Saturday, 24 December 2011

Cosmopolitan Beaches

We didn't like the memories we had
So we decided one night,
without anyone's advice,
that we'd make new ones. Our own.
Ours alone. Not "we", but "me".

But my memory tangles with yours
And we are lost in the kisses of tonight
Your name tastes like fine wine
as the oak bleeds into heavy words
like "idiosyncratic" or "attenuated".
Our cups hold far too much. We overflow
into each others lap. We drink ourselves dry
so the rain won't feel cheated.

In the midst of it all, I remember that
we are just echoes of a quieter voice
heard through the clarity of life and anger.
This will not come again. Not for several moons.
We will think "you should have been there with me.
This memory should have been ours. Not yours. Not mine."

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Changing Weather

There is always an air of expectancy, and patience. Everyone just stands around, waiting for something to happen. Everyone looks from one face to another, asking why this couldn't have been someone else.

He shakes his head and shakes his heart, while the others shake him by the shoulders. He tells everything to be still. He waits patiently as the sirens go off, and despair looms larger upon them all. He welcomes her as a friend, but she is cold to his touch.

"Is it you I have waited this long for?"
"You waited for whatever you wanted to."
"Good. I'm glad. I'm done waiting."

He walked away. The world began to melt into the shape of her lips tasting the warmth of the lion's mane.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Airscape

Heaven holds a sense of wonder
And I wanted to believe that
I get caught up when
the rage in me subsides

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Misfit

Something. Something about signs,
and freckles in our eyes,
and mirror images.
Something breaks.
Someone cries, and someone wonders why.

-

Stay. I won't ask you to come down.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

0621

I'll be right here,
ripping glass to paint your eyes on.
What brings you back to this place?

You know you'll never learn.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jean-Paul

You are asleep and I am awake at the most inconvenient of times. Then again, you slept while I stayed, held still by the overwhelming sense of you crashing into my world. Your breaths rattled me, and I shivered with a heady mix of fright and anger and bliss. I could taste your words slipping free from my diaphragm, forming perfect chords in the air. You told me to remember, to think of how it felt to sing from the stomach.

We kissed volcanoes while
you slept, hands held tight,
knuckles turned white,
the fear so alive,
you soaked the pillow as you cried.

The sunlight was a welcome sight. I felt time crawl along my skin, into the heated lines of the covers you pulled over your eyes to keep out the light. I stayed prostrate on the floor, electricity still coursing through me. The sound of your taste told me things will be just fine, but I crawled into bed with you anyways. You awoke with a start, and looked me in the eye.

-

And you said

"What a glorious morning to say goodbye."

-

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Culture

You are not my chameleon heart.
You cannot come and go as you please.
You are not the smell I wake up to anymore.
And it's a sad sad thing.

-

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

20/20

We sat behind the glass, looking at the choppy waters cutting the moon into ribbons. You looked me dead in the eye and said "I can't do this. not yet. I don't even want to do this."

I remember laughing. You wondered why.

I look back now, and I chuckle at the irony.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Died in Wool

Nothing's going to change that hopeless feeling I get when you say you understand, but I know you can't.

So throw away the love that we made.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Fair Weather

How pleasantly they wish us unwell. Go to hell.

-

What shall we make of the books that you read?
What shall we make of the words that you said?
What shall we make of the life that you've led?

The sun is high, and the wind is fine.
The time is right for you to die.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Trailer 2

This is by far the darkest part of the corridor.
This is where I rest for the day.
This is where I wake through my nights.
This is where you'll find me.

Don't bother looking.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Tear On

I am out of ink, so I sink my thoughts into light.
I am out of paper, so I scribble notes on my skin.
I am out of thoughts, so I borrow and I beg.
I am out of sounds, so I stay silent for a bit.
I am out of love, so I give away what I get.
I am out of strength, so I lie as still as I can.
And so I go on, until of course,
The moment comes, when I am out of words.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Exit Strategy

"We are each other's cocoons, and we are monsters waiting to morph into beautiful, wondrous beings."

"But I don't want to cut through you."

-

She dug her nails in deep and ripped the skin apart.
The light in her eyes became a lightness in her heart.
She walked into freedom, and gave herself a name.
He held his silence, embarrassed and ashamed.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Here's to you, and all you give to this world. Happy Birthday. I know it's all the better without me.

Delirium

Hold your peace, child. Many other noises will fill the night's silence.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Driving To The Stars

I stretch
up to reach you
reaching for the skies
And I leave a gap
where my heart lingered
in the knot in my stomach
And the tangles we made
of bone and tissue

Above I see
99 pieces of glimmer
Spell out your name
Mine in the middle
The taste of your spittle
Still fresh in my throat
The feel of your nails
still bright on my shoulders
from where you ripped the wings
that I gave your name to

Keep driving to the stars
I'll keep watch as I fall.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Emptyful

Slowly, I'm drawing out everything and everyone that I chose to define me. I can't remember what I was before them, and despite my fright, my sense of curiosity is overwhelming me into rebirth.

I understand. I know I've traced lines in the sand, that I've pushed everyone back. I did it without wanting to. I did it out of compulsion. When my shadow fades from your doorstep, the air will breathe easier, knowing that it can flow freely without my bitter traps. Do not despair, please. It does not become you. Maybe, in another life where we are more fortunate, we can all become the night sky together, and scare the birds with our laughter and the warmth of our hearts. Till then, we must choose our own roads, and walk them home in the cold.

-

Remember this. I loved you then. I love you still.

Monday, 12 September 2011

No.

I do not accept your gratitude, because what I do is a thankless pursuit. So please, stop.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Soon

This rocket seats two
and I saved a space for you.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Conversations

"We have to understand. Only one of us will be happy."
"Then I'd rather it be you."

-

The geese cackled as they sat in silence, the thrum of beating wings drowned out by the beating of their heavy hearts.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Drunk and Afraid of Love

Sweet child, how will you feel when your angel deserts you for all that it has done? Will horns grow to spear the halo, and wings molt to bare cloven hooves? Will your love and respect turn to hate and regret, will your tempered heart ever heal its scars? Will forgiveness pave the way for your disappointments? Will the fires consume us when we are lost in the wild?

I hope you find the answers soon. I gave up looking for them.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Friday, 26 August 2011

End

He learnt, many years later, that his was a heart made of stone.

That explained all the sinking.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Link

My spine is a bridge
for the sounds I make
and the heat of your hands
a wizened guide
leading me to serenity.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Step on a dog's tail, and hear it bark for dear life.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Home

If I were inside you, I would weep as hard as I want to, in the hopes that my tears could flood every burning inch of you, and put the flames to peace.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Everyone Has Heard Everything Before

Every morning, he woke to find himself jumping off the edge. Life's greatest tragedy, he would reflect moments later, was that the current would always stubbornly push him back up to safety. Amongst the stale smells of dry fruits and dead love, everyone figured out what they found lacking in their meals. They made up for it by adding a dash of bitterness or a pinch of guilt or a spoonful of shame, depending on the weather. In utter disdain for the finer things in life, he developed a taste for eating rubber shoes. It helped him keep the boredom out of his mouth.

She floated through from time to time, spraying prayers on the naysayer and the gnostic alike, hoping God would create them a bubble to keep them safe. When she found the scent of rubber where she had gone looking for his teeth, she walked him to the edge again. When he told her of the current, she bent over backwards, so he could walk along her rib cage to get to the other side.

"Go now. You are free."
"Why won't you come with me?"

The currents drowned her voice. He started searching, in turn, for sad eyes and warm smiles.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Monday, 1 August 2011

An Image

In these houses, surrounded by photographs of happy times, I have learned to regret the fact that the only memories we will have forged will mix into the salt of our tears, and as we wipe them away to hide our shame, we will forget why we fell, and stayed, in love for so long, for so much.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Clockwork

In between the moments where we are dead, the world is a whirlwind ride of ups and downs, lively silences and murderous conversations meant to remind us that everything, by its very nature, is of fickle heart and feeble mind. It is when we are dead that we are safe. The sad part is, we are most alive when we are in fear of dying, and we can't decide which is better; knowing that you stand to fear nothing ever again, or fearing that everything you want to stay alive for is going to one day be lost forever anyways, so what is the point?

We are deadwood, floating down a river, sat in reflections of what we have done.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Shakespearean

They sat, shivering in the blistering heat, numb stupors gnawing at their guts, wondering why it always poured when it rained.

"Why have you forsaken me?"

It wasn't your fault. Tonight, I peered into the heart of a coward, and came to know it was mine.

Dance Like You Mean It

They sat on the central reservation, all zen, the highway traffic blazing past them. They sat there, fingers touching familiar fingernails, perfect ones, sharp ones, nails cut daily, nails left to grow. They sat saying nothing, hearing the grass grow, hearing engines shriek and drone. They sat staring into each other's hearts, feeling sunshine play with their hair. They sat carving oceans from the earth, and mountains from their goosebumps. They sat, lost in the heat of a stranger's summer and the shadow of a weeping mother.

"We're going to have to leave soon."
"I know, but just...stay with me a while."

They sat still, remembering the names of every valley they had sown with the seeds of their contentment. They sat alone together, freeing others of the sense of touch. They sat for a while yet, uncertainly in love with the shape of things to come. They sat, having forgotten each other's name, but knowing the angles they had formed in their sleeps. They sat until the grass started to yellow, and the stains of their patience bled into skin, a souvenir in the image of a kiss.

They sat until they absolutely had to leave, and they rose, having no recollection of how they had gotten to where they were. Having risen, they despaired for direction. Having no solution, they agreed to part ways, to see if the roads they chose to walk in that moment might one day lead them back to a yellowed patch of grass, and the sound of each other's names.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Great Cold

When I am dust
don't sweep me up
and carry me out to the wind
Please let me rest
in my Sunday best
till God forgives me my sins

Sunday, 17 July 2011

On The Beach

Would that slumber meant I could sink myself into your arms. I would sleep forever.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Segue/Fugue

In the quieter moments of solitude, he would crave company so zealously, his blood vessels turned to worms, unwanted guests he felt compelled to rip out of his body. They crawled from cavity to inner cavity, making themselves at home, telling him it was such a pleasure to ensure he wasn't lonely. He broke his skin with his monstrous claws, but did not have the heart to drive them out.

-

"Tell me," she said, "why it was that you left again?"
"Why I left? I'm afraid I can't say. I don't know why I left. It just felt like I had to."
"...I don't believe you. You always had reasons."
"Yes. Did. I always DID. One day I decided to leave, and deciding to leave was reason enough for me to leave."
"Even if it meant it would change who we were?"
"Not all changes are conscious decisions, my love. Sometimes, things change in the blink of an eye, in the moment an atom splits, or a trigger slips. Change occurs as and when it does, and sometimes, it is only the privilege of hindsight that lets us recognize change for what it actually is. Or was."
"And so you changed?"
"I didn't change for the sake of it, but yes. I had changed. And I didn't understand it, either. Still don't, in fact."
"Why are you here again?"
"Because, my dear. I held all the keys to your heart. I just couldn't find your chest."
"And now?"
"Now....it seems I have found the right chest, but none of the keys would like to fit."
"And so?"
"I am at a crossroads. Either I need to find other keys, or I stand at the wrong chest."
She trembled for an instant, before composing herself. "No. There is only one key that fits here, and I hold it for someone. I do not think it is meant for you."
He stood quiet. "Then I am so sorry to have imposed. Please, allow me to find my way out."
"No."

-

They had stayed, waiting for change. They spent their times disassembling each other in the hopes of finding the right parts to fall into the right sequence, trying to make the key fit the lock.

Change came, and quietly decided to stay with them. By the time they saw it, it had been too long, but they were happy with what they had lost, and happy with what they had built anew.

-

I don't understand it.
Neither do I.
Then we agree.
It would seem so.
I don't want to lose you.
Neither do I.

-

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Surviving the Blues

She sat there, crying, hoping he would know how to stop her tears.
He savaged her with words, and collected April flowers for her to water.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Only Route to Escapism

"I love you because it is your shape that I see when I feel peace in the caves of our deepest ecstasies."
"That's so sweet. Can you fix the bed now, please?"

We're filling in all the caves with debris. The roof's about to fall, and we'll be in here forever.

I have to get out. Once I'm outside, it doesn't matter where the caves go. I'll never remain there again.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Loom of Your Thoughts

Am I the only one here thinking about the other incessantly?

I remember you thought your care packages were pathetic. I wonder what that means for the fact that my biggest headache is how to make sure I get to keep the cartons in which you sent me my stuff, because a greater love than that could not be signified, except by the use of mere cardboard, and a name and address, handscrawled with inattentive care.

Those boxes, I will keep for life. One day, I might use one to ship my heart out to sea, so I can take some time away from it and wait till someone returns to sender.

Till then, I will keep the boxes, and you can have my thinking heart.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Close your eyes

These days I just try to keep to myself
Well aware I've lost touch with everyone else
I understand that I'm fading away

I'd rather play dead than play catch up
Because no one really cares all that much
I can't keep having the same conversations
I look to the floor to keep concentration
Focused hard on every single word
My nails are dug deep and my stomach hurts
I am selfish it seems but I'm trying my best to breathe
Hoping you don't notice as I keep laughing

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Penitence

He switched instruments in the midst of making this strange brand of audible love to her, and she watched, wide-eyed and wondrous, the deep red notes rise into the air as he coaxed the bow across his flesh and bones. There was a radiance to the sound, and a horror she mistook for lust.

He crumpled at her feet, lifeless, as the music continued rising in the room.

They found her next morning, smitten and deaf, save for the melody she lovingly heard him play as he slipped away from her grasp.

Monday, 4 July 2011

I've always been alone, but not lonely. Never has it been the other way around.

Until now.

I'm glad you don't seem to have this horrid sinking feeling like I do. I'm surely drowning, and I never learnt how to swim. It's getting late now. Maybe I'll just hold my breath.

A Hollow Scene

He bit her on the shoulder, where moonlight fought to outshine the pearls in her spine. She arched her back, feeling the pain turn to warmth, his eager hands peeling her skin with tenderness.

"Let me love you like a king."
"But I am not a king."
"Not yet, you aren't."

In the quiet love that followed, she grew herself wings of mercury, and rode the winds to her frozen heaven.

His heart clawed at his throat, as streams burst forth from his heavy lungs.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Open

There's an empty space inside my heart
where the weeds take root.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

For Never After

They settled down to live inside the shameless carcass of their vagrant dream.

"This is ours."
"This is mine."

They cried to sleep, and woke up to the torrents of empathy pouring out of each other's arms.

Method Act

Now will you take your seats
And be quiet please
I need all eyes on me
As I try to explain

This is my final act
So I'll need your full attention
And for my final trick
I'll make everyone who loves me disappear

But I won't know how to bring them back...

Monday, 27 June 2011

So well you've played me for a fool,
But, uh, I'm okay with that.
It's an honour sharing this dance with you
And we were by far my favourite act.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Quiet/We Are An Obstacle

Let's float into the sky
Change into contrail vapours
Kiss the heavens goodnight
And fade into a blazing sunrise.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

With Ash Raining Down On Our Sleepy Sleepy Town

Quiet nights remind us of how we once said it didn't matter if we didn't get the freedoms we were owed, for we had found each other, and we were people worth keeping for the rest of our lives.

Quiet nights make us wonder where we are now, and where the people worth keeping have been lost on the road that led us here, and whether we will find them again, and what it will take.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

-

Please, just let me stay a while
And wrap me in your scented heats
Trap me gently in your passing ghosts
and call your victories my defeats.

Take his name when you touch my face
Leave me lying in his place
Say "darling, you were always mine.
All you needed was a little time."

Give me one night of secret love
And tear my skin when I feel most vain
Let this yearning turn to dust
If it isn't the right kind of pain.

Then I guess I'll live with my mistakes
And we'll both sleep in this bed I've made
And when the time has passed, I'll think of when we fell.
And I'll cry, yes I'll cry. "My Lover, Goodbye.
At least,just once, I could say I knew you well."

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Poor Souls of Pompeii

I am going to assume anyone who will read this, or reads this blog in general, has some semblance of an idea of who I am. If they didn't, why would they bother being here?* So here I am, about to do something out of character, at least, keeping in mind the "character" of this little 2x4 allotment of internet I call "mine".

I spent a good few years in London, and while I was there, I felt compelled to do something musical. I've been playing guitar since 8th grade, and it was a passion I wasn't about to let down anytime soon. One day, while I was playing Sudoku on the train, and doing scale exercises (on my arm, no less, because I didn't have my guitar with me), I got approached by a man, asking if I would like to join a band. As out of the blue as this was, it gave me courage and conviction to say "yeah, why the fuck not?" A month later, and I joined the as-yet-unnamed Poor Souls of Pompeii for our first rehearsal together. It was the 14th of November, 2007, a day before my 20th birthday. In fact, I didn't get home till midnight, and Andy (the vocalist) dropped me off, so he was the first person I spent my 20th birthday with. This, as one is wont to say, was the start of something great, and beautiful.

Three years (and a bit) on, we have just released our debut full-length album (following 2 five-track EPs released the previous couple of years) and it is now available at iTunes, and will be on Spotify soon. But gone are the days when people buy music, and we're well aware of that. And so we're giving it away for free. All it costs you? 10 seconds of your time to go to facebook and like the band.

And so, I would like to take this opportunity to ask (or tell/request/insist/permit/command/pickyourgoddamnfuckingverbyourself) to kindly click here and go to our facebook page. All you have to do is like the page, and you can download the album for absolutely nada. Zip. Zilch. This is something that I invested blood, sweat, and tears in (the money can go burn itself) and it means so much to me, so it would mean a lot if you listened to it, and shared it with anyone you think would care.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

An Even Sadness

I returned to what we had called our bed, as we had called it ours with our others too. I remember brushing the cobwebs off our decadent bodies, spinning songs into nails, and writing stories with strands of air. You played with my hair as I blew a short tune into your heart; Do-Mi-So it went. I spoke to you in triads through our nights, but you listened only in pictures and feelings. We should have known that was a sign, but we were blind. We were young. We were content to walk as each other's shadows, hiding in the sun. When contentment turned to insufficiency, we will never know for certain, my dear. But I know, as you know, that when we woke up with our others, we were not surprised. The stars had it read to us as we slept, but without the image and its melody, we did not care to pay attention.

Losing ourselves in each other's eyes was when we lost ourselves to ourselves. Finding ourselves, it turns out, is a frightening trial of faith, a faith neither of us seems to hope to find.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Fake Names

She called it lust. I spelled it L I B E R A T I O N. We kissed softly, reminding ourselves of who we belonged to, but remembering that this moment, at least, was ours alone.

-

We let our clothes tangle on the bed, the floor, and all about us, if only it means that our hearts will fold perfectly when we throb into each other, and share the foul tastes of this world within blinks of the twilight dawn.

When she wakes up, I'll be gone.
At least I have loved her, if only for a night.
At least I'll be able to say, I once lived in spite of who I was, and who I will be forever more.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A Passion Automatic

We wake up eating cigarettes and pissing blood,
tying each other's necks with nooses of love
made from the finest hairs off the horse's tail
that failed to scream at a string's embrace.

Asleep, laughing at ourselves
dead sunless visions of spirals
and ghosts making love to the sound
of a liver sobbing in its drink.

All necessary adjustments made
we strap into our private throes
eager eyes to the stars counting: ten,
nine,
eight,
seven,
six,
five,
four,
three,
two,
one.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Playing the Palace

"It's gonna hurt."
"I don't want it to."

And what got made, was broken too.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Kiss Each Other Clean

Love, I have discovered, is not a matter of chemistry. It is an exercise in touch, sight and sound; your "lover" undressing, his or her panting breath on your shoulder, the mirror images in each other's irises, falling in love to the sound of a man singing, and falling out of it to the wailing of his guitar.

I was happy just to be with you.

You were happy for me.

Monday, 17 January 2011

These Are The Bright Stars

The bombs dropped while we threw our money at the poor, all in the name of prosperity. The searing white heat chose then to stay for ever, for nobody had the will (or the power) to change its mind. We raged and screamed, and demanded to know what we had done wrong.

Silently, we all knew.

-

He had to make the long walk again. The card was clear; on the corner of Liberty and Defence. The card was crisp and shiny. New. New was rare in this day and age. Invitations, even rarer.

He kept walking into the dust.

-

As much as I stayed with her, cared for her, felt for her, fell in love with her, she couldn't let go. Her conversations irked me, but they were always too important for her to let go. I nestled into the blind spot in the downward curve of her nape, and stayed with her wherever she went. Until she wanted me to leave. I left, and waited in silent chambers filled with empty shells raining around me.

Raindrops hit the window as I waited.

-

Not much further now, but starvation was creeping in. In amongst the white swirls of dust, there stood a building of dingy brick red. A quick meal, yes. A quick meal would do perfectly.

The parlour was once thought of as well-lit; now, the heat outside brought a deathly pallor to every hollow. Starving eyes silently reproached his entrance; the locals were territorial about rations. He joined the line at the bar, inching slowly to the matron and her ladle. When his turn came, she sneered at him, slopping half a ration into his bowl. He stood there, bewildered, expecting her to pour some more; she stood there, indignant, waiting for him to move on. It wasn't until the patron standing behind rounded him and got served that he understood. He ate quickly and quietly, and left. This was beneath him. He'd be in the world of new soon.

-

"Wake up. WAKE UP!"
I awoke, barely breathing.
"You're late for your flight. Hurry."
Good thing I was packed, then. Not that I had any idea how that came to be. The doors slid apart as I left my room, wondering when she would return, how she would feel, and who she would be with. So many empty shells, and no explanations. London would have to wait for answers.
The gentleman put me on the plane first, and proceeded to walk past me straight into the first class cabin. I took a seat in the cabin behind him to hear the pilot announce the flight headed for Marrakesh. I panicked, told them this had to be a mistake, I was meant to fly to New York, they had let me on to the wrong flight.
"Relax, my love. We're stopping in Frankfurt. We'll change planes there. We'll both change there."

She slipped her hand into mine, and smiled her self-assured smile. I knew I loved her then, even as I had known I loved her when she cried for freedom, and I was too cowardly to let go.

I love her. It was a good thing I left her behind.

-

The onyx fa├žade he took to mean that this was the ultimate defiance of ruin. Everything may have lost its colour in paler shades of grey, but here stood a monument of pure black that colour couldn't force to fade. His parched mind conjured wonders beyond his simpleton imagination, his greed deliriously taking in this perfect monolith, rife with debauchery, indulgence, and life. He followed behind a well dressed couple, and felt dazzled by the black silk curtains, the gold trim on everything, the stark smart ensembles playing drunken lurching music, the people tumbling on the floor, people pushing them so they would roll. It was maniacally wonderful.
There lay an untended tray of fruit. He hadn't seen fruit in good memory, and while he helped himself, he couldn't help but manage a cackle at the irony of not being able to remember fruit, when, clearly, he had remembered that these items were indeed fruit. No matter. He could think of such trivialities later.
The nectar dribbled down his chin and all over his clothes, and he thought this must be the greatest meal of his life, just as someone pulled a trigger and the wall with fragments of skull. A few more rounds were let off into the air, as others began to kick his body down the corridor, rolling with the troupe.

-

We landed in the valley, just as a stewardess pushed open the door and moved outside. We followed. She went ahead of me, smiling with her heart, telling me it would be okay. A dog leapt and barked and frolicked in the grass. We walked a strange median, to the left of which was lush green vegetation with flowers blooming and warm sunshine in the air, and to the right of which the ground was frozen, freezing, arctic, dead. We saw a castle set in the wall, the path leading up to it. The stewardess was already there, in the company of the playful puppy and a sage old man, leaning heavily on his stick, and saying something inaudible to the lady.
By the time I got there, he was done with the stewardess, and turned to speak with her instead.
"You lived a life of sorrow and confusion, but you are finding bliss and goodness in your heart."
It sounded true, and I wondered how he knew.
"And you; there wasn't any hurt for you growing up, but you've seen it, and it has found you now, and life is always a struggle."
I nodded, silent. I didn't know what to say.

-

"And so it comes to this. What you really want is a matter of life or death. Gamble your life, and this world might just become how you want it to be. Winning is the only option all of you have."