It had begun so easily, the first small choices that had seemed so nonchalant. The first warning signs he did not heed, or even then, he might have saved himself. But thoughts of redemption had come too late. His soul had slipped away in a slow trickle, and when missed could not be accounted for, nor found. He had not then been inclined to acknowledge that soul, besides. Like a snake slithering from its skin, he slipped farther down the path to leading to ruin. He had been put off by the lack of gaudy yellow primroses. Nay, this way was lined with daggers and hate, and littered with the repercussions of choices between bad and worse. By the time fear penetrated his spider's shroud, there was naught to be done but kill that, too, for chains forged of pacts and promises and demon-deals bound him fast, and he could not answer the faint callings of his half-dead conscience, far off. He smothered his heart, breathed the steam of numbing herbs, for there was nothing else for the pain. The canker of darkness was rooted deep within him, spread on the web of his veins, and there could be no turning back. Other eyes gleamed in the darkness, avowing companionship and equality. But they, as all else, were lies. They might even be lies of his own deceitful weaving; there was no telling anymore.

He wrapped himself in darkness, killing nerves, for without feeling there could be no pain. He was but a puppet drunk on power that was not his own, but he wove himself a prettier lie, until he believed.

But no longer could his darkness conceal and protect him. A bright light, as a star, shone always in his eyes, living fire beneath the roof he appropriated for the purposes that were not his own. When the grey light, gossamer silver brilliance, glared upon him from its lofty perch in earthbound heaven, all the illusions were stripped away and bitter emptiness filled him with the unanswerable remorse, and the hopelessness of ever knowing peace. For her eyes stoked to feeble, accusing life the shred of his soul that still clung to his withered body and sharpened mind. He would tear the stars from the skies and give them to her as ornaments in her milky flaxen hair, but her beauty would shame them. He stared up into the midnight sky and took comfort there, in the sight of dark sky and bright stars. Perhaps there they could be united, his corroded velvet darkness embracing her pale grey light.

But all he did tore her down, battered her to broken pieces patched together for namesake. All his words were the poison in her blood that chilled her white skin and glittered in her steel-glinting eyes. He was killing her, slow and painful, as uncounted, nameless, abandon circumstances had done him. She saw through all the dark veils and saw his lacking soul.

"Leave me alone, snake." The venom in her voice, echoed in grey eyes, bloodless lips, clenched fists, struck a dissonant chord deep within him, and he struck back.

"Oh, but you are alone.…"