And so my time has come.
Standing where I am, surrounded by so many corpses, I find that I am oddly relieved by this knowledge. Perhaps this is because for so long I –we- have existed solely for the purpose of entertaining you. And your entertainment ... ah, how very high the cost it comes at! But that doesn't matter anymore, does it? For I ... I am the last, and soon you shall have another to play with; she is different, this one, and I know you want her more than ever you wanted us. Funny, but I cannot hate you for this –for everything else, yes, but not this.
But I wish I could.
You speak to me now, barking an order, but I cannot bring myself to move. The relief is suddenly and irrevocably replaced by a rush of constricting fear. The time of reckoning is at hand, and what have I accomplished with my time but to amuse you, infuriate you, satisfy you? The answer resounds throughout my mind, a brutal reminder that my soul –have I a soul?- is tainted, damned, stained ... all by you.
You speak again, your mellifluous voice pooling around me like the slide of silk. It was part of what beckoned us to you, once upon a time, for it was capable of holding such promise and affection, and among those belonging to no one, such things are craved. Like a satyr of some mystical forest of old, you beckoned us hither, and we were helpless to resist. Within you we caught glimpse of everything we could have that we were never meant to have, and it was to that end we would follow you wherever you would go ...
... wherever you would lead us.
And that path has led us here. The last of the Kirschwassers, I stand alone among my fallen brethren, and I mourn them with the whole of my being. Like puppets cut free from their wires, they lay scattered around me, limbs limp and grotesquely splayed. This is how they were cast from you, thrown down to lie among all that is abandoned and all that is forgotten. Slowly they fade from your reality, from your memory, and they can only live on among their sisters. I am the last sister now, and after I am gone, who shall remember us as a collective whole? For there are no individuals among us, not with you; to each other we are as unique as the stars that surround us eternally. We mourn each other, and we mourn ever having encountering you; you are the flame, and we the moths, and inevitably we draw closer to your enigma and your intrigue only to be singed and charred by your ivory flames. And burnt beyond all recognition we plummet, forsaken, to lie as those before me lie – used, tormented, broken.
It is a cruel cycle. An inevitable cycle.
"Come," you say, and in your voice I can detect the undercurrent of mania that is ever present within you. How adeptly you can hide that aspect of yourself when you call others to you; only when they are secure at your side will you release the beast within. Our oversight was our downfall, although I have come to think that perhaps, in some demented way, that we crave this abuse. Why else would we stay? You would say that we remain because we cannot leave; that is, that you are too powerful for us to escape your grasp. And while this may be true, there were many of us once, and had we tried, some of us could have flown free ...
But we didn't try, and that is more of an enigma than even you yourself.
I am walking now towards you, stepping carefully over the forms so disrespectfully arrayed before me. You watch me approach, a small smile gracing your pale features. You are eager for your new acquisition, I know, and I am merely here to fill your time until she arrives. Will she feel for you as we did? Will she search out something within you that she has never had, has never hoped to have? I hope she doesn't. I hope she sees you for the abomination you are, and I hope beyond hope that she destroys you, that she rends you to pieces. It would be only fitting that you meet your end that way. I know who she is, we all knew, and I believe there was a time we all wished we could know her. I don't want her to see me now, to see us now, and see what we have, in our disgrace, become.
I have reached your throne, and I stand complacently before you. In the reflective depths of your eyes, so like amethysts, I see myself, and I am identical to all those who lay dead around me: snowy haired, pale eyed, and frail. Are you aware that in a way you mirror us, with you own paleness? Perhaps you are, and perhaps in destroying us you are destroying parts of yourself.
"Kirschwasser," you croon, and I can not stop the shudder that claws its way up my spine. I will vanish, and she will enter not knowing you, not knowing the difference between pêche and peché, not knowing what abysmal depths lay behind your vibrant eyes. In this instant, I pity her, for you will not use her gently. All of what you've done to us is but a mere portion of what you will unleash when she is in your possession.
With a slow unfolding of limbs you stand so that you are towering before me, a dark god insidious upon your pedestal. That smile of yours, so disturbing and yet so charming, has grown in size. You anticipate my death, you feed off my fear; will you miss us, I wonder suddenly and irrationally, when the last –when I- have fallen? You beckon me closer with one white finger, and as you do so another question echoes throughout my thoughts. Do I, like all my sisters before me, love you?
And as I take first one step closer, and then another towards the agony and shame you offer, the question repeats itself.
Do I love you?
I think I must.