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O. Captain

What do we say to the god of death?

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What are you thinking about?

                                       Nothing, really.

 

                                       Is death warm?

Sometimes, I suppose. I’m

Not the one to ask about this,

You know.

                                       Yeah. I know. I’d like to think

                                       It’s warm. Like coming home.

You will be coming home,

You know. Not everyone is

Quite as lucky.

                                       I suppose not. Is space cold?

Again, not the one to ask.

Try Z. Or, actually, don’t.

                                       I wouldn’t want to ask him anything,

                                       Either. Are you cold, father?

Not really. The heart of winter        

                                       Is hearthfire, I know.

I know you know.

Sometimes, you just have to say

Something, even if it’s something

The other person already knows.

You know?

                                       Yeah, I know.

 

                                       Is it a metaphor?

Is what a metaphor?

                                       Death.

Sometimes. In stories.

                                       Aren’t we all in a story?

Do you believe that?

                                        Sometimes.

Then yes, we are.

Sometimes.

 

                                       So, is it a metaphor, then?

What answer do you want

To hear?

                                       I don’t know.

Okay, then.

I don’t know.

                                       Clever. I guess the sarcasm is from

                                       You, then.

Did you ever think it was

From your mother?

                                       No, not really.

 

                                       Why does she stick around?

                                       Doesn’t she have leaves to leech light from?

She cares. You’re family

After all. Chaos is your opposite

In part. She balances that order in you.

Upends things. Cleans them out,

Gives you a fresh start.

                                       I guess.

                                       She’s not very nice about it, though.

Chaos isn’t known for kindness.

                                       But she is.

You know better than most:

Sometimes the stories get it wrong.

They get me wrong,

So why not her?

                                       That’s fair, I guess. She’s sharp.

                                       They told me she was motherly.

You have two mothers already,

I think that’s more than enough.

                                       Two mothers, two fathers

                                       Two cousins and three uncles.

                                       That’s not including the extended family.

You’ll never be short on connections,

That’s for sure, Mx. friends-in-high-places,

Mx. Mage of Blood.

                                       I suppose you’re right.

I have to be about some things,

Don’t I?

                                       You should be right about some things,

                                       Yeah. Should be right about death.

It’s different.

For everyone,

From me. I’m not “Death,”

You know.

                                       I know, I know.

                                       But you know Death.

Of course I know death,

Daughter.

 

This has been a one-sided exchange.

Are you cold, daughter of death gods?

Are you warm?

                                       Yes, to both.

                                       Blood is hot like lion’s breath,

                                       Heavy like the iron flecks all together

                                       But words are warm like space

                                       And space is empty, absence of heat

                                        Absence of everything.

Not exactly.

Space is everything,

All at once and all spread out

Across eternity and finite spacetime.

Not that space is my business, but still.

It isn’t nothing.

                                       Once, it was.

No, it wasn’t. But nice try.

Nothing is nothing but Nothing.

It was before. It is Not, now.

                                       I suppose. Will Nothing come again?

Maybe. I don’t know.

I won’t exist in Nothing anymore

Than you would.

 

Are you words, then?

                                        What?

Your answer.

You said blood was hot and

Words were        

                                       Warm like space. I know.

I know you are blood,

All humans are.

But are you words, too?

                                       Aren’t they the same thing,

                                       Words and blood?

You tell me; I’m neither.

                                       Well, to me they are. I don’t know

                                       About anybody else.

                                       To me, I’m made of words. Everything

                                       I write down is what stays. Blood,

                                       It spills. It washes away, eventually.

                                       Words cut deeper into the rock.

                                       Space can be warm.

Sometimes, yes.

In stellar orbit.

                                       Is Reality a star?

Do you think it is?

                                       I think it’s something of the like.

                                       I orbit, satellite captain,

                                       Erratic, like Pluto.

How fitting for his daughter.

                                       Fitting indeed.

Do you land on the star often?

                                       No, not now. Nobody does, really.

                                       You can’t stay there for long, anyway.

                                       It’s too much, for us.

                                       Have you been there, father?

                                       Do you live there?

I can stand it longer,

But no. I cannot live there.

Some things are too much, even

For gods.

                                       Is Reality a god?

No. It never has been.

                                       Is the Nothing?

Silly question,

You know the answer.

                                       Hmm.

Aren’t you tired?

Staying up late talking to

              yourself?

                                       I’m not, though. You know that.

Do I?

                                       Yeah, you do.

If you insist, then.

The point of your fatigue

Still stands.

                                       All right. Goodnight,

                                       Then.

Goodnight,

Daughter of death gods.

 

[Author's note: I wrote this piece rather quickly, and it's far from finished; I'd welcome any tips/criticism.]

Edited by O. Captain
  • Like 2

O. Captain / Cap / Nevermore || fae/faer, they/them, it/its, neutral pronouns

your local space captain and eldritch horror extraordinaire

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