You can never get enough of nature. To be surrounded by it is to be stilled. It salves the heart. The mountains, the trees, the endless plains. The mood, the myriad of stars. Every man can be made quiet and complete.
Riding through the
prairie. Long grass blows in endless wind.
Jazz in a New York bar. Smoke
curls from the end of a cigarette. A woman with elbow-length gloves and lips as
red as blood.
Heat rising from cracked
tarmac. Endless blue sea and deserted streets. The yellow sign of the post office
is the only end in sight.
An Emerald City rising
from desert, but it is smoke and mirrors. It is illusion, and you are afraid.
The last mashtryoshka doll.
Unreal hands, and eyes
that no longer belong to you.
Dramatic music in the
background to strolling down a hill. Hair gusts in an unseen wind. An explosion
behind, and you don’t look back. You never look back.
“Can’t go on without you.”
Yet the world keeps turning, and children keep playing, and one day new children will be born to replace the ones who have grown.
Lancelot crept in
through Guinevere’s window. Blood on the sheets from his bandaged hand, and
golden hair falling around milk-soft skin. The sigh of lovers in the dark and a
kiss that tasted of coffee and regret.
Arthur would have burned
her for less.
A kingdom fell. At
Camlann, in flames, the horn sounded its last call. A man shed his son’s blood
for love of a woman, and the men who loved him in turn wept and followed to the
brink of oblivion.
Better to hope that no
one tells you how big empty is.
His side of the wardrobe.
A photo album full of
your friends, and not a single image of you.
The fog that fills your
Ships that float through
a hundred burning stars. The stars are falling.
We don’t want this, but
we suffer anyway.
Hair as black as a raven’s
wing, and the tower after the princess ran away to freedom – to a prison of a
At least the villains
We wanted pirates and
magic. We found changelings and fairy rings, and decks slippery with blood. It
is never as romantic as the stories make it sound. Why else do we need
storytellers, if not to rewrite the stories we cannot bear to remember?
Empty is too far, and
big is too abstract, for our brains to comprehend. Know only that stars burn,
and kings die, for far less than you.
The maid set your breakfast on the table and you gave her a smile of thanks. Life had changed dramatically, ever since Tommy had forced the confrontation between you and Arthur at his wedding. Arthur had been determined to win you back regardless of the circumstances, and learning the truth of the child you lost had only made him more driven then ever. He’d woo’d you with singleminded determination, and it hadn’t taken long for you to give in. There’d been another wedding only two months after Tommy’s own, and for all that the Shelby patriarch had been incredibly smug, you’d been too grateful to do anything but kiss him on the cheek at your reception.
Arthur was still Arthur. That much was undeniable. But being a Shelby meant something different now than it had before. You would have been more than happy to live with Arthur in a small house on Watery lane, the way you’d always thought you would. To have Arthur would have been more than enough. Still, you couldn’t deny that there were benefits that came with the status the family now wielded.