I intend to be brutally honest, because you are my friend. I have a gift to give you and you are going to accept it. I'll take this heart of mine and split it open; I'll let you taste the sweet raw stream of filthy blood. My own blood.

See this beating heart and take it in your hands. Feel the purple vein that crisscrosses this scarlet compass. Rub your thumbs firm against a blood vessel; feel the shape give way and flatten beneath your fingers. The river still runs red, though you try to impede it. However you toy with it, pressing down into its flowing center, life goes on.

It's seen many years, this heart of mine. It won't die so easily. Take a hammer, smash it in; feel the stretch and burst of exploding membranes. It's plastered against the wall now, like a ragged windblown tapestry. Even like this it will last.

I want you to take this heart and open it. Bathe your hands in the warmth. Drink. Soothe the ache in your throat and feel the beat of my pulse in your belly. I ask you to do this because I am a proud man — I can't bear to think that my existence will end in uncertainty. I can't have lived only for this, I think. I must do what I can while I can. This thirsty pounding flesh of mine is a gift to you, my final blessing if you will. Take the lessons I have stored inside. Wring them out. Drink your fill of the pooling juices.

I must advise you to drink in gulping mouthfuls. Splash it upon your face and let it stain your lips. Roll it around your tongue. Lap up the drops that leak down your chin. I want you to swallow my blood until your little body is bloated and swollen and you're choking on the liquid as it froths from your teeth. Until you can no longer endure the bitterness of blood. My blood.

Dine on uncooked meat and tepid wine. On spoons and forks and shards of glass. Wet earthen graves and wooden crosses. Dine on my life, my pain. Devour this heart of mine, little man, and taste the fires of hell. Be singed, immortal priest, until your skin begins to ooze with hatred. Let the fire ravage you from the inside out; I am fire and I will show you the way. Taste my hatred. I give it to you freely.

You have never touched fresh blood, I am sure of it. Your tomes are dry and molding, your churches are empty and dead. And still you cling to their corpses, singing praises, cherishing the lies that are yet imprinted on their stale tongues. You foolishly feed on straw and water from a hundred years ago. Filled with only ghosts, you are. There is not even breath in your tired lungs.

So let me drive life into you. I should kill you; I have a sword.

Yet in your wanderings you have drawn close to me so my duty is not to cast you aside but to give you aid, and by this I mean stomp the dusty notions from your mind. Put aside your cloak for a moment and take this dagger. I will show you how to carve the flesh away. Behind this frail body is something deeper, something that prevails through the ages. This anger is my own blood, a part of my consciousness and inseparable from me. I will have my revenge. I will destroy Ostia. I will kill Uther and Hector; I will butcher Eliwood; I will slay Priscilla; I will tear down every complacent soul that rests in the shadows and I will rain blood upon all.

But you are my friend. I will stop before you last of all. Kneel down and hand you the blade. Ask you to divide my skin and pull it apart. Inside my heart is thumping. Take it out, quickly. Hold it, trace the arteries with your fingertips. Hesitate over the glory of the ages.

Now feast on it because it shall be your finest meal, friend.