I wrote this with my thumbs in a tree stand while the deer weren’t biting. It’s less of a story, and more the kernel of a story, but I’m posting it here (in all its raw glory) because I don’t want to lose it. This is the kind of stuff that happens in my head when I’m sitting quietly in the woods.
We walk side by side through the ankle deep ash of the ruined city.
“We could have ruled here together,” Mishia says. Her resonant voice mourns the destruction. Her angelic face is a lie. I think her regret is as well.
I gesture to the blasted stone houses, the taupe colored sky from which ash falls like snow. “This says otherwise.”
“It could have been glorious.”
“Whenever we touch, we spread death.”
The ash we stir as we pass does not mar my white dress, her pale bare feet. My dress is as much a lie as her childlike features. If not more.
“It doesn’t always have to be so,” she says.
“It does.” I sound resigned.
The silence of the place envelopes us . That, at least, is real.
We go to the center, the temple where it all began, where plastered stairs rose toward the sky. They had been white once. Now they are the color of fear and death. There is only one brightness left in this world.
In the heart of our temple, the orb is still the color of flame and blood, the sound of childrens screams, the texture of new murder, at least to my eyes. I am beginning to fear that I will never know what Mishia sees. I can see in her eyes that it is something else, something joyous. It lies as much to us as we lie to each other, I think.
“Shall we try again?” Mishia reaches for the orb in her excitement, but looks to me before she touches it.
“We might as well,” I say.
This, at least, we do together. When we touch the orb, everything is destroyed, and everything is remade.
Anyway, consider that my apology for letting the holiday season get in the way of my posting schedule.