A Little Sacrifice

Originally written April 18th, 2015. Originally published on NationStates.net.

Goodness, I did not hear you come in. Yes, yes, of course, come on in. You’re just in time, friend, I was afraid you might miss this. What a crime that would be! Sit yourself there, no no no, in that chair. It will afford you a better view of the festivities, the excitement, and allow you to better appreciate the story.

Oh, you don’t know the story? But I thought…. No matter, I delight in telling it! Have a seat – oh, you’ve already taken one. Good, good. Forgive me, I am quite scatterbrained at the moment. Giddy, you understand, with excitement at this coming moment. A reenactment of the most pivotal moment in the…story! God, I don’t imagine I will have the time to tell it all. There is so much of it and a lot of it really must be experienced to be understood. No, I am sorry my friend but I don’t think I can tell you the story – I can’t tell you of the spectral lights on alien shores, of the soundless singing. Of a most untimely burial. That is something you must experience yourself and perhaps your part in the story will start tonight. Oh, that would be wonderful! Pass me that bucket, would you? Thank you kindly.

My turn in the telling started about a month ago. You recall when we visited that mountaintop in the south and saw nought but desert all around us. God, what a view! What a scene! Recall that I wandered and explored the mountain while you prepared the campsite – I always was useless at setting up tents and fire pits – and did not return for some time. God, you and Karyn were so frightened and I don’t think I ever properly made it up to the pair of you. She left me soon after, you know? She didn’t have anything to contribute to the story and got jealous that I had a part in it I imagine. Well, I never told you what I found there in the rock and sand, did I? I was selfish and didn’t really know what I’d found. I still don’t know, the Words haven’t seen fit to tell me yet. It would ruin the ending I expect. In a crevice, a moist and foetid crevice, I stumbled into a pool of black sand. The surface looked like raven glass, glinting the colour of vile fungus in the half-light of the crevice and I thought it safe to step upon. I sank right up to the neck and felt the touch of thousands of tiny razors. I was genuinely worried I would die there, such was the pain. I had never known sand so sharp and so vicious.

Then I surfaced. I suppose I crawled out but every time I remember back I have the inescapable feeling that the sand vomited me forth. It was done with me and when I looked back to the pool there was only the slick, shining surface of glass, impervious and unyielding to my touch. Despite the stabbing and the scratching, there was only a single tiny mark on my skin. Let me, just, there! See, the one right above my heart? The scar is as deep and remarkable was it was back all those weeks ago, it hasn’t healed at all. This, my friend, is the first Word and it goes right through to the ribs and muscle beneath. It weeps, not as much as the others anymore but still frequently enough. Now you know why I go through so many clothes.

I’ve been dreaming since that day and waking with more sigils, more words, in my flesh every day. None of them hurt, what is a scar among a hundred scars after all, the pain has dulled to mere noise. No no no, I don’t need a doctor. I don’t actually bleed, the scars just weep some kind of oil. Would you pass me that cloth? I can’t afford to lose any of the excretions. Not now, so close to the climax.

I was worried once, when I woke to find myself bent over the sink, heaving blood and black bile into the basin. But eventually I got used to that too, the stars told me – oh, yes. I am very serious. I see the stars wherever I go now, dancing and glinting in eldritch colours behind my eyes. The sigils are their tongue, their voices. I think that’s why I’m vomiting, there are sigils on the inside and they leak too. So it’s not really my blood that I’m throwing up every – excellent! I knew I had hidden that sand in here somewhere.

I mentioned the untimely burial, didn’t I?

There was a king once. A master of Unmaking and unlife, a king that never was. Well, he was – as kings are – toppled and shredded. His family ate of his flesh and stole his heart, stripped him of his name, and eventually buried him alive in sand and blood and stone. That’s the big finale. Can you pass me the crate behind you? Yes, there is something in there and it is quite alive. Open the front and dump it into the bucket?

Tee hee. Eleven little birds with their wings clipped. Shh, shh little birdies.

You can sit down again. Oh, what’s in the other bucket? Well, I’ve had these words in my skin for a month. I’ve had time to collect an awful lot of the tears that leak from them.

What? Did I say tears? I’m quite sure I didn’t. Anyway, let us reenact the burial. Have ourselves a teeny, tiny sacrifice. I think the words in my skin are the name, you know? In with the tears – oh gosh, I did say tears, didn’t I? I should have trusted you, friend!

There we go, all in. Look at them splish and splash. Splishy splashy. Sand next.

I’ve been so hungry since this all started, but every time I try to eat I get nauseous. The mere smell of food causes me to wretch. My own skin is quite delicious though, but I am not quite that hungry. Not yet. But good god these birds smell delectable, don’t they friend?

Where are you going? Watch until the sand goes in at least, surely. Look, the birds are getting quiet already beneath the sand. And their movements are stirring it for me, how perfect! Please don’t leave you haven’t heard the story yet! Look! Look at the sand thicken the weepings and turn to stone, a special stone! This is how the king-of-lights was buried, I just know it.

Oh my…oh my, it smells delicious. The birds will satisfy me now, I think, but are you quite sure you won’t dine on me?

If you are sure. Go then! Time to take your part in the story, and trust me you have a part now. God, I am so hungry. Come to me you traitor birds and satisfy my growling wounds.