. We do not believe in their petty Gods of selfish goals and pretty furniture. And for that, we are watched and hunted and live under the constant threat of exile.
Exile! But if there were only a place to run away to! Oh well, the world is round and we’ve been sailing for years. If we knew where this world ended, there would be no need to wander the seas for, what could only be, eternity.
There are many among us who believe that the right boat will come along to pick us up, even though it means doing little more than waiting forever. These men live in the inner cabins of the ship, which they’ve decorated to look like ordinary homes, barely aware of the journey itself. Many fall asleep holding on to memories that stopped being valuable a hundred thousand years ago.
There are a few who leave us, on small boats, convinced that there is no point in this journey. Often, they return once they realize that the night is a thousand times darker when you are alone. Sometimes, we never see them again.
There are those who believe that the shore will appear on the horizon if we just keep sailing. But we’ve been sailing for an eternity. The World is round. But I do not have the heart to remind them.
There are some who sit on the wooden deck under moonlit skies and talk in hushed voices. I join them, sometimes, if only to see the stars reflecting in their otherwise tired eyes; faces suddenly years younger than they appear to be under the glaring light of the sun. Their company makes this voyage bearable. Their thoughts make my soul want to cry out at the unfairness of our flight. Their dreams make me smile. Their hope spreads like flames from a candle kept too close to too many sheets of paper.
And then there are those who have thrown themselves into the raging seas, convinced in the madness of stormy nights and thunderous skies, that the only land there is to find lies many many miles under the water’s surface. I have seen many rescued from such a plight. And I have seen many faces gasping for air before the waters claimed them forever. I have said many goodbyes.
I choke and drown on memories that have long left the insides of my mind. I think I made a mistake when I turned it inside-out. Now the whole world is in my head. And there’s no place left for me in there, anymore.
I have no country to return to. And the land we set out sailing towards seems to be nowhere in sight. This ship and it’s crew is the only world that exists tonight. But even the hushed voices of the people with stars in their eyes can’t drown out the screams of the drowning. Perhaps the only land that exists is really a thousand miles under water.
I think our ship is sinking.
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