Kara, my love, my grace, you came to me on a broken road. A place where soon I would have forgotten even the memory of light, its warmth further than my lost conception. A kiss on high, a throne in the gutter. You looked at wings stained scarlet, the ruin in my eyes, the sand pouring from my palms – and you told me I was still a handsome thing. You said you were honoured to make such an arduous journey to meet there upon the road. My breath was taken, Kara. I didn't understand then. I gazed around me, at all the gentle souls still oppressed and defiled, and I felt unworthy. Like I failed them. I told them love was more powerful than any desert wraith, more loyal than any moonlit pact. But in their secret moments they gazed skyward and called me Liar.
“Love is weakness,” they cried. “We are still food for tyrants and false kings.” They screamed it. They wept. Some mothers even held up what remained of their slain children as proof that spirit was a lie and love the ugliest of fictions.
“How dare you?” they shrieked, louder than angels. “How dare you claim compassion when you allow these killers to claim kingship in your name? How dare you call yourself just, when you design a world in which the cruel can so easily enslave the kind?” And I wept, Kara. I wept as they did, cursing myself for daring to play both teacher and taught.
“But I’m with you always,” I pleaded. “I’m here with you now. Never abandoned, holy ones. I swear it.” But my voice became voiceless. My earnest tongue became impenetrable code amidst the rising verum of vampires. I was ashamed as I made that long walk from Salem, only to then find myself back where I began. Bleeding out, slowly. But you appeared, like a dream or figment, and bade the reaper to depart. You touched my cheek, gracious one. You kissed my brow. You held me, and in my ear you whispered a love story. One so grand, so fanciful and joyous, that I was utterly eclipsed. Grace, Kara, my friend and love, I keep you close. Remind me always of that fanciful, staggering joy – your unimaginable elegance beyond the clutch of any defilement.
“God with us,” you told me. I remember it still. I still cry though. I still weep when I hear the horror-haunted missives of the young and old. In prayer and contemplation, or idle daydream. But now, Kara…now I can also hear the hope and strength beneath it all. As they curse me and those like me I hear them secretly making a space for light.
They say, “I hate you, messenger, for all of this, but I pray this hate can still be transfigured if you would but only help me understand.” And that’s why I stay, shimmering one. While they suffer, I too shall suffer. For I was never merely above them or distant from them. Their dark demigods may enjoy such distance, but I never have. Angels walk where messages are needed. Creators live where art is made. Tortured I may be, but I am no longer broken. I am speed, and wrath, and kindness. I can level cities. I can awaken the dead. But I am nothing without you, Kara. I am nothing without my people.
"Prove us wrong," the doubtful cry, the faithless scream. "Spirit cares little about we oppressed things of the flesh. Show us otherwise." And so I stay, to know true humility, to be of genuine service. To draw you in battle, to heal the wounded and bring comfort to the lost. I am with you forever, holy one. I am standing right beside you. I shall always keep you close, my beloved. For your aim is true.
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