Bleeding Light

In the arch of her back,
At the corner of his mind,
With all the things they have lost
and dare not hope to find
lies one last chance at redemption
flickering slowly out of sight
But he resolutely faces the other way,
while she stands, blinded by the light.

It was so much brighter once,
before her eyes grew used to this dark
whilst he nourished the flame as long as he could,
until the constant vigilance left its mark
And now he stands, unmoved, decided,
even as she begs him to reconsider
As the flame of all that once was lies dying,
promising to leave them both embittered.

Why won’t he listen? Why won’t he save it?
Girl, wipe those questions of grief off your face
What you weep for is long long gone
nor will this once raging fire leave a trace.
Except that scar, around your heart,
where the wire cut you deepest
There is no shame in falling down,
when the height you chose was the steepest.

I know you won’t stop wishing for miracles,
nor stop needing the way he breathes
I wish I could show you the truth,
because, in the end, everyone leaves.
But you know that, my dearest girl,
Isn’t that why you bleed yourself to sleep?
Ah, you’ll miss the pain when the numbness starts,
Remember not to go too deep.

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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.

Of Freedom and Peace

The scorching sun
continues
to rise,
shine,
set.
As if
trying to remind men
of some
twisted
sad
irretrievable past.

But,
the men
have long gone,
in search of wine and shade.
And they’ve found a place
of some song
and some
trade.

And now
all surround
the goose made of gold,
while eggs of gold are bought
and eggs of gold
are sold.

While in a dusty corner,
the hungry caged bird
finally ceases
to sing
even though her
once captivated audience
has long stopped
listening.

For
even the
blinded fools
need something
to gape and gawk at
And her dark, unruly
blood-red mane of hair
tumbles freely around her frame
in a slow caress so seemingly warm
that the entire slowly-turning room
that she has quietly wandered into
suddenly seems to be made of
falling snow and frozen ice
and the coldest things
that have ever been
known to man since
the first ever
storm.

Meanwhile
someone has stolen
the great golden goose,
plucked up from right under their noses
And the
naive princess of sin
knowing not what begins,
instead spends all her time chasing roses.

Every day has its price,
every truth drowns in lies
Every rock pales to naught, besides dark Obsidian
Every memory has its ties
Every last man shall die
But, I think peace can only be found in true Oblivion.

Love is Colder than Death

In the depth of a traditionally
dark and stormy night,
she saw a shadowy reflection
of the strangest, brightest light

And the glow of that illumination
promised what words never could.
Not like they would take them;
Not like they ever did us any good.

And is it betrayal
when someone contradicts what they say?
or is it when you refuse to believe
that this insipid mess was the only way?

Yes, it’s easy when it hurts,
but that’s not because pain is free
And for all the wounds we crawled into
there’s not much left for time to heal.

And she knows that sometimes, she might sound distraught
but for all that we have fallen, we have also been taught
that you’re only as weak as the strongest feeling that claws inside your mind
You’re only as strong as the burdens you can afford to leave behind.

And, darlin’, she’s so much stronger
than you could ever possibly believe
And the only reason you know her secret
is so you’d understand how cold she’s had to be.

But, you wouldn’t understand,
and for expecting that from you,
I suppose, it’s entirely comprehensible
why you did what you had to do.

Your winter might stay frozen,
but we’re all creatures of fire
and we’d have fought the dark, all year long
but you chose to say goodbye.

In the depth of a traditionally
cold, and insipid, bitter night,
she tore her heart into ribbons
and offered them up to your light

There’s only so long that anyone can fight for anything at all
There’s only so many times you’ll be the one she calls.
The brightest of lights only lit the darkest halls
And the coldest of us, stay the loneliest of all.