Death's Mask

She arises from the darkness, alone, unseen, unfelt. Her mouth firm, her eyes a dead stare through the mask that covered half her face. Her long black robes are tattered, flashes of red can be glimpsed through the tatter. In one hand she tightly holds a golden book, in the other her fist tightly clenches the stem of a beautiful red rose, half open under the dark full moon. Blood slowly drips down the stem from the thorns cutting into her white skin.

She steps out of the shadow and onto the path. There is a light thumping noise and she looks down to see a rabbit, fur as black as midnight, his shining red eyes stare up at her, waiting. Her eyes focus, a glint of anger crosses them. The mouth curves up in one corner, a snarl upon her lips. The robes become alive, they twist and turn and the glimpses of red become flashes in the stark moonlight. The tattered robes are no more, now they are alive, twisting and turning around her body, the robe curls around the rabbit and lifts him to her breast, tucking him away. The hem of her red dress drags upon the ground under the lively robes.

The mask shimmers and changes under the moonlight as she walks and whispers secret words to a wind that will carry them only to the dead, for it is only the dead that are intended to hear these words, it is the dead to who she now prays, it is to the dead that she makes her oaths and vows, it is to the dead that she turns to in her hour of need.

The rose grows, and grows, and slowly begins to rot, the beautiful red becomes decayed brown, petal after petal falls from the dying bloom. The leaves wither, become hard, dead. The thorns turn to wood, deeper cuts into her hand they make. Still she walks on, her words rising and falling with the robes that flail around her.

Suddenly she stops, the path runs three ways form this point. She drops to her knee. The rabbit jumps from the robes and sits across from her, bearing witness to her actions. she places the dead rose gently upon the ground, her blood tacky upon the stem. She opens her golden book and removes a small red piece of paper and places it upon the rose. Prayers fly from her lips and sparks leave her fingers. The paper curls as it burns, but no smoke from it rises. When all is left is the ash of the paper, the rabbit beats his foot upon the ground and the ashes are blown three ways bound.

She stands tall and adjusts her mask. Hidden meanings have come to light, the picture once so small begins to grow. Steps now to bring it all as foretold. Darkness will manifest to light, twilight will finally see the dark endless night.



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