Where are you, right now? Somewhere warm? Next to someone you love? Or racing into the abyss, running for your life, chasing the whirlwind? Fumbling in the dark for a sliver of light, a tether, a cord, the proverbial lifeline to pull you back in from the dark waters? Rescue you from the sea monsters swirling around in your subconscious, the faceless who come knocking at the round door?
Would that I were beside you, in this now, not in purple nightmares, stealing your sleep, your hope.
Beat the drums, call forth a protector, a shield, a bell to ring the alarm, force back the demons.
Instead of terrors and bone-chilling cold, we would have the other, warmth and comfort, silent calm in the inky night, a sky full of stars and moonlight. We would see the day begin and the night bleed away. Not this ragged breathing and fearful half-sleep—the constant reality tearing at you as quickly as your heart races to escape.
Once there was a time. A time of innocence, ignorance, the lost and alone going about their daily mindlessness. No guarded steps or second thoughts. No masks or ghosts to haunt your simplest minutes. Only the day’s clock and its steady movement forward. Hours full of minor inconveniences, the unending demand whatever is next tick of the clock.
Once there was a time. People crowded together, bickering over the unimportant. Protecting the lies they live each day. No hand in hand nod, no brother, nor kind words offered to strangers. Only impatience. Only avarice and shawls of hate. This is how you lose the Time War.
Did it take the Red Death walking the cobbled streets, looking for acolytes undeterred from a mission to stir our hearts? How could we be so unprepared for such a one to show his face? Some changed. Some hid. Some fled and many left during the night. Once lawlessness ruled, strangers fighting back, building alliances to stand against the Inevitable Ends. Where were we, then? Marching, hiding, turning into the whirlwind? A step closer, a step farther?
Now, this. This new fate.
We have nothing but this day, a memory of yesterday, the gentle glance of a love, holding our sanity together with what was, not what is.
In the end, there is only You. A step farther, a step closer, a brush of you hand against my cheek, your breath on my neck until I turn and see only your eyes. Familiar reflection in your gaze, holding me in that one lost moment, full of sadness and loss, tenderness and compassion, a flicker of light in all that empty dark.