I'd never felt dead like that before.
In the heat of the moment without escape,
helplessness I couldn't help but adore;
I felt pride and excruciating pleasure beyond measure -
I carved stairs into the earth
with my imagination,
a path to a place I felt at home
outside my world.
This deep black road smolders
and reeks of predation.
Whispers tingle through my veins,
and temptation commands me.
I race downward,
pushed by inexplicable desire
and pulled by boiling blood.
It's been a week since I saw the sun,
but I can't sleep or stop, I won't tire.
The walls around me -
they're damp and warm,
familiarly fleshy and endless.
I thought these stairs were granite
but they've grown discordant and soft;
they seem to move just slightly..
Sounds begin to tickle my ears,
and vague as they are my heart is aloft.
A faint crimson light grows
and eventually illuminates
what was once ebon rock..
The walls glint and groan madly,
and the stairs begin to grab up at me.
Piqued and perturbed - but gladly -
I see scorched skin and burning eyes.
A stairwell made of gorgeous sinners,
the divining clue of my destination.
I'm too far gone, I've walked for far too long,
but to give up now?
Curiosity's bait is much too strong.
Trotting down the last ten broken souls,
through gates of immortal accosting coal;
to Hell I've walked - here I am and here I go.
I'm greeted by a toddler who crawls a short distance before collapsing at my feet. The skin on his little arms is chewed to pieces. I notice it dangling and dripping from his own mouth. He seems so lifeless, but I can tell his heart still beats, for with every thump, blood squirts from his skeletal extremities. Growing fainter with each gurgle, the thumping draws to its end and the last breath abandons his wiry frame.
Only a second later the skin grows back, color and health return to the child's corpse. Sluggishly climbing back to his feet, he glares into me deadly. His bright and youthful azure eyes seem to capture all the world's hope. He begins to giggle for what feels like forever, but before too long the laughter turns to bloody beastly roaring. His eyes roll back and he tears into his own belly, eagerly and sloppily clawing out his stomach. He stuffs it into his gullet as blood floods from the wound and begins to smoke upon the burning ground. He savors as he swallows, and then I watch his stomach fall back through the freshly made void in his tiny body.
What am I to do but smile and walk away? I've done it a million times to strangers before now, what could the difference be? He'll be dead again in seconds, and in the length of a couple minutes he'll have resurrected and brutally slain himself more times than I'll ever know. Oh, if my mother could see me now..
My mind shifts and follows my gaze to the horizon.
Everywhere is the same thing, absolutely infinite celestial rage. I don't know why, but I want to see more. I want to see it all. I want to meet Cerberus and walk him with a leash along the banks of the river of flame. Even to meet the Devil himself, if fate would honor me..
Screams and lies pierce my ears all the way, and I begin to hum along with the pitiful angst that surrounds me. Corpses, demons, lovers and heathens, I pass them one by one. Romeo and Juliet hang from a ceiling too high to see, suspended by a rope of veins extending from their chests. They intertwine and undulate cheekily, like teenage love so often does. I wonder who truly thinks they deserve this. Maybe it shouldn't, but it seems like art.
I wonder how long I've been here, or if the powers that be have even noticed my presence. Then, suddenly, as if by some sick calling of fate, the hair on my nape stands at attention. Only briefly, before an infernal breath singes it back into place. I snap around to behold a female figure that stands not an inch taller than myself.
She owns a human figure, save for pristine onyx hooves. Her creamy scarlet skin smolders and radiates intense waves of teasing torridity. Her pupils resemble those of a lioness, surrounded by deep and somehow sorry emerald. Her hair is straight and lengthy, a curious shade of strawberry blonde. One word strikes me: succubus. I'm threatened by her beauty.
Should I be?
I'm in a staring contest with some manner of demon who's intentions I have no way of comprehending. It's obvious now that in a world both consumed and produced by vehement fury, thinking you are not prey is insane. But I'm here now, and I don't understand why but I know there's a reason. Before thinking about it I blurt out commandingly, "Tell me who or what you are, tell me what you want and how you're going to get it."
My mind explodes into a state of regret and uncertainty. What the hell did I just say, what am I thinking? Shouldn't I just run? It's too late now. I decide to hush and wait. Though my heart demands I stay, I poise my body as if to flee. I have to know..
A grey forked tongue popped from her mouth and brushed against her lips, wetting them with sizzling venom. She retaliated sorely, "I am the dead in winter, I am agony and dismay, the reason bankers can get away. I am Satan, and I want you." Pausing thoughtfully for a second, she added wryly, "Look around you."
Her voice is like a drug. I lose track of myself as music begins to play in my head. Fur Elise. The notes are strong and sweet, they seem to roll into one another and marry. I think to ask myself where time seems to have gone, but then, does it matter in this place? I extend my hand to Satan invitingly. With ambivalence I gaze into her eyes. I wonder the last time someone else did the same, or asked cordially, "Would you like to dance?"
Without skipping a beat, Satan thrusts a blazing claw through my hand and tenderly clasps on. The pain brings me to my knees and I let forth a tortured howl. I can't explain the ecstasy, the way extreme discomfort seemed to echo through my mind, hungrily searching for lust. It was found. I rise to my feet gracefully, letting her control my left hand. I step close to her, placing my right hand on her waist. Flames weave around my fingers and it hurts like Hell but the desire to dance outweighs the agony.
I've lost my mind, but sometimes that's what it takes to free your spirit. Connotations of happiness creep through the torture and mingle with the music notes floating through my head. She doesn't know I know how she feels, to be stuck in a place nobody thinks is real. To be alone, yet surrounded by the universe in your mind. As we twirl and burn I dwindle and spurn.
"I can't stay," I say shyly. I tried to hide the anger looming in the back of my mind.
She gracefully bends me over backwards and looks blankly into me. I hear her voice in my head, "Let it out. Inhibition is only bile, emotion nothing but guile. You'll be back today, dead or alive, but here to stay."
Before I can ask what she means, she straightens me back up to my feet and laughs heartily. Forcing one claw into my chest and blowing a kiss to me with the other, she tosses me violently into the air. Roaring and soaring towards the ceiling, a trail of my insides streaming downwards, the pain takes me and I awaken..
Like waking from a long night of partying, I open my eyes lazily. A man wearing a white coat and a familiar face peers down at me from my bedside. I look around me and all I see are things that confuse me. I'm in a bed, in a hospital, with a doctor that's got a look on his face as if he knew what I was thinking.
But he didn't. He couldn't. He wouldn't want to if he could. He would think it was a dream, but I know better. I don't know what happened or how I wound up in a hospital bed, but I know one thing. The voice lurking through my veins told me only one thing: "Let it out."
I feel like a Titan, a god among mortals. I acted weak and made a writing gesture to the doctor, as if I wanted to write something. He walked over and placed his clipboard on my lap, an eager expression on his face. I could tell he was thrilled to see me awake. That looming anger I remember is now gnawing on the insides of my skull.
I wrote with estranged purpose
and tossed him his clipboard, which said,
"She is the dead in winter,
she is agony and dismay,
the reason bankers can get away."
I lunge the pen into his neck.
I hop out of my comfortable cage
and sprint to the nearest stairwell.
Each step up feeds the rage;
her voice becomes thick and loud.
Up the ten last sorely simple steps
lies the roof and hidden salvation.
My heart is hot and hungry and screaming
for the memories of damning flirtation:
I run straight off the edge.
I never needed the stairs.
I'll be back one day,
dead or alive,
but there to stay.