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Banter & Slander

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A something. Perhaps a nothing. A five minute work, perhaps designed to test my Lovecraftian mettle.


And as the bullet penetrated the soft tissue of my stomach, and rebounded off my spine, I felt myself falling backwards, the air a blanket of forgetfulness as it folded around me.The ground came up to meet me like the brutal ending of a dark dream, and the blood of my body felt like summer rain as it filled my lungs.

There was a sound, a firmament, and a peculiar light in the eye of the falling dreamer.

Somewhere, a cat the color of sleek night sings a song of loss and sorrow.

I woke. But not quite. And not yet.

And he is running through the snow. For hours to no end. A lifetime in the cold can not erase the memory of those few days in the warmth of affection. His songs grows louder, but men seldom pay heed to the sorrow of cats.

And I woke. The gelatinous membrane draped around my body was rubbery soft, slippery strong and summery green. And I felt the need, the need to be born. The need to split my caul and join... the living?

'You do no belong! There can be no sanctuary for you in this land! The caul will not break, the veil will not be lifted! Keep him down, keep him back, keep him out! Keep him alive, keep him well, keep him safe!' Chaos roared, and nighttime called. 'We will not, I can not, they shall not, not cross, not yield, not fold, nor let! Stay back, stay out, stay down!'

'Critters! I was born face first, and the women they were screaming "Ye gods, he's got teeth!"' I stood tall, straight and ever taller. 'This is my land!' I rose, the caul stretching thin as glass as I tore at it. I pushed. I tore. And I hungered. 'Who are you to keep to keep me back to keep this land away? Why can I not stay, stay where hunger can be sated, where I was born again?'

'Still, still, and stillborn! You do not belong, could not persist, could not exist in this land. You are the shining, the bright, and we the lost, not of your kind. You were never of this land'.

'Then tell me WHY,' I roared. The membrane was stretched taut between my powerful arms, and beyond the partially transparent surface, I could see shapes. 'I will not be lost between lands. And I have been ousted from the first land of my birth. Who are you to deny me the second? WHY?'

And a shade of a girl detached herself from the rolling mass of bodies and souls, from the stygian ocean of sliding dead, mixing and meshing with each other, one being at one moment, a collection of dreams and memories the next. Through the membrane, her face the color of night and bone, black and stark white, the shade of a girl shone as clearly as patches of light and darkness. The chant sang 'keep him lost, keep him unborn, keep him not'. And she smiled, and gave me in that smile all the sorrow and loss of both worlds. She spoke.

'You have colors.'