There’s something wrong with what I’m hearing, the same few syllables on repeat now, for the umpteenth time. Like listening to a broken record. Not sure whether the problem is the loudspeaker or if it’s you. Tell me something I haven’t heard before. No?
“Don’t take it personally, friend. It has never been about you. Fate conspired for you to meet me here today, in the middle of muddy fucking nowhere. That’s all there is to it,” the mercenary pats the shoulder of the dying enemy soldier propped against the crumbling wall. Continue reading “The Mercenary”
Through the night, she dreams dainty dreams. She dreams of some other, not the one next to her. Such is the fate of her choosing, yet she does not have a say in who will own her night, tonight. Eyes wide shut, the mind sheds inhibitions, dreams betraying secrets too shameful to admit to in broad daylight. Conventions unbound, possibilities endless, she dreams of other faces, in familiar/new places, exploring the hidden spaces where iron will and desire so often tangle under the bedsheets.
Why is resistance always so conspicuous by its absence?
The peculiar nature of the human condition is that their hearts can break, heal, and break all over again. It makes me pause. I oft wonder at it but still, I find it all so very amusing. Humans weep, cracked asunder, and their tears become just another element that enters and erodes the edifices they erected, not unlike the wind or the rain. It is their frailty that defines them, it molds who they are and who they aspire to be, in their short lifespans. It spurs them on to do great things, each a small attempt at erasing insignificance. And then it conspires to turn them and forces them to tear all their accomplishments down. With time they feel they do not have, their hearts heal. Then, they repeat it once more.
They call me Blackheart, and they mean it as an insult. Blackheart in his black obsidian tower. Stoneheart, unfeeling. A heart black as sin. I embrace it, truly. I do not have a heart, at least not how humans define it.
I’m not sure what’s worse. Whether us not remembering what good was in the world. Or choosing to forget there actually was some good in it. Mankind retreated to some preternatural state, where violence is the one universally accepted currency. I feel ashamed to admit I have dealt in it too.
Tonight, I lay her down on a bed of black orchids.
To me, she is the most dazzling flower of all, despite the solemn black garb she favors so much. She has always been at home in the limelight and on the red carpets winding through thick crowds and leading up to grandiose palazzos. Drawing all the gazes, of both men and women. She is nameless – she could become anyone she wanted at a moment’s notice. All she ever needed was a camera pointing at her and a few deft touches of kohl.
The target is acquired, the objective within sight now. All senses engaged and in overload, despite his mask of calm. The polyrhythmic drumbeat in his ears is the blood boiling under the surface. The woman in the red dress approaches with a slow, measured gait, as if she was walking a tightrope over the chasm still separating what he wants and why she came here. Her stiletto heels produce a sharp click with each step. He will compartmentalize the sights and sounds for future remembrance. The sequence has been initiated.
There is a door at the end of the corridor, the gateway to a secret place. It’s a door without key or lock, the combination for safe passage guarded closer than a dragon guards its fabled hoard. Only the white neon light filters through the gap under the door. Inviting. Menacing? It has been flickering annoyingly of late. It’s due fixing. There is no space for imperfection where the door leads.