Preface

"Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush,
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand here at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die."
-An Inscription of an English Gravestone

She was everywhere, everything. I could glance at the moon, the sun, and the stars to see her face. She had become apart of me as I had become apart of her. In her fists, she had clutched the very fiber of my mortality and scattered it like the ashes of her corpse across the spaces of the world. I was stretched and empty. In the ruby flow of blood, I now see my beloved's face; it glows luminescent behind my eyelids, the words of my muse breathing down my throat with sickening promise. I have weighed my options.

There is no longer a distinction between the cliched good and evil. I stand between them, in a world of gray, where my queens and kings have become jesters in a sport no other creature can sprint fast enough to win. Everything has come down upon my shoulders, and I square them without fear. My actions will reverberate for years to come and yet I stand in this diversity, lulled by spirits circling my empty chest. I will not fail.

Tonight, Isabella falls.