Salamander prostrate before swaths of crimson–sacred heart casting bits of stone to ding–I slow I bitter/consternate and shiv–old horseshoed envelope holding instructions–first memory was my father arguing with my mother and driving off- Where have I been keeping myself? Why can’t I forget friends who tossed me? I am spiraling out of control–I worship at the shrine of the past–Why could god not exist? It takes so much to hold a hope. You almost burn your life out doing nothing else. I cannot be what a corporate anything wants. Sensations are not commodities. I am proud of the anger I have displayed. I am disgusted by my flippancy. Was political correctness so bad? They have cut down the sacred groves. I have lost the grail I was going to heal you with. Why is it cold in here? I have decided to sit beside and get nothing that I want. That is the only measure of love holding its weight.
Eric looked up from his evening mug of tea (with a dash of whiskey, of course).
“Mm, what is it, love?”
“I don’t…feel too well.” She didn’t sound well, either.
“Are you sick?” Eric asked.
“No…not exactly,” Grell muttered. She was swathed in blankets like a child, muffling her voice. “Could you…do something for me?”
“Depends on what it is.” Eric grinned, remembering when Grell had gotten drunk and asked him if he would do a string of bizarre things for her (“If I was kidnapped for an evil military-sanctioned science experiment how would you rescue me: breaking me out or infiltration?” and “If I dropped my favorite bracelet into the sea would you dive in to get it for me?”).
Of course the answer would always be yes.
“Do you love me?”
Eric raised his brows slightly. She knew the answer already, but he would tell her as many times as she needed to hear it.
“Of course. Somethin’ wrong, love?”
Grell glanced away. “Why?”
“Um, what d’you mean?” Eric spoke softly, afraid to hurt her.
“Why do you love me?” Grell still would not look at him. Something was clearly wrong here.
Eric hesitated, thinking how to put his feelings into words. He was never very good at vocalizing his thoughts. “I don’t know.”
Oh god, that came out badly.
Grell winced ever so slightly.
“What I mean is, I don’t know if I love you because the way you laugh high-pitched at first then lower, or how you purse your lips when you’re annoyed,” he said as he stared into his mug.
“Or how you always check your horoscope at exactly 10:45 AM. Or maybe how your hair folds into waves when you sleep.”
Grell broke into the smallest smile, but Eric could see it from miles away.
“Or how you have a mark on your arm from bumping into a desk. Or the way you pout when you really want something but you don’t want to say anything.”
Grell was blushing now.
“Or how you sway in your seat when you listen to music.”
Eric set his mug down on the table and slowly made his way towards the blanket-enveloped mass that was Grell. He folded himself down next to her. Grell stuck out her hand from her blanket. It was clear she wanted it to be held, so that was what he did.
once upon a time, in deep winter, a queen was admiring the falling snow when she saw a rose blooming in defiance of the cold. reaching for it, she pricked her finger, and three drops of blood fell. and because the red seemed so alive against the white, she thought, “if only i had a child as white as snow, lips red as blood, hair black as a raven’s wings, and all with the strength of that rose.”