Unforgiven II: Flashback

It looked like rain, Lord Stone thought distractedly, as he made his way towards the North Quadrant of the Castle grounds. He could see her at the top of the tallest tower, the deep red gown framed against the twilight sky. A familiar sight, he thought warmly, despite the cold and exhaustion seeping through his bones.

He climbed the long flight of stairs to the chamber at the top. Home, came the unbidden thought. For now, he corrected himself sternly. The war was moving North, and he would have to set off with his men, soon.

He flung off his cape as soon as he entered the room, not pausing as he moved to the balcony, where she stood leaning against the railing.

She smiled at him as he walked up to her and kissed her forehead, and somewhere in time and space, a heart shattered into pieces. But the two of them didn’t hear a thing over the thunderclouds that hung over them like carrion birds come to claim their prey.

They stood together in silence for a while, watching farmers and village folk scurry around in the distance, preparing for the incoming storm. Another familiar sight he would miss once the war began in earnest. Suppressing a sigh, he inclined his head slightly towards her, and she smiled without turning to face him.

“What?”, they said together, and her smile turned into a grin.

“Why are you sighing?” she asked, sniffing at him curiously.

“I am not,” he replied, indignant.

“Okay.. Why are you not sighing?”

He looked at her for a moment, before turning away and fixing his gaze on the horizon.

She followed his stare.

“Storm’s coming.”

“I know.”

“It’s not safe here.”

“I can look after myself.”

He shook his head, frustrated at her stubborn refusal to go back to the city, where he wouldn’t have to worry about her.

“I will leave soon”, he said, a coldness creeping into his voice that he wasn’t proud of.

She turned to face him, and he could feel her eyes searching his face for something he damn well was not going to let her find.

She closed her eyes and turned towards the setting sun again.

“I will wait for you. Here.”

I don’t want you to, he thought. I’d rather you be safe and happy. I don’t think I will return. And, I cannot take you with me. I won’t be able to protect you. I only want to protect you.

He said nothing. Only took her cold hand in his own as he watched her raise her face to catch the rain that had just begun to fall, fixing the memory of her smile in his mind and hoping she would someday forgive him for what he knew he would have to do.

She opened her eyes just as a flash of lightning illuminated the skies, and for an instant, he saw a glimpse of the path she could have taken, the severity with which she could ensure retribution. But then she turned towards him, only mercy in her eyes, and he knew he had nothing to worry about. She’d forgive him nearly anything.

Nearly.

Advertisements

The Cost of Vengeance

Sadness and Rage are useful things,
If you know how to transform them both
Energy is at the root of it all
And all Knowledge is Power is growth

If there is but one thing that I have learned from you,
It is that vengeance is but natural
And he who strikes, must also pay the price
All what matters is the real and actual

Well, then I hope in that moment
Before I return your dagger from my back
You give me my due credit
For acing at least your tests in diplomacy and tact.

Yes, I know I broke some precious rules,
And I understand retribution had to follow
But what you don’t know, my dear friend of old
Is that Vengeance has always been my motto

You never knew the me before this me,
Never saw past gray rags and this cloak of red
You don’t understand, dear sandbox prince
The Vengeance against my own name that I have led.

There is no forgiveness for betrayal, nor has ever been
And you can see the punishment I chose for myself
Run, little lost prince, run away somewhere far from here
When pathos turns to wrath, to pay, there will be Hell.

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.

 

Strange Dream

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.

~~~

Red and White

Nine hundred red roses
lie out to dry in the shade
Nine thousand different memories
Burn, and then begin to fade.

Words meant something to me,
but that was lifetimes ago
Now, they’re all unique
& worthless; like flakes of snow.

Their rarity made them precious
because they would not sing for me
for all that I begged and pleaded
My thoughts have forever been free.

I always looked at letters and words
as thoughts you could only bleed
in the snow, and on edges of swords
and never more than you need.

But warm Winters came to my scattered head
where there was light, and softest sound
and I grieved for the words, silenced and dead
even as I thanked the Stars I’d been found.

But, even safety nets tear, and the best plans fail
There’s nothing we know that shall stay the same
I know, you promised the sun amidst this gale
but my own words were drowning in the rain.

Please understand why I could not stay
Not when you’d so easily watch them bleed.
Nine hundred roses dry in the shade
But, my words mean the entire world to me.

And now, the traitors sing for you, they always do
so, I guess I’m just stuck with the blues
My words are cliched and awkward, but true
and the fact is that it’s all because of you.

X-X-X-X