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On Ephemerates
Singing Agathe
He worshiped the heroes of the sidewalk; his idols made of cracked concrete. It was their tales, hidden in old Chinese take-out menus and discarded Sunday ads, that consumed the life he had once foolishly thought to be his own. He had learned, after his baptism of freezing rain and splattered filth, that such lives were mere illusions, meant to trap the unwary, the unworthy. He had hearkened to the sagas just in time to save himself from the ignoble fate of the masses. The Flesher Wrakes were coming.

He had forgone all pleasures forbidden by the divine heroes: the Pleasures of Skin, of Tongue, and of Eye. He had schooled himself in the Rusted Words, the language of the shroud, and soon forgot much of the languages he had spoken before; they were false anyway, slothful creatures that sought to tear down pedestals with pluperfect conjugation. He crafted holy tools in the ways of old, detailed in epic and song; so what if the shoe-walkers saw only dirty metal lids and old hangers. He knew the tools for what they were, and carved the purest of sigils deep into his flesh. They were still raw and red. He was not yet pure enough to be made of concrete. But he knew, if he stayed on the Crepusc Road, it would not be long.

But still the Sibyl had laughed in his face, casting his shriveled offerings back into his face. Your heroes are the Soured Ones, she had cried, and there is nothing in your future but their meager embrace.

He was not supposed to touch a woman, especially not the Sibyl, with her hair strewn with dandelions and dead centipedes, her breath smelling of sidewalk salt. There was something so soft about the flesh that wrapped around her neck, hiding her windpipe, her gullet, her backbone, her lifeblood. It was not weathered like her face, wrinkled and parchment yellowed. It yielded to his touch, and his breath grew quick. Her mouth opened with sun purple lips, but nothing escaped, no more lies, no more blasphemies about sour men and divine heroes. Her eyes tried to taunt him before they went dull, but he was too entranced by the supple feel of her neck. He forgot about the Crepusc Road he sought as he choked the Sibyl to her death.

He did not feel the evening shadows gathering despite the noon. He paid no heed to the chill that arced down his back. He would never notice the mark that had been placed over the tip of his spine, put there by the true Gods of the Sidewalk. He would lay the empty Sibyl down amongst the shiny black bags, and stumble down his deluded path, reaching at ghosts he had thought to be gods, until he would know, in his final moment, the touch of gods he had thought to be ghosts.

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Trying to break my tidal-lock orbit around a stale, decaying planet. I seek to circle more heavenly bodies, to wax, wane and eclipse in skies less banal. I am tired of a smogwreath for my corona.

But gravity is a comfortable spouse.

Edited at 2008-03-05 02:04 pm (UTC)

Come to the slam next Tuesday night at Kieran's. Don't read if you don't want to, but come and taste the electricity.

Mind if I find you and cling to you in mild social awkwardness? (I swear, it will be mild!)

I keep thinking about responding to this when I'm not within reach of a computer. Yes, of course, except I've got more than my fair share of social awkwardness.

Best things to keep in mind: 3 pieces, no more than 3 minutes long each.

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