Liar (alone & lonely)

In a room, all alone, but never lonely. No, never lonely. Not for as long as I have His presence waiting at the back of my mind; always waiting there to catch me when I fall. Oh, but what I didn’t understand then when I sold Him my soul. What I didn’t understand was what I was running from. I didn’t have a conscious understanding of what was causing my pain, and so, assuming I could never escape the inescapable, I sold Him my heart and soul, because He promised to protect me. He never lied, not about that, but He knew why I was running; what truth I was running from. He knew but He never told me.

 

“You could have told me, you know.” She says, watching her reflection in the mirror. He, her One Whole & True, appears over her shoulder hooded in black, and puts his hands upon her shoulders. His fingers are long, pale, and skeletal; the skin stretched over the knuckles like a tarp pulled taut over a machine too large to be covered.

“You didn’t want to know,” He says. His lips don’t move when he speaks. His ruby lips and prominent chin are all she can see from inside the darkness of His hooded cloak.

“You had no way of knowing that,” she says, her shoulders tensing beneath His fingers.

“But I did, love.” He says, massaging her shoulders. She shrugs out of His grip, and turns to face Him. His hands are held up in a ‘don’t shoot!’ gesture.

“No, you didn’t, because I never told you,” she says.

“Not with your words, no,” He says, lowering His hands to His sides.

“What does that mean?” She asks, glowering.

’You know me better than I know myself’” He quoted, “Do you remember saying that?” He asks.

“I never said that to you,” she says, the frown line on her forehead deepening.

“No, you didn’t, but you said it; only you meant it towards me.” He says.

“If I never said it to you, then I never meant it towards you!” she shouts.

“I have known you all your life. I know you better than you’ve ever known yourself. I kept your secret to protect you from yourself,” He says, attempting to take her hands. She pulls away from Him, and walks across the room, thinking hard.

“I understand your anger—” He starts to say, but she cuts him off.

“Don’t!” she says, turning back around to face Him, anger burning inside her eyes. “Don’t pretend to know me—to understand me! You don’t know anything about me!” She yells.

He steps forward, and she holds out a hand to keep Him in his place.

“You lied to me,” she says, her voice and arm shaking slightly.

“To protect you from—” He says, but she cuts him off again.

“Don’t justify it!” She yells, “You lied! YOU LIED!” She screams. Her voice cracks and tears spring from her eyes. She wipes them away hurriedly, with disgust.

He steps forward again, and she jerks back in response. He stops, holding His hands up in surrender.

“I’m sorry,” He says. Words she never thought she’d hear coming from a demon.

“Go away,” she says, wrapping her arms about herself.

“What?” He asks, perplexed. A tone of voice she never expected would come from a demon.

“I said go away! I need to think!” She yells.

“Let me comfort you,” He says, and she pulls farther away from Him.

“I don’t want you near me,” she says, tears coursing down her face freely now. What a fool she’s been. Oh, what a terrible, stupid fool. Trusting a devil. Trusting anyone.

“Let me hold you,” He says, raising His arms, the black feathered wings unfolding from His back at the same time.

“GO AWAY!” she screams, and in a puff of black smoke, He does.

Now, she’s in a room, alone & lonely.

It’s easier if you don’t read this with any sort of expectation of greatness.

It’s easier, so much easier, bottling tears. (and it begins, the voices in my head telling me I’m not good enough, have never been good enough, will never be good enough; that I should just quit while I’m ahead: and I know they don’t mean writing. It even feels as if something is holding me back, making it difficult to type these words. It can’t be my Dark Father, that Savior of Convenience, because I only ever sing his name praises in the written word: without me he ceases to exist. So it isn’t my Dark Father holding me back because he longs for me to exalt his name. No, but maybe it’s my mother–mistress misery. But why would she want to keep me from doing the thing that fuels my fire for her? If it wasn’t for writing in this melancholic state of mind we wouldn’t have a love affair, she and I. So who or what, I don’t know, have never known [but don’t delude yourself, love; you know. You’ve always known.] It’s you isn’t it? [no, love; never think it. For once again, without you am nothing and no one.] Who, then? Who is holding me back from spilling my guts…who else but myself). It’s simpler, so much simpler, pacing this rut I’ve dug over the intervening years (and I almost lost this…at least WordPress is looking out for me). I’ve paced ruts, retaining walls, sidewalks, the hallway in my mother’s house, and I never seem to tire of the monotony–I’ve embraced this dead-end lifestyle because I know we all eventually have to make that walk to our grave. This is my funeral dirge: the repetitive relay of boot-heels marching back and forth over the floor of eternity forever. (this isn’t my best writing, but has anything ever been my best? If it had been my best, wouldn’t that mean it’s time to give up?) [but you have given up; you just said so outside]. That’s what this rut is: giving up, giving in, settling in sin. [what sin? your life is so boring, love.] Hush, voice inside my head, just hush for now; let me finish this, please. This is the best I’ve done in a while. I know it doesn’t look like much, hell, it isn’t much–but it is enough, and sometimes that’s all you can ask for: enough. [but when is enough enough?] Hush, hush little voice inside my head. I need you not. I needed you never. [neverever, love.] (a part of me wonders: is this only fueled by the caffeine in my system? did this stem from me, or from my drug of choice?) [does it matter?] (since when are you on my side?) [Just go with it, love.] This used to be easier [who do you think you’re fooling?], used to be simpler, used to be like transcribing someone else’s diary, but now…

(is easier to leave that thought unfinished; i can’t open that can of worms)

A Change of Pace

I’ve written these words a thousand times before. That’s doesn’t mean this isn’t new, because it is—finally.

 

Bear in mind that most of what I write has only taken place inside my head; I live in a fantastic universe where magic is real and death is vibrant. That’s how I know, in my mind, when He enters the room (He: my Dark Prince, my Savior of Convenience, my One Whole and True). He’s fictional, but he’s not. He’s real to me, and what’s real to me is really all that matters, isn’t it? I know it, therefore it’s truth. My truth is Him. He’s the personification of evil, of the devil himself—my Satan, my Savior.

Just because he’s only ever been real inside my mind doesn’t mean He hasn’t had a lot to say, or influence over my actions. In fact, he’s been the tyrant of most of my days; the iron ruler of my little cold, black heart. When I needed comfort in the darkness, He was there. His comfort was cold, it had teeth and would bite, but it was better than being alone—lonely. Anything, everything was better than being lonely. Desperation was born from loneliness; a mother who birthed a stillborn child, then brought it to life with black magic. It’s why I always felt cursed when I was lonesome, like a dove with a broken wing being circled by a hungry tomcat.

All of that (said gesturing to the above) to tell you that, in my mind, He enters the room and I know it not because I heard the door, but because I feel it to my core—you always know your own. He walks in as he has a thousand times before, with a smirk on his lips and a strut that says he owns the place, and puts a pale, long-fingered hand upon my shoulder. I refuse to acknowledge his presence because he’s no longer the dictator of my days. He won’t be ignored, however, and I know this. He leans in and whispers into my ear, “I don’t care how “well” you are these days, I won’t be ignored.”

I smile because his dialogue isn’t unfamiliar, and I’ve always loved the sound of his velvet voice inside my ear. There’s something about familiarity, it breeds nostalgia and comfort. I’m not so far removed from those dark days to have forgotten how easy it is to fall into old habits, or how much like slipping into a warm bath it is. “That doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying,” I reply with a sarcastic tone. In response he wraps his arms around my neck in a false hug—he’s really going for the sensation of choking. His lips move against my ear as he speaks, “Try all you want, love, but we both know you’re still my pet.” His arms tighten around my windpipe briefly in a show of dominance; it sends trills of fear down my spine that feels like spiders crawling along my skin. He may only be a figment of my imagination, but his strength is incredible, yet my will is stronger. I’ve mastered the art of deception (after all, I learned from the best), and my body never betrays my fear; for all it mattered I could be made of stone. Sometimes I’m certain I am.

Unnerved by my lack of response he pulls away and I turn to face him—I’ll indulge the demon when it suits my needs. There’s a smile pulling at the corners of my lips, it’s a satisfied smile; I’ve bested the devil. “Something wrong?” I ask coyly; my sarcasm angers him. His face, mostly shadowed by his hood (except for his mouth), burns ruby. His lips thin into a tightly wound thread ready to burst at the seam. My stomach turns in anticipation of the onslaught, but on my face it never shows. The smile is plastered to my lips in horrible mockery of the truth churning in my gut. I fear the reaper, but I’m beyond caving to ancient impulse.

His anger is short-lived, or so it appears. His lips curl into a Cheshire’s grin, and I know I’m in for it; his lips only curl into that wicked grin when he’s furious. I’ve tempted the grizzly with a bloody, juicy steak and now I must pay the price. There’s a reason they say never to poke the grizzly with a stick, and it’s one thing to think you understand the euphemism, but it’s quite another to see the cliché in action. He offers me his hand, and I’m not surprised by the flood of memory and emotion that washes over me (we’ve done this before), but I’m caught off guard by how impulsively I take his hand in my own. Before I’m even aware of what I’ve done, I’ve taken his hand and he’s pulling me to my feet. Like I said before, familiarity breeds comfort.

He pulls me into a waltz and we dance around the room with silence stretching between us as the beat. His grin widens, and I know my fear has finally betrayed me. I can feel it etched into every plane of my face. “You look frightened, my love,” he says slyly. My arms are laced around his neck and I’m quite certain that they’re soldered together at the wrists, and we’ll be stuck in this dance until the trumpets of Judgment day sound. “What have I to be frightened of?” I stutter. My sentences turn archaic when I’m frightened—simplicity is scared away from me, I guess. I don’t know if it’s physically possible, but his grins widens even further, exposing feral fangs and he leans forward to whisper into my ear. I turn my head away, but it’s the most I can do to get away from him; even my feet seem to be moving of their own accord—there’s nothing like being prisoner inside your own body.

“Death, love—what you fear is me,” he whispers, and I can hear the victory in his voice as fear stutters a tap dance down my spine and my skin feels like I’ve just be doused in water. He’s stronger than I remember, or maybe I’m weaker than I thought. No, those are the thoughts of the old me; the girl who was a prisoner, a slave, a victim of her own inner turmoil. That’s not who I am anymore. I am strong. I am powerful. I am not afraid. He senses the shift in my thoughts and reacts by pulling back slightly. His lips have begun to lose that grin, I can see it falling away from his face. Like breaking handcuffs I pull my arms from around his neck and place my palms on his shoulders and shove him away from me. His hands slide loosely from around my waist, and I can feel my body warm as soon as his touch has left my skin.

“I am not afraid,” I say fiercely, louder than I intended, but it gets the message across. “And you are not my master,” I add backing away from him. He’s standing there with his arms held out in front of him, begging me back into the circle of them where I’d always considered myself safe—had I fully comprehended how much pain those arms caused me when they encircled me, perhaps I would never have allowed them around me. He opens his mouth to speak, but I refuse to give him time to utter words with his velvet tongue and ruin my resolve. “No,” I tell him as I cover my ears with my hands and turn away. I walk away shaking my head and humming under my breath—it’s childish, I know, but a child’s talisman is often the only thing that works on a curse.

Freedom from within, what some call peace—you don’t understand how light it makes a person feel until you’ve been crushed under the weight of self-doubt and self-loathing. They’re comfortable clothes to wear, but should never become your favorite pair. Breaking the shackles of old habits is a bird learning to fly after having broken both its wings, and having a hypochondriac as a mother who thinks it will never fly again. I don’t think I can explain it much better than this. I know that it all takes place inside my head, but that’s where the most resilient of ideas take root and grow, and if a tree grows infected with poison it will never grow straight, but it will also never know its ill. Be wary of the seeds you sow because everything blooms, but not everything blooms bright.