Closer to Heaven

Let there be a memory for her, that’s what they’d say when Damian would bring her body back the temple. They’d dress her body in white, paint over her wounds, and lay her to rest in laurels in the golden fields of tulips just beyond her childhood home. The thought made him sick, as he tried to cover her fun shot wound with her hands and a towel. Blood soaked through the cloth, turning it from white to pink to red in seconds, and then coating his dirtied fingers.

“You can’t, ya know. You just can’t!” Megara was in hysterics beside him. She turned to the men they’d bargained with who seemed just as shocked as they were. One with a mouth open like a tunnel to hell, stood with his shotgun pointed taunt.  “She was giving you what you wanted!”

They looked at the girl in front of them, now covered in blood, and shaking, gagging. The girl was born with a keen sense but unsound mind. They thought the priestess of the Blue Lady would be able to ease her spirit…she did. She helped everyone and now?

The girls father grabbed the gun, and the group’s leader, a tall red wood like man, grabbed the boy. He looked about 17 next to the bearded grown men. Why did they bring him?

“What the fuck did you do?” he asked

“I-I thought the priestess was going to use her…her weird voodoo powers!” The boy stammered. Damian turned away, not bothering to hide his grimace behind a stoic or rage filled face. He felt so tired. These people feared the church of the blue lady, and they feared the “deviants” the church saved, called it strange…wicked except when useful.

“She was supposed to help…” Damian said. His hands trembled, and he pressed down until she gasped. “Honey?”

Her mouth moved, her eyes rolled back and then back to him. She looked like a strange and feral thing when she’d always been so elegant. Long black braids, perfect, flowing gowns, blouses. She looked…mythical. Her eyes were glazed, a vision. The lesser of the powers that boy feared.

“Megara who slayed the child,”  and as though her words were prophecy Megara stood and ran, she bolted through the men, knocking them down like dolls. Damian watched as Cassandra  pushed the group leader away and fired her pistol against the boys stomach. “And sowed the fields and…will always survive.”

“Stop,” Damian said. And she did and her eyes began to roll. “Stay with me.”

She grabbed his collar and pulled herself up, urgency coming.
“Athena will come to luna. They will not listen.” She chuckled and shook her head. “I’ll die. I wanted to not though.”

“Did you know?”

“No…but others did. I told them…they liked my conviction. I don’t know. It was important. Fuck this hurts” The church. The church!

They always knew!

“I’ll kill them all,” Damian whispered.
“There will be war. Ares on chariot, weeping for the innocent in vulgar wars with no honor: Nicomachaen Ethics…” Her blood felt so hot, and she began to look pale. “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
He wouldn’t bring her to that church. To those vultures who wanted a martyr. He heard Megara being restrained, and the boy shrieking as though he’d seen the spectre of death looming over him. He should’ve suffered. He deserved no tulips. No white. Nothing, but who was he but them? His people? Who was he but their fear?

“Am I good?” She asked.

“Yes, Cassandra…perhaps I am not.”

—Not gonna continue unless asked, but this isn’t a complete story or proofread or anything…but stray thoughts.


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