When the crow-slick dark bloomed in the sky I did not cry, I did not weep. Instead, I allowed Death’s aphotic feathers to tickle long strokes on my porcelain skin, naked and begging for condescension. The sensation spurred a sharp toothed slash of content to cut red through my cheeks hewn to life-deadened marble.
I’ve always known that authenticity fades in the light, the truth bleached weak in sepia hued facade. It is in the nighttime that humanity bites their shackles loose, their muscled tongues looping thick chain links, savouring the iron-rich metal that brands their throats with the soft drip of wrong. For depravity spurs joy when judgement is blind in sleep.
So, as the primrose yellow glare of sun became dotted with ink from the master’s pen, I flooded with relief. I rejoiced as he drew a bumblebee sting of molten venom and released it to creep like mercury through sprawling tree roots and to thread in silver webs that turned solid in water, damming the rivers and streams. Sustenance altered for the new age.
Earthen sweat dripped tangy with fear and the humans crouched low in light of perceived strikes from a vengeful God. Their skin morphed to pallid parchment, cracked papyrus leeching pus sap to glisten upon stricken faces. Tear-choked wails of remorseful prayer thickened the air to a rich soup of torment, a fragrant siren call to rouse the beasts from slumber.
The forests became rambunctious in parliament and switch blade talons sprouted without shame from fur and feathers erect with sparking electricity. In formation, they marched upon the man-made towns; across deserted bridges and down machine-tarred black roads. Their glistening pin-teeth were bared and ready to bite.
The weak among us turned to bone, their flayed meat swallowed raw, but the feral were free to indulge. And in the blood shed of pain and pleasure we were returned to the animal state, civilization eradicated, we were able to live free.
Marie-Louise McGuinness comes from a wonderfully neurodiverse household in rural Northern Ireland. She has work published or forthcoming in Roi Faineant Press, Bending Genres, Intrepidus Ink, Flash Fiction Magazine and The Airgonaut amongst others. She enjoys writing from a sensory perspective.
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