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Ohhh you. I've seen you before. A constant threat. This shadow that follows me everywhere I go, that hugs every glass I drink, that promises in a whisper at the end of every sentence.

What do they hear from you, dear? What is it that you can't say in my prescence that they need to hear from you? They leer with your words, lapping them up like Jackals at the Wildebeast, this leaking life you offer to them. This thing that was mine. Oh, honey, how I watch you go.

I can't claim you can I? I can't say this is mine! I can't look to some golden circle on your finger as evidence of Holy Vows. I have to watch you flit in the crimson fires of our ball, wistfully thinking the world will turn you back towards me at the end of our night out. Our night out.

Such a phrase; a night out. Would that we were escaping something -- freed of chains, confines, lockers or needled iron maidens. No, this is a tomb we enter freely; spread ourselves wide for the harlots to suckle at. Kiss them, honey. I can watch. I can offer my hopes for their fulfillment. I can laugh at their pawing failure to climb your muddy rise.

Then you come here. Face fresh with the ribbons of new victory. They fell at your feet again. They died for you. Such valiant tragedy! Such honor for you to come here and follow me. I didn't ask for it -- you came to me. You offered your loyalty, your promise, your sweet forver.

Oh, love. What can I do? Who can I be? There is nowhere but you in this neverworld. I bring you closer, let you finally whisper to me; what can they hear in your hot breath?

Does the sound ever reach them?

author: Todd Wardrope 1999