It’s a bitter night, but for those like me the cold is nonexistent; there is nothing on earth colder than that of the grave. The dejected denizens of the poor side of town are plentiful as the litter, and add to the stink.
No one comes here to see about them, and the tears of solitude and sickness freeze on their dirty, unshaven faces, wrought by the twin hammers of age and abuse. The women’s eyes flash with practiced allure, all meant to lure the unsuspecting into a den of killers and thieves; but only the desperate come here, the ugly on the outside as well as in, and it’s just a matter of time after that.
Still, for all the real despair, there is an atmosphere of determined gaiety, to be content in the face of lack, and smile in the face of sickness, and laugh at the slow, impending death creeping up their ravaged bodies, incrementally breaking down their organs.
The smile of the Reaper never reaches his eyes.
We’ve not been here long, but we’ve made our presence known.
Most of them are still afraid of what we offer, but the tent cities keep growing and filling, and the luxury quarters that cast their shadows on the tents remain largely empty.
We see them too, in their track-lighted windows, their recessed lit bedrooms, their living shrines to modern technology with the laughable artwork hanging on the walls; we hear the whirs and hums that accompany their moans and grunting screams.
They stink too, in their own way, believing their bank accounts shield them from mortality, when in fact, it only delays our claim; when we’re done providing them the service of clearing the tent cities, we’ll take the elevators into shelters they believe secure, but are as open to us as any tent flap.
Until then, there’s now.
So yes, continue casting out your huddling poor; the greed that drowns you in pleasantry, the natural resources you now claim by virtue of your wealth, means you’ll be that much healthier, fatter, believing you pose an actual threat.
We can wait. We’ve been here since the first act of fratricide, when the blood cried out from the ground. The cry woke us as well, and woke the hunger inside of us.
Already, we’ve dwelt in the rank and sweltering confines of our sulfur-filled cells, the connections to our former Realm snapped like brittle twigs, crumbled as thoroughly as a consumed ember in a blacksmith’s hand, the feathers of our blackened wings ever smoldering, ever molting.
And we grow angrier, refusing to acknowledge the profound sorrow of a devastating loss; so when Adam gave dominion to our Master, we pursued our replacements, tricked them, blinded them, and lead them away.
Our Father did not compel our love and fealty, but neither was Adam compelled; in the end, he didn’t seek to elevate himself, but accused Father of a mistake. Some say he sacrificed himself for his mate, but neither repented. Instead, the fools tried to hide.
Why were they not cast aside?
Why were they not doomed to share our fate?
He gave them a gift they couldn’t understand, but he’s willing to wait until they figure out how to use it. Then, and only then, can they go back.
Why should these frail, tender, weak things ascend to where those who came before can’t return?
And so we hunt them from below, and when they finally succumb to our beloved Bacchus, we drag their screaming, raging carcasses down to the fiery mire, holding their obsidian souls in our black talons, admiring their wretchedness in the blazing light before we set them adrift toward the swirling vortex of the pit, and watch until they disappear.
Then we begin anew.