"I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet."
-The Verve, "Bitter Sweet Symphony"
Words slip in and out, an invisible weave that still binds faster than iron, quicker than blood. Truth may be dead and buried, but words still endure, pinned through the heart with ink to paper.
A warrior takes sword in hand, clasping a gem to his heart
A man sits at his desk, writing late into the night. The room around is bare, with peeling wallpaper and a dying plant in the corner. His battered mahogany desk, the only piece of furniture in the room aside from his chair and a shapeless mass of blankets in the corner, is crowded with papers, some water-stained or torn, piled high and rustling in slight breezes. They are the restless plumage of some great tan bird crowding in on the man. He has managed to keep them at bay as of yet, and a sputtering lamp gives a small circle of light for him to work within.
Engraving vanishing memories into the sword
His pen scritches across cheap paper, pauses to dip within his small well of ink, and then continues its twirling journey across the page. Other than that, there is no noise. There are small sounds outside his small room; it is late, but not too late for revelers to stagger home. The city will only become truly silent in the small hours of mornings, when only the soft aquatic sounds of death will interrupt the stillness.
He places finely honed skills into the stone
Now the man stretches, yawns. Looks out the window in surprise, at how late it has become. He carefully arranges his notes, sets his pen in his ink bottle, and blows out the lamp. In the moonlit-tinged darkness, he makes his way towards his hard, thin mattress, moving with the elaborate care of the tired. He falls asleep with his clothes on.
His landlady is worried about him, though he doesn't know that. She sees the circles under his eyes, the frayed ends to his coats. She was the one responsible for the plant in the corner, though she had no idea what neglect her gift would receive. She's concerned about him, but doesn't know how to show it. He can be stiff with pride when he chooses, and draw himself up to his full, thin height. At other times, when he discusses his current project, his eyes lapse into dreamy reflection and his graceful hands float through the air to illustrate his point. She nods, though she really doesn't understand. And when he's late with the rent, she doesn't say anything. She knows he'll make it up as best he can. He says that one day he'll be famous and she believes him.
Spoken from the sword, handed down from the stone
Even while he sleeps, his current project consumes. Around him dance a mad band of characters that he has never known, yet it seems that he knows them more vividly than the limp people who inhabit his reality. The laughing knight twirls the pale queen, who clutches the bloody dagger close to her white dress, and the four children of the dead General join hands and skip around them, screaming nursery rhymes at the top of their voices.
And in the morning, he'll awaken and stagger back to his desk, back to the pale circle of light. He's driven by forces beyond his control. The project stopped being merely an interest long ago; now it has become a substitute for his life. And he'll write and he'll write and he'll write, desperate to let the poor, ignorant fools outside know that their silly fairy tales are lies. He'll write to show them the truth.
Now the story can be told
But what version of the truth will he show them? What version of the truth does he know? It is undoubtedly a truth - but an event can be seen and remembered in many ways - all undoubtedly true, but none of which are the truth. Hold up a prism, and watch the way clear light diffuses into murky colors. Everything depends upon the perspective it is viewed from. His truth is undeniably real, yet also completely false.
The truth lies in the hands of those who tell it...