Have you ever grieved the sea, Kara, or mourned the earth? I think perhaps you have, as I did. In dreams. In stories older than reign. Far older than theses lies of succession. Vaguest memories of those halls of Ishkara, those palaces of Viir. Violence always feels the same, doesn’t it? In any realm. Marauders and false kings. I know that I seem almost a stranger, even now. A sweet, intriguing stranger I would hope, yet still an unknown. But you did know me once. There is far more between us than distance, interest or flirtation. I know exactly what it feels like to remember when everyone else forgets. A life reduced to broken pentameter. My heart a barrage of fleeting sights, and songs. They say the world changes with each successive Age, but that isn't really true. Not on a personal level, a human level. Not much changes for angels either. I mean to say technology changes, of course. Our tools can sometimes change. But rarely our subtle speech, our occulted idiom. In terms of the inner realms things are the same as they ever were. For me that unchanging is quite simple. I am still what I've always been. A changeling, an angel, a benevolent cambion. Living remembrance in a world that recalls nothing. This boy lost in the demimonde, dream-logic is his only weapon. Hissing wraiths boil from every dark place like insects at the breach. They scramble over one another in an effort to draw the blood of a seer. So, what does Akasha think of this new gilded, digital Age? He thinks it nothing more than a vampire's lair. The Fallen make kings of devils now, and slay those fertile valleys. They deny fathers and make a mockery of mothers. It's fucking terrifying. How could I not want to protect you all from that? A twelfth century torment. A nineteenth century fever-dream, unending. Tales of tempests, curses and lovers left poles apart. Poe, Bronte, Machen. As my love becomes my legacy. Beneath prophetic rivers. Amidst a shining morn. She'll always be the ashes of me, Kara. Our little wing, our star of the sea. Everything that remains of me after I'm gone. I think you grasp this better than ever now. Suddenly witnessing the living future as it takes tentative steps before your eyes. Sensing pre-cognitively how it will change you, just as I did. But I want you to know that you were never an addendum to her light. Never an afterthought, my radiant Kiir. None of you are. The truth is much lonelier and far more heart-breaking than that. At least for me. Because the truth is I was a Victorian long before she was ever born. More than a naïve youth. A black star torn between shadow and flame, mourning far more than a lost child. Grieving an entire family. An entire race. The sea, my darling, and the Earth itself. Better to pretend those losses aren't real, I suppose. Better to imagine I only feign at grieving angels here. The alternative is far too haunting. But I tell you now that only a madman would pretend with such dedication and vigour. I gain little from these utterances, Kara. All I attract is the virulent attention of those hissing wraiths. The price for poetry and vision is extremely high. But I do get to dance with you, don’t I? To surprise you and make you smile. It's always worth it for the ones you love, isn't it? Even if they can't quite believe your affections are entirely real. Nothing I do here is without purpose. This is a testament. A marker in a realm of ever-shifting sands. Because the world out there – the world of rabbit holes, taxes and expectation – it's nothing but a fiction. However, this inner world of angelic script – this is my real life. And my real life hurts, Kara. It hurts in ways I could never express through words. So you see, there is indeed more between us than morning. I'm everywhere, you know. I really am. Behind sigil and sign, beneath history and myth. And those strange associations you can't unsee? Those odd synchronicities? I'm there too. It's terrifying having this much power, isn’t it? You become a nexus of sorts, a beacon for all kinds of energies. Things and forms that don't play by our rules. Things that have no care for the sanctity of flesh or the sovereignty of psyche. But we don’t have to face those things alone anymore. The difficult days will still come, but we are of royal blood. We are connected. I honour you, my Kara. As I have always done. You have my admiration and my respect. I shall endeavour to attend you, Princess. As I attend the sea. And the earth.
Tuesday, 5 October 2021
The green place is quiet, and inconceivably ancient. Once there were trees older than time in this place. Some of them still stand in the gentle hush, hidden just beyond the veil of dusk. A veil of mist amidst the gathered elders. Do you know what the oldest song of the forest is? The first sounds to disturb the endless quiet? It isn't the rustle of leaves, the crack of branches or the murmur of distant rivers. No, the earliest and most ancient music of the woods is the bleating of a frightened fawn. A young calf, undamaged but fallen. Alone. Calling for help in the myriad throat of every living thing. Stone, mud and root. A thousand thrones. A little halfling keening with the cry of a human child. 'She is beautiful and she soothes', the fawn cries. 'Where is she? Isn't she here?' The trees themselves recall. Their branches still bend and canopies still gather to protect the sacred child. A memory of the first colours. Evensong. The chlorophyll gift nestled in leaves, moss and skin. Mortals often wonder how this could be; a halfling lost in the place before time where branches hold the eternal sea. But Man is older than Earth, or star. Far, far older. Perennial scribes conjecture and delight in these details. 'What man is the gatekeeper?' they ask. 'Mabon? M'ithriin? Names within names as eyes within an eye?' Perhaps they speak of the prophet. The sorcerer. Once-Gaulish prince and forgotten covenant of Albion. The young, haunted stag. These antlers upon the prince of gates seem all too familiar, yet strange and indistinct. But the occulted know well enough, don't we? Among wraiths, a Brythonic wraith-god. He whom the first Celts called the shrouded one; the hidden king. There were dragons beneath the hill in those days, and fawns upon the forest floor. Cities beneath the mountain and star-maps hidden in every work of art. These are just some of the secrets of your legends and medieval romances. Tales of fay and thieves of the sea. The unsettling truths of our lost golden hour are hidden beneath the texts of each successive rule. As it was with the acclaimed night-bard of the Dru'ai. T'alis and his wonders. Forgive me if I speak somewhat in tongues, but these are the necessities of genuine revolution. The nature of hunting, and vengeance. Each culture has its stories, don't they? They are all so similar, or else the same. A wild one deep in the woods. Oracular, insane, touched with demonic poetry. Or angelic light. I’m not here to do your thinking for you, but I have alluded to this nocturne before. You will know me before the day is done, Fallen. You will know me well. I promise you that. By the arch of my mother's bow, I swear it. I am still here, just beyond the veil of mist, nestled in leaves and moss. Standing stones and falling stars. Green and black and haunted with dusk. For love, and magic. I tell you now, betrayers. I am all that you fear. I am the edge of every dark, churning sea. My Father is utterly beyond your comprehension, but I am my Mother’s son. She is the trees, the green place, and more. She is beautiful, and she soothes.