(I had this scene written for forever but couldn’t ever find a point to INCLUDE it. Also it needs an update now because when this was written, the monster had actively called the King to him, but now, he hadn’t.)
“He was shining,” Micah says. “I will have you know that in that time he was shining, was the King. He was bright. He was a thing of virtue, all mixed in with the pain.”
“What is done by the Kings is right,” Liril says.
“That’s so,” says Micah.
“Is that so?”
She gives him half a smile. “Who are we to judge a King?”
“He came upon the monster, who stood on the building’s roof, and the monster was looking at him with this weird and twisted smile. ‘I’ve called you here,’ the monster said, ‘to break the bonds of Lia and Amiel.’
“And the King, he bowed his head.
“And the King was vaster than the sky; he was the roiling of green and purple clouds, he was the hollow metal drumbeat of the chamber of the world, he was the strangeness of the lights that moved within the sky, and all around him death, and mold, and life, but still he bowed his head, one monarch to another, and then deeper, in submission, and then came tumbling down like falling stones upon the monster’s brow.
(Though I want to include something like: “It came down to Elm Hill,” Micah says, “and the monster stood before it, holding the Thorn that does not Kill in his pale hand. And it was bright, and garbed not then in its vestments of indigo and green, but rather lightning.”)
“But the monster was afraid.”
Liril shakes her head.
“He was,” Micah repeats.
“Nuh-uh,” Liril protests.
The darkness beats vividly in her mind with the memory of the monster’s wings.
“In that moment,” Micah says, “he understood that if he were freed from the bonds of Lia and Amiel, he would cease to be the monster, but only a man, in possession of his sins; and so he struck the King with the Thorn that does not Kill, and punctured the membrane boundary of that life.
“And if you were to ask me why it is that life must war with life; if you would ask me why the flesh doth move unsettledly in our kingdom; if you would wonder why we to Elm Hill do not go, I would say: for this, for that the monster broke the King of Life with the tip of his brutal Thorn.”