De Excelsis


Mount Cavalry, second of June.

Dear Jebaidah,

I write these words in the scorching sun of Endtimes. By what miracle this will reach you, I do not know, nor can I imagine how much I will be able to tell you, for I have a strong presentiment of change, which will strike fiercely and mercilessly, but not timely. I shall try to talk to you as if we were seated, at ease, in a spring tide of self-deluding poison of old. Let me start with what I see.

The vulture that has brought me here, half luring, half carrying me, squats in plain sight, obviously pleased with all these treasures that are not hers. I have seen Death in prettier forms, but also and most prominently in much uglier shapes, yet never this terrifying. Perhaps because she has finally caught me, thinking of how often I was lucky to hide from her soft cold touch in the past, perhaps because now, trapped and helpless in her presence, I am continually drawn to her, by her monotonous humming, her flowing from graceful pose to graceful pose, her wide-open eyes and the sheer size of her frail being.

I require only this pen, Jebaidah, which I have rummaged up from the stacks that are carefully scattered here, along with these tattered bits of paper; she does not need a thing. Her very plumage, so dark and thick with its sweetly sickening smell puts the fear of doubt in my mind, doubt to why I am here, why I came here at all, why she called me and summoned me only to sit in idle repose and look silently upon me, saying nothing while talking of everything. I feel that trying to understand her, trying to grasp her motives may drive me quite insane—we are such different beings, yet so strongly bound.

I know I could get up and walk. I know that if I really wanted to, I could leave, I could turn my back on her who has nothing to offer me, nothing except her very dear company. Yet here I sit, hunched, trying to write, trying to comprehend, trying to love her and save myself.

Oh yes, I love this Death. If not her being, then her doing, which refuses to love me back, which does not answer my begging looks, which remains unaffected under my searching, hungering touch. What can I do? Where can I go? There are no more answers for me here as anywhere else, but the questions at least do not raise questions, only contemplation and the hushed conversation of those who count the seconds, estimate the hours, and go about their business of being as unimportant to the other as can be. I do not breathe, I sigh, and my stomach churns relentlessly at the moments, all the opportunities, just slipping away into sad memory.

Cruel creature, that has brought me to cherish this seclusion, and now will not embrace me! I am uncertain how much more I can endure, Jebaidah, before I force myself upon her, and violently bring her to the final recognition of my suffering—oh, sweet, chaste Jebaidah, that you so pure of heart and plain of thought should learn this, from me! You must think all hope is lost. Yet let me tell you of what I do not see, my poor son, and you may be comforted.

For this Death also loves me. There is a craving within her, an unspoken need. It lives within my dreams, and fuels the hope that keeps me from despair, from destruction, from getting up and fleeing this horror. It is impossible for me to swim against her magnificent flow, just as it is unthinkable for her to alter her dreaded course. Death and I, Jebaidah, are intimate, even though we share not a single touch: I am in her, and she in me.

I must seek a way to shelter myself now, my son. The heat is one burden at least that I can handle myself, be it to a certain degree, for with her ever near I shall never be cool. I am safe, my son, whether I am struck this instant or disappear gently in the vast waves of time and space, I am at ease, with her as with you. I am not alone.

I love you.

Your Father.


The End


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