Instances in the Life of a Demon God
You want. It is the greed of a child with the distinctly adult disappointment
that you have lived with all your life.
You want. This is a sharp, painful ache, not so easy to ignore as the
dull throb of your wish for this war to be over, for your life to be over.
You want. You have seen something inside that shell, something alive and
moving and glowing, and you are determined that you will have that.
And you hate her. Oh, it is nothing she has done, but he cannot kill her
when he would kill anyone else, and he shows her his own strange breed
of compassion when he steals from you and never acknowledges your help
She too has seen that creature inside the machine, but she cannot see
that you have already made your claim in blood and violence and a hope
you had long forgotten.
You have made yourself known. You have forced him to really look, forced
him to notice you and not just the person he thinks he sees.
And he responds in kind. The first time, you are both painfully ignorant
and awkward, but it is no less beautiful for that; after all, you are
touching him, and you are peeling back that shell to get to the being
inside, this thing that flutters in your hands and glows ever brighter
with your kisses.
He often resists this opening, but you have both learned how to surrender,
and sometimes, when he is lost and mindless and writhing for you, there
is no shell at all.
You no longer hate her, because you know now that she cannot do what you
have done, for he recoils from things so innocent and cannot understand
The war is over.
It should bring relief, but instead it brings a sense of aimlessness that
is little like freedom.
There is tension between you and he now, for the war changed you and the
end of it has changed you more. You argue often, and though it is easier
now to kiss him, to hold him, it is bittersweet, and maybe both of you
take it for granted now that it is not so dangerous to give in to these
Sometimes you wish he had chosen her to save you the trouble of this,
but you know you would not have survived if it weren't for something dear
to cling to, some hope that the two of you could get out of this and really
learn to live.
It is routine now, and he doesn't glow the way he used to, and you wonder
if maybe this is normal, if this is real life.
New wars break out every few years. Peace cannot last long between such
creatures as humans. Your experiences with him have taught you this much,
But now you are with him again, and you cling to one another the way you
used to, when you still had the faces of children.
In periods of quiet, if they last too long, you will argue again, you
will lash out at each other in your mutual unease. You are both children
of war, and without the war to guide you, you have little purpose.
You bring him flowers. You have made it a ritual these days, and you like
to imagine that his silence is gratitude.
There is gray at your temples and your hair is cropped short; you walk
with a limp. You are no use to the war effort any longer, but neither
is he, so you like to spend all the time you can with him.
It has been years since you met him, long, hard years that have all begun
to meld together lately, so your memories tend to overlap. You can see
him sometimes with his face still cherubic, eyes still deadly, and you
try hard to remember the expression he got just after that rapture, the
peace that settled over him.
He is surrounded by your flowers, and he has not bothered to throw out
the wilted ones. It takes effort to kneel down, especially with that wounded
leg, but you manage.
You have never told him you love him, but you do so now, and he still
will not speak. The joints in your fingers are aching as you offer the
flowers to him. They are two rosebuds; yellow for friendship and red for
love. You lean in and press your lips to cold granite, and you whisper
again that you love him.
He remains silent as always.
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