Perspective of Love, Perspective of Hate

 

The prince is not a hero. I am half man, half beast. I navigate dim lit streets like a nocturnal creature, the eyes shimmering like rough cut diamonds as I float down the steps, farther and deeper into my own tangled mind. I find myself in a tight black box. I can’t breathe here, I can’t think here, I am forever trapped in eternal freefall here. I am secured only by the tethers of my own mistakes, their ropes wrapped around my throat. I can bite them away and swallow them whole, so they coil at the pit of my stomach like cobras. The enormous thorns which erupt from my chest are the color of night, the color of rot, the color of blood on snow. I am obscure, I am desperate. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, after all.

The prince is not a royal. I sit at a table with quiet countenance, the feast of my victims spread out before me; the flesh of myth, the drink of elderflower, a table shrouded in white cloth. I bite into people’s trust in me and keep it caged behind my teeth, so that my grin remains crooked. I am the fly in the ointment, the chink in the armor. I am an eyeball, bloody and shriveled but forever unblinking. I sit amongst the romantics. The gamers, the lovers. The goddamn haters. My lips are thin, drawn, and pale. My hair is sleek and twisted. My nose is curved like the beak of a predatory eagle. My brain is sheltered from the maggots whizzing around my head, but they are nothing compared to the monstrosities that I keep safe in a bomb shelter. My ribs are a cage to a wild hairy animal. It is savage, relentless, wicked. No one wiped my tears away except dead men. So I decided: a dead man I will be.

The prince is not a martyr. I did it because I could. Behind me there is only a jagged cliff, steep and sharp and insistent and appealing. My wrists smell faintly of iron, my breath reeks of red wine, and my tongue is sleek and smooth and silver. I direct bodies because they’re cargo, my sadistic nature is what renders me a double edged sword. My voice is baritone, deeper than the gashes in my torso, more piercing than the toxic knock off words I use to trick the shadows onto my side. I keep quiet and sneer instead, my dirty hands shake, my conviction wavers, my kneecaps knock together. The knock, knock, knock will haunt me forever, echoing in the ant hill of my mind: I am a coward, I am a coward, I am a coward. The ants eat me alive.

The prince is not lenient. I am a master of strings. I manipulate children and old men alike, and my grudges become tools I use to hack away at the ice that has enveloped my secrets for so long. I am paranoid, angry, deserving. I am determined to be the better one. I am determined to win this boxing match to the stabbing sound of the bell. I am determined to make sure that my grave is unmarked, that the memories that seep like ethereal pearls down my sallow cheeks are gifted. They are presented with the bravado I always sought.


He’s a silly little man. He lives freely in glittering caves infested with the roaches of desire, so he immunized himself from germs with a vodka shot of vengeance. He cracked open his rib bones between his fists and built a bridge across the universe to find an oasis of silence, of peace, of sleep. One can finally tell him that his enduring pain and his tarnished legacy is worth the glory he stole from the demon who murdered them.

He’s a naïve man. He loved with all his heart. His spirit is a delicate doe, skipping ahead over icy lakes and tilted mountains that stretch around him, encompassing him like the arms of the companion he never had the chance to cherish.

He’s a poor man. He is bruised black and blue by the fists of a pure blooded father, he has scars left over by the screams of his mother that drilled into his head like five inch screws; and yet, he tries. He lost the path in a big bad forest, just a child himself, pink faced and innocent and alone, preyed on by a pack of unrelenting wolves. He became a feral child. He didn’t mean to become a grey miser, a fool with an irrevocably stubborn heart.

He is a lonely man. He is the sad sod sitting on a city park bench at two in the morning, twiddling his thumbs and watching yellow and orange passersby, hoping someone, anyone, would approach and understand the weight of his red sacrifices that shine in the endless pits of his eyes. He’s a trained monkey, a neglected member of the A-team, an undeniably sharp mind rusted by his exposure to doomed destiny. The yolk of his innate being spilled out the multiple rough cut holes in his body, which were poked and ripped by the pins and needles he stuck into his once sun kissed skin, hoping it would be enough.

He’s a fighting man. He’s a sympathiser for the clueless and the loveless, the wide eyed and the grappling; he was one of them. And yet, he sees light in the potential in those he detests, and he spins misfortune into gold with skilled craftsmanship. He knows that under layers and layers of security protocols and brick walls fortified by steel, he cares. He cares. He cares.

Make your magic, pretty man. Smell the incense of funeral candles, embrace the comforting freeze of wintery cold that trails you in your wake, and feel the harsh wind of your broken promises ravaging your face until you ascend clean faced and ready. Baptise yourself in the purity of mercy, and immerse yourself in the smothering aroma of lily flowers that are melted in the hot spring running through your veins.

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Let Them Paint Rainbows

rainbow

We’ve watched you for eons.

You’ve untied yourselves from our careless fingers long ago, but the new control has made you falter. We immortals know that you lead lives like mayflies, seeking little things to make your confusion more bearable.

We watch you try to handle the mess you’ve created. The society that once thrived now hangs by a single string of sinew. We observe in determined silence as you gas each other in the name of new Gods, beat one another to a pulp, and kiss the blood on your bruised knuckles. Children are empty and bloated, crying for justice.

Sometimes we like to discuss all this like stuffy movie critics in an abandoned theatre. The tunnel, for example.

“Wicked,” breathes Persephone, flowers escaping every crevice of her body. She means “wicked” in every sense of the word.

“They are,” mutters Aphrodite while examining her nails, the faint smell of saltwater still clinging to her skin.

“It’s called a rainbow,” I explain self-importantly, “How quaint. Even the name tells us something about their nature: as it rains grey and the sky rips itself apart, a small ribbon of sunlight pulls the entire thing together like a present. Thus, a rain-bow.”

“It’s just a silly metaphor, Athena” says Ares to me, his voice which used to scream battle cries now cracked from disuse.

“For what?” ventures a humming Muse from the stage. Her sisters sit around her languidly as they play with each other’s hair.

“Themselves,” he answers with gritted teeth, “they make things pretty to ignore the world falling around them.”

“We disagree,” the Muses harmonize, notes dangling dangerously in the air, “they paint, sing, dance, and create, all for the strength to continue.”

“’Continue’?” Ares drawls.

“They chant your name as they march into battle, don’t they?”

“’Battle’?” he scoffs softly, “there is no ‘battle’. Only destruction. I don’t stand for that.”

“They seek hope,” the Muses continue, strumming chords on their heart strings, “they create beauty to assure themselves they aren’t responsible for only… destruction.”

“Their creation doesn’t outweigh their destruction,” Ares growls.

“Oh, come off it. They’re hardly living in the Garden of Eden anymore,” I sigh.

“Yeah, they screwed that up almost instantly,” Hera snaps from her dusty throne.

“Listen, it’s about their own concern for happiness. Look at this tunnel. It exists because a boy from Norway thought it was depressing that no one ever looked up as they walked through the city; he gave them a reason to.”

“What the hell is Norway?”

“Oh, never mind. You’re hopeless.”

“They’re going too fast, and they know it,” Ares grumbles, pulling his helmet visor shut as he leans back, ready to doze some more, “they don’t want to accept reality, so they make things ‘pretty’ for the sake of having something pretty.”

“They’re trying, though,” I whisper, peering again between the cracks in the clouds, “Humans are flawed because we created them. Let them have hope, at least. Let them paint rainbows.”

[UNTITLED]

If your soul could be a sound, what sound would it be?

“Leonard E. Night, age 27, lives alone in a basement, works in a corporate office downtown… been missing for, what, two weeks? No one had a clue. Odd, isn’t it?”

They reach the door of a small bungalow, hidden deep in slightly malnourished suburbia. Broken tricycles and cigarette stubs litter the street like a wasteland of forgotten dreams: families made of mistakes and last minute weddings. My muse.

They knock on the door three times. There is a patter of footsteps echoed by shrill pleas, and chants of my name. Silence.

The door finally bursts open to a reveal a wiry, ill-tempered mother with a rather unpleasant baby in her arms.

“Can I help you?” she asks with a false, toothy smile. A little girl appears behind the woman’s legs, her eyes brimming.

“I’m Officer Peach with the North York Regional Police; this is my partner, Officer Payne. You called about a missing person?”

Continue reading “[UNTITLED]”

I Fear Silence

Silence is intimidating… to me, anyway. There are some select people in our loud community who do, in fact, embrace Silence. They don’t mind and, if anything, see Silence as an occasional dropper-by with whom they exchange shy glances across a busy street, before getting on with business.

Not me, however. Whether it’s a lull in conversation or the gentle hum of emptiness on weekends, I am intimidated. Why must I be? Silence won’t hurt me. Silence has nothing against me.

Silence doesn’t have an agenda. Does Silence?

Silence likes to massage my shoulders and whisper things in my ear. Scary things. Things I’d rather not remember. Thoughts that usually would drift at the back of my head come to center-stage only when Silence decides to drop by.

My thoughts and Silence converse so easily. They stand on the horizon as dark silhouettes. They stand there, hand in hand, waiting for me to drop my guard long enough for them to pounce and devour.

Silence is stern. Silence watches intently, glares at me from across the room when I am incapable of being interesting to the person with whom I try so desperately to communicate. I try to hint at Silence’s presence, nudge others around me in Silence’s direction and try to make them see its potential for danger. But they never notice my urging. So, I am forced to look hesitantly over again at Silence, who smiles sardonically and settles more comfortably into the armchair.

I ride the bus, sometimes. I try to drive Silence away with music. I remain plugged into my cellphone device like it’s my life support, but Silence still sits next to me. Squishes me against the window. All I can do is sigh, and hope time will fly by as fast as the pipes in the tunnel walls.

Silence will sometimes settle right next to me at any given time – at home, at school, in bed – and play with my hair. Occasionally, Silence will put a hand to my chest, ghostly fingers curling around my heart.

And Silence will settle in: into my heart, soul, and being.

I doze off, but my mind is awake and screaming.

Silence has come to visit. And I fear… Silence has come to stay.

Letters from Demeter

Dear Hera,
I received your letter on the gossip about my daughter, Persephone, and her husband, Hades. Very informative. The fact that they’ve separated and are living on opposite sides of the Underworld is very scandalous, you say, but I’m hardly surprised. The sanctity of marriage is at an all time low… Oh, I’m sorry, wasn’t that your area of expertise? No offense, I guess.

Continue reading “Letters from Demeter”

The Moon and the Sun

Once upon a time, the Moon was beautiful. She was flawless and adored by everyone on earth. Her gentle beauty made humans pine, and her humble presence amongst the stars was company for those lost at sea or in their own thoughts.

The Sun was arrogant. he was proud, and vain. He envied the attention the Moon got, though he gave more to the petty humans down below. He gave them light, he gave them food, he gave them rain in a plain of dust. And yet all anyone talked of was the Moon. The Moon and her perfect, watchful eye.

The Sun grew more and more vain and more and more angry that everyone paid so much respect to his dark counterpart.
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Prologue

The sound of the horse’s hooves on the cobblestone street was enough to make her miss home even more dearly than before. Gloved hands fidgeting in her lap, she stared out the grey window which was spotted with raindrops, as she pondered whether coming to West End was insensitive or simply foolish.

As the carriage came to a sudden stop, her troubled heart jolted as if a thin cold dagger had pierced her chest. She ignored the nausea that followed as she shoved open the carriage door, her bright auburn hair flying about as she stepped clumsily off the black cab. She surveyed the daunting apartment before her, the moist air tasting impure and thick in her mouth despite the heavy rain.

She knew in her heart that this visit was going to be complex. But she did not trust her heart – it always assumed the worst of people.

Continue reading “Prologue”