disclaimer: labyrinth © jim henson.

— the art of stealing hearts
by breakable bird

Sarah dreams.

Sarah dreams about flesh-eating exotic red flowers and high towers and dark, sticky mazes and broken crystal-edged tinkling laughs, and she with ink-stained fingers and rain-soaked dresses stepping through high doors, its borders wonderful and horrible, always sharp and harsh and a voice whispering her sweet nothings, hollow bird-bones are inside her young body, and the words shatter in the air, so fragile they are, morphing into butterflies that flutter around her, its tiny, colorful wings caressing her cheeks, her chin, her eyelids.

Imagination is a cursed bless.

(You're the girl, he says, smiling sharp and tall—you're the girl with a storm in her head.)

And she dreams about him, and his clumsy throne, extravagant clothing and feathery hair and mismatched eyes and soft, soft lips. He's always speaking, her dream-beloved, awake-villain, telling her his silly whims and wise orders, with his illogical logic, fear me, love me, do as I say—

But Sarah wants no slave, she tells him. She just wants a significant other (he smiles at this, the childish jerk) who can share madness and candy with her. Sugars melts on her tongue, and his kisses are petal-flower kind. His hands are slow when he touches her, the lingering warm staying behind when he steps backwards, staring with such intensity Sarah thinks her heart has turned into a volcano and it spits lava everywhere.


My precious one, he says, and she rolls her eyes because there's no need to be so dramatic, thank you very much, but he insists because she wants him to be and he always pleases her, love me and do as I say, and I will be—whatever you want, he mutters, whenever you want.

Sarah thinks he would stab himself and offer her his heart if she asked.

Not that she would, of course.

You can be so cruel, Sarah, he says.

Curling around him, embracing him with quiet placidity, feline eyes and half-closed eyes, I love your eyes, he says, because you learnt to see, and it is beautiful. Sarah dreams about him, dreams about fantastic kingdoms and biting stars, searching for something she refused because (no slave, no slave, no slave.)

You have no power me. But Sarah, dear beloved precious one darling (his sweet nothings are like blades)—

You're eating him. This is love.