“Where is the land you promised us?” The legato soared up to the tops of our church. The dark melody reached deep inside our bones, reverberating in the darkness.
Stepping up to the raised platform, the Vicar stepped to the pestle. Their eyes carefully going over each member of the crowd.
It seemed that everyone in existence had come to hear her preach for the first time without her old name.
“Welcome.” She murmurs, the crowd responds.
“I thank you all for coming to my first service,” her voice, rich and small seemed to be swallowed by the silence of the dark crowd. “For my first service, I find it fitting to tell the story of our creation.”
With a short measured breath she opened her mouth.
The world goes silent, soft. You slither over the darkened scape, your body burning in brightness shedding light over the twisted crops.
You keep moving though, ignoring the way the grass crinkles underfoot. You reach the church, the gothic building with dark towers stretch up to the black sky.
The world freezes, your light touches them all once you enter.
You reach the pestle. The woman about to speak is frozen as well, she’s grown older since you’ve last saw her. You circle her, her sharp eyes unmoving and still. But unlike you and the rest of the congregation it isn’t soft. The pupils shrink in size reacting to your light.
You reach out to touch her lips, the sharpness beneath the plush roseate skin feel familiar.
The sharpness of her feels intriguing, and you trail your brightness over her body.
You turn. But you will go back.
You are their savior.
She blinks, her vision was too dim. Unable to cut through the darkness of her familiar home.
She blinked again. Fighting for her vision to return to normal, she thought that she’d be over these episodes once she shed her name and took on the Vicar mantle. Thought the demon that cursed her eyes to light would lose her once she no longer was her before.
But her voice remained steady. Reciting the Scriptures of their people.
“‘What’s so special of you?’ I question. Staring the figures down. ‘I create weapons of mass destruction and pain!’ One of them laughs evilly, it scares me a bit honestly. But still I turn to look at the other one. With flowers braided in their hair and a expressionless face they calmly answer. ‘I use them.’ Says our god.” She recites. Her voice flowing over the familiar passages.
“Our God is not a kind god.” The crowd shifts and rumbles. The familiar truth reverberating throughout the room. “They are dark, are cruel, but we are their chosen. To bask in their darkness and to shun the light.”
Her voice is soft, sticky like the dark at the witch’s hour.
“Created by our God we were shunned by the ones of light, forced to be them with the Smiling God.” A gasp, a small child buried themselves deep in their mother’s embrace. “Worship at their alter with false smiles, our God promised us a land.”
“Millennium of suffering, and pain of smiles, we worshiped in secret. Danced in darkness to pray and pay tribute.” She paused, her eyes searched the crowd. “Until one day, we were caught in our worship. Cast upon the alter of the Smiling God false as the baring of our teeth. And cursed.”
“Our god hear our outraged cries, how dare they abandon us? How dare they ignore our dedicated prayers.” A shiver ran down the spine of the congregation, their ancestor’s trauma still ingrained in their bodies. “The darkness in ours finally was pleasing to our God.”
She let out a shuttering breath, as did all the rest of the congregation. The words sat on her tongue like the memory of pain.
“So he answered our prayers, stole us from the eyes of the Smiling God to our own planet. Dark, wondrous, touched by no light, with oceans that are endlessly deep, forests thicker than our darkness, and mountains jagged as knives.” Her voice was far off, her eyes misty as they traveled over the expanse of her world.
Her eyes rolled back, her tongue swelled in her mouth. The visions of her home dancing, the smiling god’s face smooth cheeks and a white smile who’s teeth ripped into the mountains jagged as knives. That crumbles like nothing.
You see her fall, but you turn you back. Leaving the cathedral to a god who’s darkness masks your’s.
You stroll through the planet, it’s inhabitants freezing once they lay eyes on your light, but blinking aware once more.
But, her… the Vicar, the one who thought changing her name would prevent you from finding her again. As if you wouldn’t know her even if you were blind.
Do you even look at someone and think their life could have been mine?
You know the answer to that. But you shake your head, ridding yourself of the memories of her for now.
Your thoughts run wild, touching a darkened plant shriveling in your light. But then reborn as beauty.
“I named myself an infinity of gods unnamed and unneeded by most everything in this world. But how they would need me once they discovered what I am.” You say aloud, letting the words wash over the forests thicker than the darkness. “How you will need me.”
You hear rustling, and you turn. Seeing a darkened shadowed figure covered with hoods.
With quick and deliberate steps you walk to them.
“Who are you?” They breath out, terrified the scent of their fear leaks through their pores into the air.
You reach out, pushing back their hood. Touch their face softly, their eyes were full of fear.
“Your new god.”
She sits up as if she has been shocked, her breath hissing out of her body as if it was being stolen from her lungs.
“You fainted.” Said an unknown medic.
“Oh.” She whispered.
The medic sat down on her bed, clasping her hands. “I have cleared you to go. Just nerves ya?”
The Vicar nodded at the medic.
“The world needs you just as much as it needs me. It needs wondrous, beautiful, broken, tragic people to create the being of mobile parts and knobs of this universe.” The medic recited the familiar healing chants of their god. “The universe maybe infinite in all of its magic, in all its creation and destruction. But it will never be the same without you.”
The medic kisses her hands. “May the god bless you Vicar.”
The Vicar nods, her eyes still hardened. “You as well.”
The Vicar swept to her own personal apartments, curling into her own divan she stared at nothing. Her mind wandering to the events of today. She swallowed, curling deep under a blanket.
She had thought that she had escaped the brightness. The fainting spells, the visions of those jagged teeth…
Jumping up she raced to the religious scripture, grabbing it and and flipping it to a familiar passage.
“Who are you going to be without me!?” They screamed. The noose around my neck tightening either each word.
“Better,” the word slips out of my mouth like a lie.
“I am better without you,” I scream in my head. “And this is not a noose this is a leash and it does not make me obey!”
With fire in my eyes and fear in my fingers. I reach out to tou—
The words comfort her as if the God she worships is there with her. Holding her hand with their words.
She clutched the religious scripture to her chest, praying fervently to her god.
‘Am I not dark enough?’ She whispered to her god, her fingers gripping the thin papers hard enough to crumble them. ‘What am I not doing for you?’
What if I can’t be what they need me to be?
Quickly shaking her head of those thoughts, she continued to pray with the fervor of a saint....
‘I am a shadow of a saint, some who has fallen from their grace.’ The Vicar thought after a pause in her prayer.
‘God help me.’ She prayed, feeling a warmth on her face she ignored. ‘For I fear the peace of our world has start to crumble.’
You prowl across the uncharted darkness of the world. With each step you take the world alights and becomes intoxicated.
You are burning, smoldering. Watching the Vicar clutch her bible to her chest with the fervor of a man dying.
Reaching out you touch her hand, carefully tracing the bones, ligaments and vessels like they would break at the touch.
You kneel before her, her eyes closed as she fervently prays to a god who would not listen.
But you do.
You reach up, touching her face and brushing the hood away from her face. Gasping when you see her face again. She was the very definition of a false god turned real.
With a careful touch of your tongue to your own lips you lean forward.
Her eyes fly open, seeing you for the first time.
“You don’t belong on my world.” The words fall from her lips without her consent. Her eyes fighting to adjust to the sudden influx of light.
“You say that as if you do too.” It’s response was wrapped in layers of hisses and her heart burst in fear.
“I do though.” She murmured back, her eyes locked on theirs. “It is you though who are the one who is not welcome.”
It hummed, she swallowed. Wanting to shrink away from its gaze but she dared not to for the figure in front of her burned in light.
“Who are you?” She asked, her blanket falling to her waist. Her shoulders bare and it’s eyes traced over her naked skin.
It hums. Just hums. It’s hand starts to reach out to touch her.
“Don’t you dare touch me.” She hisses, the hand pauses.
“You dare deny me?” It snarls, it’s body shaping in anger. Her breath shutters in her lungs.
It’s mouth opens in a shriek, she clasps her hands over her ears. A small noise of pain escaping her through, a bird in the mouth of a fox.
It stops, contoured in anger and rage and pain
“I have lived for too long for this to undo me. I hope you know that. I’ve been undone so many times before for someone like you to break my bonds.” It sneers to her. “Speak again, careful this time.”
“What do you wish of me?” She asked.
It settles on the floor stretching out with its head lolling about.
“Recite scripture to me.”
“‘The beauty of life is the same as the pain.’ The second one said, eyes reflecting flowers. ‘What you don’t understand is that they,’ A jerk of the head to the first speaker. ‘Are your life.’
They blinked. The flowers expanding into an explosion. ‘I am everything else.’” She pauses when the verse came to an end. “What else you want of me?”
“Let me touch you.” It said, its eyes locked on her as if she was its god.
“Yes.” She said with a pause, she flinched when its head was laid in her lap.
“Tell me more.” It demanded. She stilled.
“I wish not to speak.” She says.
Its head shoots up. “Did I not just command you!” It screams, shaking in its fury. “You dare—“
“Can you even blame me for wanting to get out of here? So what if I’m still a villain?: She interrupts, its awesome power forcing her to close her eyes. ”I’m still human. I might be a monster but you still see the best of me. So who’s fault is that? I’ve never hid who I am.”
All while she spoke she prayed.
“What do you want now?” She asked, Her voice is supposed to hold the authority of a command, but it comes like the whisper of a beggar.
“I want your kingdom, I want your life, I want your people, and I want to be your god.” It says.
“I am not in search of a new god.” She says harshly.
“How do you know I am not your god? How do you know I am not the Dark God?” It asks.
“If you were my god you would have killed me the moment I dared to denied you.” She said, her eyes locking on its.
“You are not my god.” She says with conviction of her voice.
“I will take your world one way or another.” It sneers.
“If it is a war you want, it is peace you will get.” She says, her eyes burn through it.
It stares her, its body glowing and its form expanding.
“Leave,” she said simply, her head tilting as its warmth washed over her. “Now.”
It sneers at her once more, before disappearing in a flash of light.
You swarm, your body contouring in rage and pain. She denied you, her dark eyes filled with …. Not rage … Not hatred … Not love she had for her god… Just nothing.
And it enraged you. It burned you. How dare she not know you like you know her? You are everything.
You stand still in the center of something. People dark and cruel stare at you with fear.
The man who you saw first in the woods comes out of the forest. You still rage. He leads you to a village, small and quant. You smile when they come to greet you.
Lifting your arms you raise them to the heavens. Bright shinning light bursting through the darkness.
Your cheeks hurt.
They are too awed struck to scream out when the darkness they’ve loved and fought for so hard disappears under your reign.
It is silent. The world is softer now. And you are contented. For now.
She sits there, still the only thing betraying her life is the slight movement of her neck when the blood pushes through her veins.
What was that? Thoughts swirled through her head. Who was that?
Her eyes were locked on the window, fixed on a far off village where her old name was shed and Vicar was the one she took on.
She blinks, letting her lungs fill and collapse with air. When her eyes open the village is filled with a blinding light.
Quickly she jumps to her feet, running to the balcony. She hit the railing, stopping herself from toppling over the edge and to the ground below.
She screams names she had not uttered in years, she sees the brightness take over their faces worn with memories.
Racing she forgoes the usual robes of her station, she flies down the stairs. She runs, her voice ripping over names.
“Vicar!” Calls one of guards, she slams into his arms.
“Let me go out!” She orders, pounding against his armor. “Let me go! Keyld!”
“It is too dangerous for you!”
“I am the Vicar, how dare you ignore my direct order!” She shrieked, her eyes were wild and she beat his chest more. “I order you to let me go!”
She broke from his grip, running passed guards and ignoring the shouts and hands trying to grip and stop her.
The Vicar’s lungs ached with disuse as she raced through the fields. The fields and the rocks makes the sprint to her old village all the harder.
She prayed, she prayed hard that everything she knew was not being turned into ash and rust.
But her god was a cruel god.
Her god was a cruel god.
You smile in rapture as the people start to accept you as their god. You walk through the light and the rapture washes over them. Their cruel god is washed from them and you, kind and warm, wash them clean from the ashes.
You turn and see her run through the fields of crops, but her body is not suited for this type of stress.
Walking through the light you bless them with your smile and they welcome you because you are kind and sweet.
“No!” Screams someone, you turn.
The Vicar is still running her eyes wild and tears pouring down her face.
“Please no!” She screamed, you burn brighter.
Turning back to them to you ignite them in a brighter light. Washing them in perfection and radiance.
She stops running when she sees you. “Stop this now!” She begs. Her voice broke twice and it was hard to see such radiance in dead eyes
She locks eyes with the thing, it smiles at her and the light grows until she is forced to close her eyes. When she opens them she sees a burnt husk of a village.
Staggering into the ashes she stares around. Ashes and rust and nothing is there anymore.
“No, no, no, no,” she chants her legs threatening to give out from under her.
“Smiling God!” She screamed out, fire blazing in her eyes made of pain and anger. “Show yourself to me you coward!”
“You dare call me—“
“Speak again and I will use your tongue as brick to rebuilt this place.”
“You have attacked my home, killed my family,” She was blazing. “You dare-“
She cut herself off. “My god is not a Smiling God and we are ready for this war!”
The thing leans forward, it’s teeth jagged and shining through blood soaked lips.
“Darling,” it’s lips brushed against her ear, its lips tracing over her name. “This is a war you will not win.”
She swallowed, her hands shaking and her heart beat wildly trying to escape her chest.
“Then I will haunt you in your life,” she raised her eyes to it, searching through them and it realized that there was a reason why she was chosen to be the Vicar.
Darkness wasn’t in her blood, it was her blood. “I will make pottery with your bones, ensure of nothing of your memory persists and I will drink your blood in libation of my victory.”
The words were sacred, words only to be spoken when war was inevitable.
Words not spoken in millennium.
“Run fast, run far, and pray to my god that I do not find you.”
The thing disappeared in a blast of shining light and Vicar was left alone in the village where her name was given and shed from her body.
A breathe escaped her, eyes squeezed shut, she turned. Walking back to her Alcazar, she had a war to prepare for.
You cannot stop smiling, cannot stop the sharp pain around your lips. You are not sure if you could stop smiling if you wanted to.
The sight of her burning, the idea of your blood passed through her lips.... it’s intoxicating.
You wonder if she would savor it like a fine wine, or drink it like the last liquid on her forsaken planet.
But she’s never going to get the chance. You lick your lips, tasting the wine she wants.
Slowly you turn around making a slow circle. “I summon you, my loyal servants.”
One by one they appear from the ground, each one smiling, their teeth beautifully white.
“You will be my army,” you say headily, your smile growing with each word. “You will fight a war for me, my congregation.”
Their smiles grow wider, and their cheers rocked through the valley.
“Good, good,” you laugh, smiling so much it hurt. “Now, go get more of you, convert them all, my people.”
Your thought turn back to her, you lick your lips in the thought of what she is.
People like them are untouchable, not because they are unearthly. But because of how comfortable they are with themselves, because of how they know who they are.
They are the people who have done battle with the universe and came out on top. And you can tell by the spark in their eyes. And how the very atoms of the earth run from them.
You would break her down, burn her essence. And you would be happy.
“Do not tell me what is possible and what is not!” She screams, her hood falling from her face with her anger. “I’ve seen it with my eyes pure and unblinded, the Smiling God is here!”
“He cannot find our planet, we are safe here.” The council tried to pacify her.
“Did you not see Keyld?” She asks, her eyes blazing. “Did you not walk and see the ash and rust of the homes?”
“I declared war against him,” her eyes were blazing and fearless.
“That was foolish, unwise--”
“My old name rested there.” She says, and suddenly the council fall silent. “My old name, before I was Vicar.”
“You’re letting emotions cloud your sight.”
“My sight is clear, it may be the memory of me that died, but I would do the same of any other village.” She says sharply.
“Councilman,” she directed at one hood. “The place where your old name rests, not far from where mine rest, yes?”
They nod. “Yes, it is.”
“How would you feel if the grave of your old name was destroyed by the thing you were sworn to protect them from?” She asked softly, her head tilting and her eyes burning him.
“You’re about to lie to me.” She whispers, eyes falling to her lap.
“May I recite scripture?” He prompts.
“I have seen the glowing embers of the universe. And they are begging to be ignited...
I fear when they start to burn.” He says, his voice rough over the sacred words.
“You forget the next verses.” She says, lifting her head. “I wanted to see the greatness of the universe. Now I wish that I’ve never seen the great glowing embers. For now I cannot stop but spread and ignite.”
She blinks at him slowly, and he is reminded of a hawk hunting its prey.
He is out of his depth.
“The verses are meant to warn against the brightness of the Smiling God, and the power of his infection in one of our own.” She explains coldly. “And is it not our job to prevent that spreading?”
She waits for a few moments before prompting once more. “Is it not?”
“It is our job.” He whispers, the coldness in her voice is choking him.
“I’m glad you agree, I’m glad all of you are in agreement.” She says sharply.
Pushing her chair back, the legs scraping against the stone floors.
“You all are dismissed.” She turns, the shoes clipping against the stone.
She breathes out, climbing to her chambers and settling on her divan.
It has been a long day, but she sat up. “I sleep now so I can be awake when I die.” She prayed, then curled back into her divan. Falling into a deep sleep.
You watch her chest rise and fall with her breathe. If you watch her neck, very carefully, you can almost see her vein pulse with her blood.
She’s beautiful, all dark hair and skin. Its no wonder the Dark God took an interest in her.
Too bad you took a liking to her sooner.
With warmed fingers you press your fingers to the pulse. Quickly replacing it with your lips, letting the warmed wine run over your skin.
Nothing is unforgettable. Especially a creature like her. All jagged lines and smooth skin.
Her breath is steady, and it puffs over your face. You softly exhale, she stirs and turns away from you.
You reach to caress her face once more, letting her soft skin burn under your heat.
“Until I see you again.” You whisper like a lover, letting your lips brush over her skin. Soft and supple and burning.
You leave the room, laughing at the young Vicar.
How she prayed to a god who did not listen, when you were their… the only one who listened to her prayers.
She blinks awake with the rising sun, reaching up she touched her cheek. Surprised when her fingertips come back with flaked skin.
Her breath escapes her, running to her private lavatory. She looked in the mirror, ignoring her wild eyes and focusing on the burn marks on her face.
A whimper escapes her throat, she grabs a wired brush and scrubs at her face. Not caring of how it cut through the tender skin to draw blood.
She knew where the burns came from, and she wanted nothing to remind her of where the Smiling God laid its skin on her own.
“My lady!” Gasps a servant, but the Vicar pays her not attention, keeping scrubbing. Not wincing when the soap turns bloody as the wires scratch below layers of skin.
The servant runs for her, grabbing the brush and pulling it from her grasp. “Vicar you have hurt yourself!”
The Vicar turn her burning eyes to the servant, and her voice dies in her throat.
“Take me to a healer,” her voice sent claws racing down the servant’s spine.
The servant walks as quickly as she can without running to lead her Vicar to a healer.
“Wake up,” she hisses, her cold hands waking her friend. “The Vicar needs attention.”
The healer jerks awake, seeing the Vicar and their friend hovering over them.
Their mouth drops open, seeing the bleeding Vicar with a cold expression on her face.
“Are you not a healer?” She asks, and the healer is reminded of a snake. “Heal me.”
The healer jumps to attention, retrieving a rag to mop up the blood.
After the blood had stopped, the healer prods the scraps with warmed hands.
“You scrubbed too deep,” their voice is still heavy with sleep and nerves of being trusted with the now flawed skin of their leader. “You’ll scar.”
“I was burned that deep,” the Vicar responded, her own hand coming to touch her skin. “I would rather have scars from the brush than burns.”
“What were the burns from?” The servant prodded.
The Vicar blinks at her, and the servant is reminded that gossip of the Vicar is blasphemy.
“I’m sorry,” the servant whispers, her eyes fixed on her feet. “I forgot my place.”
The Vicar blinks, eyes on the servant. “Don’t.”
“I.. I am your Vicar, I am your servant, your guide, your darkness.” She says, reaching out for their hand. “But I must protect you from the light, do you understand?”
“No,” the servant murmurs, staring at her hand in the Vicar’s. “But, I believe in our God, therefore I believe in their conduit on our world.”
The Vicar nods, letting go of the servants hand.
The healer finishes their job. Warm hands caressing the cuts.
“You are only Human,” the healer reminds the Vicar. “You are our conduit, but you are still mortal.”
“I am more than mortal.”
You feel her stalk away from her loyal children, prowl to her private chambers.
“I know you are watching me,” you hear her call to you. “Come.”
You burn, racing to her. “You call me,” you purr.
“You dare,” she hisses, you note the scars on her face. Ignoring your anger as she would ruin the marks of love you left her for those of anger. “Defile me with your touch.”
“On the contrary,” you say, spinning around her. “I decorated you.”
“You’re not my god.” She reminds, you blink. “And anytime you touch me it is defilement.”
You hum. “How dark you are.” Exploding into light to banish the dark.
But she still stood, still surrounded in the dark love of her god.
“This darkness is mine. How dare you try and put a claim on what you do not understand?”
“If you speak another lie to me I’ll bring dark to the light you so cherish.” Her voice scares you for a moment. But then you remember who she is when compared to you.
“You threaten me?”
“‘Go head shoot, I know my ancestors will smile at me when they see me at the gates.’ Said the girl, gun to her head and inspecting her deep red nails. She rose her eyes to his, arching a single eyebrow. ‘Question is; will yours?’” She quoted scripture.
“Do you know meaning of it?” You question, burning brighter. Usually she’d advert her eyes, but today they stay smoldering. The two dark points shaming your light.
“My loyalty lies with my god, my ancestors know this, and when they judge me they will welcome me into the embrace of his dark cloak.” She says with the conviction you wish she spoke with you of. “While, when my god comes to destroy you in the final battle whoever birthed you will question if you are worthy of forgiveness.”
“Do you have a guess of what they will say?”
“If I were them,” she starts then pauses. Her dark eyes blinking at you. “You are not worthy of my answer.”
You stare at her, and she looks back. Eyes burning in darkness.
“My life is as beautiful and as glorious as anyone else's. How dare you imply that my happiness is somehow worth less than theirs.” You quote from your own scripture, the words are husky and give the air of something rotten...
“My life has many possible outcomes. Each one as infinite and distinct as stars in the sky. As molecules in the universe. As grains of sand on a beach. How dare you think you alone define me?” She quotes back, the original words flowing over her lips, her tongue, her teeth. And you are reminded of how hollow your words are when mirrored to the Dark God’s.
She takes a step forward, and you take one back.
“You’re a mirror verse of my god,” her voice smolders with a dark heat. “You are nothing but a copy that is inferrer to the original, I worship only the Dark God, cruel and beautiful. You are nothing.”
You shriek, burning bright with the force of a thousand suns. She stands still, dark eyes unwavering and unblinking.
She stares at the ignited god, watching it burn. She’s steady and is careful not to blink. It watched her, expecting her to break and bow.
But she doesn’t waver, not for a second. Her god gave her the strength not to waver.
After it is gone she breathes out. Still not wavering.
Stalking to where the council laid, she burst through the door. Without her hood and her flawless skin now scared, the council almost did not recognize their leader.
“Gather the armies.” She hisses.
“What happened?” Asked a counselor.
“The Smiling God.”
“Perhaps… you summoned them.” Offered a councilman.
“You act as if I wanted this.” She says, touching the marks on her skin.
The touch of skin across her scars softened her for a moment. She blinks, hardening once more.
“I am the conduit of your god,” she hisses, the council shifts and shrivels under her gaze. “How dare you imply that I, out of everyone, have asked for this!”
The council blinked at her, and one got up. Hands hidden under the robe he wore.
“Vicar, you are coming undone.” He tries to sooth her, but he forgets that darkness cannot be tamed. “Maybe take a rest.”
Her teeth are bared in a sneer. “No.”
“Vicar.” He says softly, and her eyes flash when she senses his weakness.
Faster than the viper her old name once was she caught the hand of the Councilman. A knife sharp and bright hung in his hand.
“I have the blood of kings and gods flowing through my veins. How dare you try and spill it on commoners ground!" She screams, wrenching the knife from his hand.
She is raging in such a way that they see their god, dark and cruel, in her eyes.
Wrestling the man, the Vicar has him on his knees.
“Beg.” She demands, and the man is crying.
“Would our god have mercy for you?”
“No,” he rasps, and his mind is only on one piece of scripture.
He stood there blazing brighter than the sun.
In that moment he transcended all he could be, all he will be. In that moment, he broke the bonds of life itself to burn across the cosmos.
And I swear in that moment, he was a god.
The Vicar was that writing, a perfect embodiment of ink in blood and bone.
“Tell me, what did you plan with the knife?” She asked, pressing it against her hand. The sharpened edge threatened to break in her skin, but even it seemed not to dare to break it.
“Did you plan on killing me?” She pressed, as the man cowered. “Marking me with the symbol of the Smiling God?”
“Answer your Vicar.” She says, her voice quite but not soft.
“Did I stutter?” She hisses after a moment of silence. “Or did you not hear me?”
“I told you to answer me.”
“You do not deserve the titles you have!” He screeches, eyes mad and wild. “You are nothing! You are—“
He gurgles, the knife in her hand suddenly bloody. “I am dark, I am cruel, and there is a reason why I am Vicar.”
He gurgles as the blood flows from his neck, she watches with cold eyes as he dies.
He slumps over on her feet, and she kicks him off like the mutt he is.
“Do any of you doubt me?” She asks, all eyes are locked on the body in front of her feet.
“Do you?” She presses again.
“No,” each one kneels. “My Vicar.”
Her eyes spare a glare to the man on the floor. His body still and blood still poured out from cut on his neck.
“Do something with him.” She said, taking a step back from the blood pool forming around him. “Give him the proper burial rights, until now he was loyal.”
Her shoes clipped on the stones as she walked away.
“Vicar!” Called a man.
“Yes?” She asked, not turning all the way.
“Will you be giving the funeral rights? Or do you wish another?”
She keeps walking. Returning to her chambers, staring down at the knife.
Her God killed many before, and they did not hesitate for the strike of their knife.
She did not hesitate either, but she was now wondered if his death was worthy.
The knife glinted up at her, the black metal covered in dark liquid.
I am a killer, the thought rings out in her head, I am a killer.
Although she looks uncaring, the thought and the disgust she felt boiled in her as she tucked it back into her sash.
I am the darkness that all other people are measured by. I am the chosen of the Dark God. And he conducts me in all things, he wouldn’t cause me to kill without reason.
I believe in my god, and I believe in what he calls for me.
“I believe in you,” she promises letting her train of thought press through her lips to become truth. “I believe in the path you have set me down.”
She fell to her knees, clutching her bible close to her chest and mouthing words she knew better than her face.
“I might not be eternal but that makes me human.” The Vicar whispers to herself, touching the Bible to her lips. “I am human, and more than I am.”
Somedays she could not wait for the Dark God to come for her, to have her ancestors to judge her for what she has done and accept her into his cloak of dark matter. A secret she would never tell is her how favorite part of living is how she would die.
“My mind is an increasing amount of violent silent,” she whispered, clutching her holy book. “Mind of violence for your delightment.”
She rejected you, tore your mark from her skin.
You will rage a war that will last centuries long after she has fallen for this disrespect. How dare she? You are the Smiling God, beautiful and light and kind.
But her fire reminds you of a verse you stole from the Dark God, erasing it and claiming it as your own.
Poison is not in his blood, poison is his blood. Do not confuse the two.
You forget how strong she is, when she stood unflinching and bold against your light. The staunch refusal to have her darkness purified by your light.
Those thought disappear as quickly as darkness when you stand in front of your converted army. Big and smiling in rapture, beautiful and kind.
“Today we will wage a war!” You say, enrapturing all. “We will reclaim the dark planet for me! The one true god!”
They cheer, their smiling only for you.
You smile so much your cheeks crack, and blood runs down
“Vicar!” Shouts a guard as she is pouring over supply routes and conscription notices. The war has been raging for months, and her army is dwindling.
She has known for weeks and months that the Smiling God was forcing people to be slaves for their good intent. But she had faith, for what else could be done?
“They are at the gates.” They say breathlessly.
Her heart drops, gripping the stained knife tightly she stares at him.
“Take me to it,” she says calmly for if she showed fear then they would be scared.
They walk slowly to the balcony where she can see the congregation. All smiling faces with blood dripping down them, the ends of their smiles curling around their eyes.
Her breath escapes her lungs. “Dark God save us all,” she says under her breath, ensuring that the guard could not hear her.
“What are your orders.”
“Bring all in the gates into the alcazar, anyone outside the gates have been converted.” She says with the confidence of a ruler. “Arm the ones who can fight, but all others keep them away from battle.”
“The others,” the guard tried to argue. “My fam—“
“Now are the servants of the Smiling God and therefore heretics to our faith, they are no longer worth saving or our mercy.” She responded before his words could take effect on her soul. “Go, before I find someone more willing to follow my orders.”
“Yes, My Vicar.”
She continues to watch the gates, all the while praying to her god for guidance.
“Give me the cruelty to do what needs to be done,” she prays, averting her eyes from the servants trying to overcome the gates.
She turns, the sounds of protests filling her ears.
But one scream cuts through them all, giving her a pause. When more follow she runs back to the balcony.
“No,” she whispers, seeing the gates be pried up. Servants of the Smiling God under them, holding them. When one falls and is crushed more take their place.
An endless cycle of lift, crush, replace, repeat.
“Get inside now!” She screams, her calmed presence is broken. And unlike most things unrepairable.
The railing is digging into her stomach as more of the servants walk calmly into her city while her people stagger for the walls of her home.
“No.” She repeats when she sees she will be unable to save all of them.
With her eyes closed she screams another order. “Close the gates!”
The gates slam down, crushing a young girl who clutched a bible to her chest. The Smiling God’s servants claw at the bottom of her, letting the gate rip her apart completely.
And for one moment the world is completely silent. She is reminded of the time before she shed her name, where the wold is silent, still, and soft.
But this time…. Everyone is still and silent and the world isn’t soft.
“I wish you to be accepted into his cloak and I thank you.” She says, the rail digging into her stomach. “My world was big but I was small. I forgot I was the one who made my world.”
The funeral rights for those who died for their faith.
Tears fall from her eyes.
“Why do you cry for them?” You ask her, appearing behind her.
“You have gone too far.” She says, turning. “Attacking those in my own home.”
She is beautiful even in her tears.
“How dare you?”
“This is war.”
Her eyes flash, the darkness in them burning. “I hate you.”
That angers you, baring you teeth you crowd her against the rail.
“Care to speak again?” You hiss.
“I hate you.”
“I was going to give you mercy.”
“You act as if mercy was something I expected.”
You explode, holding nothing back from your light. A glorious burning of nothingness and peace.
She still does not blink.
“Why will you not relent?!” You scream, losing your temper.
“Because I am stronger than you!” She screams through tears and shaking. “I believe in my god and he gives me strength!”
“I killed him,” you say, watching her faith shattered because you cannot lie. “We fought like your prophecy predicted, but I came out the winner. No one will be absorbed into his dark cloak. Your prayers will not be answered for I killed your god.”
“No.” She whispers, tears falling anew. “No, no, I believe in the Dark God, and he will absorb you in his—“
She screams loud and wrenching when you show her a blood soaked piece of cloth.
The one that decorated you every time you saw her.
The Smiling God killed her god.
It slaughtered him.
And it wore it as garment in her presence.
She falls to her knees, knowing that even if she dies now there will be no one to judge her and accept her into the cloak.
‘I am betrayed by the beating of my body.’ She thinks to herself. Then aloud.
“I am betrayed by the beating of my body.” For if she was truly…. If she was true then she would have dropped dead the moment her God died.
“You should have accepted me when you had the chance.”
“What of my people?” She asked, prostrate in front of her sworn enemy.
She choked back a sob. Looking to the eyes that she knew were filled with some form of twisted love for her.
“You think you could have lost me when I found you shed your name?” It asked, gripping her jaw and returning its mark into her skin. “I killed your god the moment I realized who you devoted yourself for.”
It turned to walk away. And she knew what she must do.
Her eyes were dead as she realized the ending to her story.
Her breath escaped her.
She looked down at her knife. Knowing and
She tilted her head back, reaching the knife to he-
You hear her wrenched screams, you turn. Seeing that she has carved a smile into her face. White teeth exposed on her black skin.
She raises to her feet, rushing to you.
“I will be yours if you will save my people and leave them in peace.” She swears as she presses herself to you.
You lift up her head, relishing the feeling of her blood on your fingertips.
You raise your finger to your mouth, relishing the taste of her coppery blood.
The smile on your face is bleeding, dripping golden ichor on her skin.
“You were always mine,” you hiss into her ears. “Do you know why?”
You wrench her closer to your body.
“Because you are me, and I am you.” You whisper her shed name into her ear. “And you know it is truth.”
"How?" She whispers, her voice broken but her smile is still in place.
"You were born into his cloak, but when I saw you I stole you from it, gave you a piece of me and yet you chose the god who let you die than the one who gave you life."
"I am sorry," the words escape her.
You smile wider, claiming your own lips.
Then the world she, you, I loved so much exploded into the light and banished the darkness you once loved so much.
But you are the Smiling God, she is the Smiling God, and you have won.
You turn to the planet of the Dark God. You hear her in your head though, a small voice screaming.