“What now?” Liril asks, after a while.
“You go in,” Melanie says, standing up. “And you be a crucible of gods, and you try so very hard to forget that this ever happened, because you can’t afford to be thinking about labyrinths and heroes and your old friend Melanie when the monster’s trying to pull a construction deity out of your heart. And it won’t work. You’ll be distracted. You’ll be wanting things, and you’ll be hating me, and you’ll be yearning to have what that other girl has, and you’ll be broken.”
Liril licks her lips.
“He’ll probably kill you,” Melanie says. “Then he won’t have a single proper crucible left. He’ll have to use ordinary children and their silly little emptiness. It will be a sad day for the monster.”
“No,” Liril says.
“All your remembering forward,” Melanie says, “and still, I bet you can be killed. I bet you can be killed right in the middle of a prophesy, bam, just like the rest of us mid-anticipation.”
Why are you being cruel? Liril asks.
She can’t get the words out. Melanie’s face twitches. After a moment, Melanie answers even the silence.
“I don’t want to see you like this any more,” Melanie says.
Liril tilts her head to one side.
You could have just not come back.
Melanie kisses Liril on the forehead.
“Go be a good crucible,” she says, “and break.”
[The Frog and the Thorn – CHAPTER ONE]
March 18, 1995
Four times the monster reaches into her and pulls forth a god, and it is not the god of his desiring.
Iaccholyreus, the labyrinthine god, slips free of her chains. He is gone before the monster can seize him, laughing, skipping, burning and slipping down secret paths and out of Liril and the monster’s ken. Renderin, the wild god of the skies, bursts forth and is caught and ripped apart by the monster’s hands. A sewer gnome bubbles up and is forced back; a superstructure god constitutes, but cannot hold himself together. His eyes widen, he gives a great shout, and then he is nothing more than unbound miracle circling the brown drain within the room.
The last is Micah.
The last eduction calls forth Micah.
It does not go well.
The sands dripped through the hourglass
And the hour of the wolf closed in at last
And life is sweet and the sun is high
But the flesh and the fire are born to die
It hurts her in places she did not know still existed to be hurt, the birth of Micah. He surges out from that part of her that still wants things — no, not still; but, rather, now — and he leaves her bruised and broken entire.
She is forced to cough him out, runneling from her throat in a gout of fluids, and her lungs are aching, and her chest is aching, and several of her ribs are broken, and worst of all, there is a lingering echoing openness in the part of her that remembers how to want.
And in all of that she would feel well rewarded had she brought forth a constructive god, but she had not.
He is no god of buildings.
If anything, he is a boy.
let’s try Wednesdays and Fridays for a bit, with Mondays going to Chibi-Ex.