Note: Inspired by The Cure's Burn. Done for a song shuffle meme. c:

Every night I burn.

Visions of fire and crackling skin—but vision is too tame a word for these hallucinations. I feel this demon flame, smell my skin, my muscle as fire sears through the very fabric of my physical form, deep down into the bone. There is no agony to match.

I have been cut with swords, stabbed with spears and knives, clubbed with rocks, punched with fists, kicked, beaten, sliced apart.

But nothing compares to this fire.

God, help me!

I cry out and scream. God does not listen.

God! Oh, God!

God does not listen. Can He even hear me, helplessly enveloped in this flame?

Does God exist?

A thread snaps somewhere within me. Does God exist? Does God exist? Does God exist? If God does not exist, then who have I devoted my life, my soul to? Who have I been crying out to for all these years? Who will save me? Who will save us all?

We're doomed. We're all doomed. Erna is doomed. The universe is doomed. Everything is doomed. In this fire, God does not exist. In this world, God does not exist.

And in me, God does not exist.

God does not exist.

God does not exist.

Damien Vryce wakes suddenly, a fevered sweat warming his skin. The shrill scream of a thought he cannot remember still burns its last embers behind his tired eyes. He breathes, though, and begins to recover from that terrible dream.

He cannot see Tarrant but knows he is there.

"That was worse than usual," Damien says. He wipes the moisture from his upper lip and swats the damp hair from his face.

The shadows are silent for the moment.

"Don't you think that went a little too far?" Damien presses, talking to the night.

"I need your fear," the voice finally replies, black velvet smooth. "And when you cease to be afraid of childish nightmares, I need to go deeper."

"Well? Satisfied with that?" His voice trembles with anger. Damien is not going to sleep again for a while. Even if Tarrant needs more energy, Damien has nothing more to spare right now.

From the raven dark, a black boot. And then another. And Tarrant appears, pacing the length of their makeshift shelter. The brown of his tied-back hair is muted in the quiet darkness, and upon his near-feminine lips there is a smile.

"It will do for the present," Tarrant says, inclining his head ever so slightly and looking at Damien. The smile, cruel in every possible way, even reaches his charmingly cold eyes.

"You're a bastard, you know that?"

Tarrant merely looks away and paces back into the shadows.

"Just so," the shadows speak.