I shiver when the work is finished, and ask if she is pleased – knowing she cannot answer in any human tongue. I do not breathe until she retreats to the silent murk, sated for now. Such were your words, Papa – murky, nightmarish, and unclean – for the one piece that will ever appease her. Did you know that it would fall to me, endlessly, to feed what you released? No longer. My music, neglected, strains in the hollows of my skull. I wake for days, and fear to sleep, certain now that no choice remains but this. Today, I will take our little skiff into the mist. The water is black and deep here, and there are no witnesses for what's to come. Far below, the mud stirs and in that obscure movement I hear the accursed chord. Her gaze glitters like buried stars. I drop to the depths a futile bargain. For time, for even temporary freedom, to create what I can. There is sorrow in her opening arms, but no mercy. Your legacy, Papa, engulfs me.
Sun Hesper Jansen is a writer of romantic high fantasy, magical realism, and poetry who divides her time between south-central Wisconsin and northern New Mexico. She is the author of the blog ‘Away from the Machine’ (awayfromthemachine.wordpress.com) where she writes on/as literary therapy for multiple sclerosis.