I should have listened.
But it’s too late now and I’m trapped with the thing that wears your face.
How could you?
The words burn my tongue as I take a staggering step forward, the edge of my blade scraping against the ground.
My body aches and I can no longer see out of one eye. But I am standing.
How could you?
I can still see the shadow of your sillouhete in the distance. Or maybe it’s just a memory. Between the haze in my mind and the numbness crawling up my limbs, reality seems to be a mere suggestion. It’s hard to tell how much time has passed but the world is starting to darken and I can see my breath.
Maybe I’m already dead.
I banish the thought with a scoff. Although to my ears the sound comes out closer to a shaky sob. For the dead don’t feel pain. And pain is all I feel.
How could you?
Something shifts. There’s a hard edge behind the question now, a small wringling sense of anger that burns under my skin. Part of it was my fault, I know. I shouldn’t have trusted you. Shouldn’t have let you get away with the things you’ve done.
But what is done is done. I have paid a steep price for it.
And you will too.
The promise tastes like copper in my mouth. I laugh but no sound comes out and my body shudders under the strain.
The world is dark now but I keep moving forward. For I know that each step I take will bring me closer to you. I am still alive. Not because of luck or skill. But because the world knows that I refuse to leave on its terms. If I am destined to die, then so be it.
But I will drag you down with me.
Oh darling. You're starting to fall apart.
I can see it in the darkness beneath your eyes, in the hollowness of your expression, in the slight tremor of your fingers as you tap them against the table.
You've worked so hard. I, off all people, would know.
I have been there from the beginning, wrapping you up in my embrace and whispering in your ear during all those sleepless nights.
And you've grown tired. No. Exhausted.
After all there's only so much you can take. I have to confess that your determination is something that I have always admired. So much to do, so much to accomplish.
With every success and every failure, I have been there with you. And even now as sleep screams for you I can't help but tighten my hold. It is selfish of me, I know. But I revel in the constant shift of your thoughts, in the increasing thrumming of your heart. And I know it won't last forever. You'll succumb eventually, and I will have no choice but to let go.
But that's alright. I've already made my peace with it.
Afterall, I will always be here. Waiting. I am as necessary as the air you breathe and the water you drink. You need me. But I need you as well. For my existence stems only from your experiences.
So, this is farewell for now. Your eyes are starting to close, and I can already feel your breath start to slow. It is time to let go.
As you begin to drift into your own dreams, I begin to fade. I can't help but whisper one last promise into your ear, and watch it sink within the reality of your shifting dreams.
Until the next time my darling.
Isaiah stared at his reflection with thinly veiled disappoiment. He scrutizined every feature, dark eyes following the gentle sloping lines that composed his new face.
"Seriously," he muttured, noting how his voice sounded a little higer than usual. A little softer. "I figured I'd be more attractive."
The White Feather
That's the only way I could describe it. It was like when one feels a phantom caress, causing them to twist around only to find nothing there. That feeling of knowing that something was there but having no proof is an unstelling one. It's the feeling of leaving something important behind but being unable to remember what it was.
I couldn't remember my name.
I was enveloped in a haze and the air around me rippled when I moved. I only remembered walking into a light. I'm not sure how such light could be so beautiful yet so jarring. It burned. That much I remembered. Yet I stood there unarmed in this endless field. I fumbled with the pockets of my pants, trying to find something that could jog my memory. But the only thing that I pulled out was a single white feather.
"Are you ready?"
I jumped, startled by the new voice. My surroundings had shifted again, leaving me standing in front of a large oak tree. There was a red door inbeded in its trunk, almost beckoning to me. My attention shifted to the person standing besides me.
They were nothing more than a tall pillar of bones and weaving vines. I couldn't see its eyes, a veil of spider webs covering its face. But I could feel its gaze on me, waiting.
I summoned my courage to speak up. "Ready for what?"
It nodded towards the feather in my hand. "For judgement of course."
Something clicked, a faint memory surfacing from the depths of my mind. "This is it. It all comes down to this feather."
"If you have led a righteous life then you have nothing to fear. The weight of a soul never lies."
"And what happens after?" Despite the implications, I was strangely calm. I think the light burned away my fear as well.
"I don't know. That is up to you." It said simply.
My fingers curled around the feather, feeling its edges tickle my skin. "I'm ready."
It said nothing and I took a step foward, my gaze locked in onto the red door.
It swung open.