This is a fable that was once told me by a candle-light. I quite vividly remember laying down and feeling quite sick; of myself and also physically. As I strode and hoisted myself on a stool to stare at the mirror, I could see myself withering away. A paltry thing with a silver surface to me, but with its decorations and ornaments fit for the castle that was my abode. It is really me, not the mirror I’m telling you about.
What is my name?
The caretaker Milbith hoisted me up and bathed me when I soiled myself. And it happened all the time. It was war-time and there was no time for growing up. The silent history of the victor’s hue of things gone would erase us all from time, place, meaning…
What was my name?
Before Helena there was a woman; I think she might have been my mother. A willowy thing that spoke to me only by touch alone, she was ethereal and I now know that I was faé-touched. But that world sunk and I was left behind and grew strong. They gave me a name.
Then I carved my own. Again and again. Through sorcery I lived longer than one ever should, travelled far and wide, strayed away from the fights I could not win and ruthlessly took from those who called me pupil. I regret killing them for their secrets, but it still doesn’t matter. *wake up Cicero!”
So he met the fuck-face he calls Mark Antony and they’d gathered a sizeable amount of an army, both resorting to burned-earth tactics. Kind of a no-way situation out for both of them. Well, at least that is what I said when he first told me that he was “thing-king” at the time... They foolishly relied on magic; of all things. Puff-the-magic-dragon gonna save the victor today, kinda shit.
Well they both died at the battlefield. Mark, whose real name is Iblis by the way, just decided to be a giant dick about the death-thingy and… *It’s all perfect, the murals, I could wonder here for ages…*
Well Cicero died, I brought him back. I’ve told you this part already. I’m digressing anyway.
The bedroom is resplended with imagery and décor of all that one could, should or even should not desire.
There is a large circular opening in the ceiling. It should be dark outside, but it is just the sky up in there. Blue upon blue; with just a few wisps of smoke.
Mark comes in after them and his henchmen seize Helena instantly with chain and web. Cicero is oblivious to his surroundings, intent on staring at the hole.
Kneeling beside him, Mark breathes words into Cicero’s face, triumphant. He congratulates the slouching crumbled form on his successful plot to ambush Katelma. It would be out of the picture for some time still.
Raising his razor-like finger, he rips open Cicero's left nostril spilling a stream of blood over the shining stone masonry; and turns away angrily snarling and then sharply kicking a pedestal, cracking it in half. The splinters have no time to reach the floor before he holds up his ornate battle-claw in a “Do-it-now-motion.”
One of the men quickly comes over to gather the blood into a small watering can, tilting Cicero’s head backward just a … little… bit. It licks it lips, eyes wandering to the red pool gathering, like a rising tide, at their feet.
*“Wake up Cicero!”*
They start to ransack the place at leisure. Wings start to form on all of their backs. Most stop to look and touch. Mesmerized by the surroundings and changes all around them and within themselves.
Cicero whispers. His smile does not make Mark happy.
"Is it all you hoped for? This journey was always mine. You will find nothing you can use here. All that you are and I still can call you fool..." He had prepared for this for so long. And the enemy was within his grasp.
The Mark-thing lunges at Cicero shoving his minion with the blood-can away. It kicks Cicero to the floor. He bleeds, smiles; they lock eyes and he nods closing his. He clutches a shriveled piece of fabric from the enemy’s cloak in his hands.
She turns away and barrels through the one holding the net. She's out of the door of the pinnacle apartment in an instant.
The rest of the killers start screaming. No... squealing!
"Its gibbering form ripples the very air, heaving breaths creating odd angles and impossible geometry. One of Antony's men shrinks on his knees weeping and clawing at his face, the blood turning into cherry blossoms that fill the room with a fragrant smell, while another wanders towards the balcony, her intent clear. Suddenly her back is snapped backwards, breaking like stick. Her leering face between splintered doll-legs is a macabre grimace of bliss. All the faces that come out of the hole swirl into view, each more disturbing than the one that… and carry no resemblance to any emotion that should be etched in memory. Many of the men rip themselves apart starting at their wings. A flash of light embeds a flower into a man’s head. He sings. He’s still alive. Two people are trading body parts while playing chess with their intestines. Time starts to feel alive. It’s only been what… two weeks and I’ve hardly even though how well the rotten pears from that fruit bowl on the floor would go with my left hand. Tasty, I think and now hum to myself for hours. The hole is closing. It is coming here! This corner was safe! I was safe! I cannot tell you anymore, I’m the one trying to fall from the balcony. I yearn to dive away from the blue. The singing."
The stairway doors are all open and askew. Ripped from hinges. The staircase heaves like an animal breathing. That explains the masonry and the workers trapped in this spiral of dreams. Hah! More like a spiral of nightmares. His blood droplets are everywhere already seeping into the steps. Mark is running down the stairs. Not this time!
So old. Weary. Too slow.
Helena has looked into one of the corridors. She’s a statue frozen in horror. Hissing can be heard behind her stony form.
“Come closer and I’ll bite…”
Cicero shoots it through the head, then laying down his cracked mirror-mask, last relic left to him still. It spills on the floor, flakes like dying embers in the night.
He hugs the statue.
Warmth and vigor flow.
Young again. Mighty again.
Together again. Memories flood.
A new purpose. This must be what it feels like to be...
He stumbles and falls down at the sheer beauty of it. I was so wrong!
He severs his name from permanence. A name given is burden taken. No brand of power shall discover it now.
“And now I will remember all of my lives."
Exiting the Spiral he sees the enemy entering a portal raising his fist in a mocking salute.
When you repeat a word so many times that it starts to sound like nonsense and loses meaning.
A litany even.
No words then, no epilogy, just a life-bloom bloodborne effigy. Travelling through time.
What is thy will.
You take away my golden dreams and my visions of paradise, in its place you wake me up and hand me your reasons and facts and crude reality. You have ruined my life. If I commit murder or hang myself, let the god I used to pray to repay you in full.