A happy gathering...lost friends, lost children. Found, at last, though no way home for them, for any of us.
More...more than I ever might have imagined, than have ever come before, here, at the edge of the abyss. All known to me, dear to me, their stories mine, over the decades, the centuries of their living.
Told, now, all come to this same moment, this same precipice.
The last echoes, and the first.
New stories, from here on, that even I don't know, that I can never tell.
This strange silence, this bizarre togetherness...almost maddening, after so long alone. But I do as I swore; I tell what I can, of those that are here, of those they remember; those they have loved and abandoned, adored and betrayed. Those they have abused and raped and mutilated.
Oh yes, every species of sin here, and every virtue, too.
No distinction, for my part; long since lost the ability to discern; one story as welcome as the next, pouring through and from me without any recourse but to love, and to adore the children who made them.
With every telling, a last word: none faltering, none reneging: oaths they swore to themselves, before they even took their first breaths, before thought sparked in the womb.
Happy, so happy, to have an end, to be an end, their myths echoing from this place, out, out through the spires above, into the sick and heaving skies, to the dying stars beyond. Out across wastes and desolations, across dying realms and boiling oceans, through the darkness between worlds, finding new minds in which to anchor themselves, new hosts to infest. Retold, again and again, distorted, transformed, rendered new for each teller and audience.
A matter of millennia, as long as their original telling, the living of them, but shared, here; these others, whose tales diverge and contradict, carried along; worms between the words, parasites growing fat off of other fictions.
While I wither, while I split and sift away, only dust inside.
Wavering, at the last, when there are only two left: beautiful children, serpent children; naked and bloodied sadists, smiling through their masks, the stories they tell so hideous, I almost falter, breaking the rhythms that threaten to reshape all.
Smiling, as they cling together, as they refuse. As I choke on my own dust, the last words stuttering. As the chamber shudders, as Heaven screams. As the abyss itself howls, shrieking metal, agonised voices, those already passed caught within its mechanisms, ground and pulped and shrieking to be forgotten.
Pleading with them, with my eyes, where words no longer serve; tears of dust, the most empty mourning, for a life of purpose so cruelly denied.
So beautiful, almost luminous in their allure, their hands on me cold and cruel, but welcome, so welcome, as they drag me to the edge, laughing their angel's laughter, and hurl me into my own engine; the god-machine where all stories originate, and where all now end.
George Lea is an entity that seems to simultaneously exist and not exist at various points and states in time and reality, mostly where there are vast quantities of cake to be had. He has a lot of books. And a cat named Rufus. What she makes of all this is anyone's guess.