Supposed to Be

Terror consumes the body the moment following death. It is a transparent, deceiving feeling (when the body is drying and stiffening) and releases a rank taste of staled air and nine-day old soiled linen.

And when the body is a lover (was of one) it bloats and floats into the air like birds taking flight. And always, there is no one to see it die.

It just does. It likes to wrap itself in ideals (that which can never decay).

-

Mars burns up light and fractured fates and places them (forever neat and safe) into soft, ribbed packages. She takes her own life and seals it last, and then his—while Mercury watched on, disapproving and anxious.

He is dying (has been for so long) and she cannot save him. She cannot undo the fires and flame-tongues, and he cannot uncut her skin. And so, she lets him fall and drowns the urge to sink low and weepy onto him.

She sees her friends—comrades and lingering hopes—and sees their home fall down. In monuments (monumental) the marble and crystal shatter and send sharp, agonizing shards into her back.

(She covers him, crushes him with her weight and pale fears.)

Pained and heavy, Jadeite opens his eyes (the lids flicker and almost give out) and tries to choke her throat. She feels his fingers grabbing around the muscles and tendons (and allows him to squeeze her neck) and knows: he could never do it.

That he is too weak, too drained, too lost and spineless to really retaliate.

Mars has known all along. They are supposed to become nothing but the ashes and wine littering graveyards and forgotten battlefields. They are supposed to play all this out like it meant nothing, like it was trivial and easily swung chaotically off shoulders (and passing glances).

And maybe they will (she resigns herself and shakily rises to swerve another attack.)

And when this is all over, she just wants to die in peace (but understands Queen Serenity would never forgive).

-

In the future—in the goddamn Twentieth Century (they called post-modern, postmortem revival)—Rei finds herself confused and hallucinating.

She imagines (conjures) images that never happened, of illuminating pillars (of fire) and shadowy whispers creeping behind ghost curtains. And of a face she cannot decipher, of a voice too quiet and far away to listen.

Her head is aching and eyes red and sore from staying awake.

Don't stop.

(It's almost like a command.)

And the dreams continue, never shifting. And sometimes, they become vivid enough for the glimmers to seem nearly real.

-

The talking cat and girl with canary buns for hair gave her a "magical wand".

She laughed and pushed them away.

They are ridiculous, they are d-e-l-u-s-i-o-n-a-l. And Rei is too smart to fall for their stupid tricks (con-men, she is sure).

But when she speaks the words (that the cat let out of the bag) she feels her limbs on fire, elongating, and hair whipping around like a cloak sweeping hell clean. And then, the voice and face are clarified (intensified) and Rei could just die from glee.

And so, it is so disappointing, so hurting when the face and voice materialize as "the enemy" and she is duty-bound (the cat reminds her) to kill. So she wouldn't die (as it is supposed to be).