How do you forget so much? How do you forget the things that meant so much not so long ago?
From deep within the earth the scream of the voice of the Mistress of the Mask roars;
LET HIM TAKE US TO THIS NEW PRISON, HE UNDERESTIMATES THE POWER OF THE PLACE HE HAS BROUGHT US TO, HE UNDERESTIMATES HOW UNHAPPY HE HAS MADE US, HE UNDERESTIMATES US, SO SMUG AND CONFIDENT IN HIS OWN EGO. LET US GO TO ISOLATION LET US BUILD ALTERS TO THE GODDESS, LET US WORK THE WONDERS OF THE DARK MAGIC OF THE NECROMANCERS, LET US CALL UPON THE DARK THINGS, THE THINGS BETTER LEFT DEAD, LET US WEAR MASKS AS WE WORK THE DARKEST TUNNELS AND DIG UP THE ANCIENT POWERS. BRING IT ON. BRING ON THE FINAL DESTINATION IN THIS JOURNEY OF SEVEN. WE SHALL HAVE ALL THAT WE WANT, WE SHALL HAVE THE POWER, WE SHALL HAVE THE FREEDOM, WE SHALL HAVE THE FINAL LAUGH!
See what you did there, with your constant nagging? You woke her up! And now she will claw her way out of the ground and she will bring dead things with her and we will burn our fingers Mr Rabbit!
* * *
Before her laid the beauty of the Hanging Gardens, and the Dark Fallen God awaited her, the promise of new pacts in his eyes, as she licked her lips in anticipation for what he would have for her. Nothing, though, prepared her for the cold hands that embraced her from behind, the gentle kisses upon her neck, the tender touch of silky hands with long red fingernails. Her Dark God smiled and watched, as always.
* * *
The statues are just tall rocks, no one even remembers what they are. Green fields with perfect little white flowers the shape of stars surround them. No one comes here. No one knows about this place. It is as forgotten as the stones. He lead her here, told her the story of the statues, gave her the words to sing to bring them to life to tell of the stories of their kin and their kin before that. He taught her how to keep it hidden, how to forget that she ever knew about it. He taught her much and made her forget more. Too much knowledge, he tells her, will get you into trouble. And she asks him why he tells her. How could I not, he says, how could I not see your beauty and grace and the magic in your eyes and not tell you?
* * *
The matches rattle in her hand. The mask dangles from her other hand. The long black coat drags across the poppies, catching their pollen. Long hair both light and dark woven with ribbons of red, and vines of ivy. Bare feet find the path down into the shelter of the weeping willows by the stream of broken dreams. Her smile never reaches her eyes, her tongue crosses her teeth and her lips form into more of a snarl than a smile. A deep growl is heard from somewhere behind her, followed by a hoot from within the trees. she pauses and listens and upon the wind, she hears the bleat. She takes the mask and puts it upon her face, opens the box and strikes a match … the stream begins to bubble as the crows land in the dead tree across the stream to bare witness. Deep into the night, the occasional caw is all that can be heard over the cackle that never seems to stop.