On a pale horse

Tonight you kill someone. Not a faraway kind of killing like a bullet or a button. Or a word. Misheard. Just the tearing of skin, and sin spliced out on the lathe

A sigh. A lie. Perhaps? Incoherence and poetry tangle in the mumbled softness of his drunken debut. Curled feline on his chest the creature drools a silk in translucent symphony. Slip sliding war and whisper into his veins. His heart. His kiss. Click. Turn. Click Turn. Another sigh. Deeper this time. Harder to bring back. And inside his dreams he sees time fused nuclear in endless ticking. Dust and bone on the evening air as the song of the last bird becomes a howl.

The creature leans closer. Breath to breathe. It rolls, silent in victory as the sweet of his flesh fades with all the colours that aren’t red.

And he fights. Yes. True enough an angel in his strength. But daggers and diamonds cut the same in names and games of beasts. The creature twists on him. Inking ruin in triple joints, scarring his chest in maggot and worm. Click. Turn. Click. Turn. A care for a dare. A knife for a life.

And in dreams of Blake he is searching. Searching. For the choice in the never choices. Scream. Beg. Beg. Burn. Click. Turn. Click. Turn. Until there is no difference between them. Conquest and surrender bound to the same incongruent beat. Too fast. Run down. Walk down. Drag down. Too slow. To slow. To stop. And when the knife is offered, they cut. No hesitation. All the way down to soul.

‘Tonight you kill someone. Not a faraway kind of killing like a bullet or a button. Or a word. Misheard. Just the tearing of skin, and sin spliced out on the lathe.The creature curls crimson in its smile, tasting sweetness of blood on the night air, ‘Told you so.’




Β©2017 Jac Forsyth*

*Image courtesy of PinterestΒ  The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and the Suicides by William Blake. The painting illustrates a passage from the Inferno canticle of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

34 thoughts on “On a pale horse

  1. This is excellent, Jac. At the risk of this sounding a bit crazy, when reading and re-reading I hear this in my head, a song with the best song lyrics ever. And there’s an amazing guitar solo just before the reprise at the end, and it finishes with the TOLD YOU SO spoken in a loud whisper. Told you it might sound a bit crazy. Love your writing so much. 🎼

    Liked by 5 people

  2. This is wonderful! It gives me the shivers and the delights at the same time. Vivid. I love your words. Please write always.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. ‘Tonight you kill someone. Not a faraway kind of killing like a bullet or a button. Or a word. Misheard. Just the tearing of skin, and sin spliced out on the lathe.’

    After reading this, I was captivated. CAPTIVATED I tell you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Today I was thinking the opening of a novel I’ve just finished. It’s just not strong enough, and I was all flip flappy about whether to adapt this piece and slot it in. You’re one of my writing heroes, Stuart, seems my mind is made up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hero? Damn Jac, I’m blushing. Cheers. However you decide to use this, I am certain it will be brilliant. Now, I’m intrigued about this novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Blush away, McEwan.
    Magic realism is such a bastard for dragging me into ‘what if’ sub plots. It started as a short story and is now a trilogy. I also realise now that I’ve left the opening because I needed the finish the story before I could write it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Searching. For the choice in the never choices. ”
    There’s Ash’s song. And a mini-novel in itself. In fact, that line is one of those definitive flash fiction things I have heard so much about, but fail me πŸ˜‰

    Blake is always a good place to start hallucinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s probably good thing that none of us live in the same country or we’d just be drinking coffee, talking and working on a slipstream of glorious projects.
    I’d love to have met Blake, I suspect he’d have fitted into our group like a Labrador at a pie eating contest.

    Liked by 2 people

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