Summer Solstice 2002






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The Fifth Day

Darren Speegle

Darren Speegle's work has appeared in various magazines, including Redsine, Chiaroscuro, Writer Online, Bloodfetish, and Wicked Hollow. Look for future tales in Underworlds and Fortean Bureau and in the anthologies Reckless Abandon, Darkness Rising, and Fresh Blood. Visit Darren's website at Darren resides in Germany.


J T IS THE FIFTH DAY without a sign. As far as the physical senses are concerned, being here in her company is bearable. The Carpathian winter preserves; externally, time stands suspended. But still it is the fifth day, and the question of whether Mythos is a lunatic or a god, or both, remains unanswered.

He is sitting on the crumbling battlement, a wall as old as him, and he has no outward focus. Occasionally his eyes pass mine, but they do not acknowledge me, not when he is in this state. I wonder where his thoughts are. Does he think of the Crusades and banners borne on wind or imagination? Does he wonder as to the legitimacy of his own memories? Am I a divine agent? Am I a lunatic? Have I truly been alive for eight centuries?

For me, all that matters is what my mother thought before he thrust the knife in her, deeply etching the symbol of the Christ in her yielding earthly flesh.

Until I was summoned to Romania, my mother rarely spoke of him except to say that when she woke from the encounter, she knew not only that she had conceived, but that I was hers to bring into the world alone. Such was the path she trod; she had been alone since the morning she appeared on the outcrop looking down on the Chilean village, an epiphany even to herself, having no memory, no history. So she had left him, just as she had left them, the unsolicited flock.

Now I know it was Mythos who originally found his way to her, bearing news of his own void, an emptiness of meaning and purpose beyond the root knowledge of Christ and the Struggle. The Muse Mother, as he called the Andean epiphany, was his answer; together they were the world's answer. Her virginity was his to rename. Through designs not theirs to question, they had come together, and of their union, the Son would be born again. Upon my arrival here, he allowed her to explain to me that she was more than an abductee, that there were larger questions. And then, as the light of revelation seemed to visit her gentle features, he laid her open before my eyes. Until my every connection to human things was severed, he said, I could never realize myself. A sign would now come. Sign of the Son.

It is a mantle that fits clumsily. Mine is an ignorance as great as any epiphany's or earthbound immortal's. It is the fifth day, and still she hangs there, suspended amid the ruins in this portion of the castle where they worshipped. Suspended there as if in crucifixion herself, guts in a pile beneath her, eyes forever on me, whom she bore alone. Did you believe, Mother? Was that the light of divine truth which came to your face the moment before you died? Shall I believe?

Alas, it becomes increasingly difficult. Scales tip, and the Mythos I see weighs more and more to the side of lunacy, though still he sits there, blindly searching for the sign. I am nothing, nothing without my mother who bore me, who made me an altar boy, who kept herself clean for me, that I remain so for the world. Only that was never implied until Mythos, my confuser and father, sire and wrecker…What have you done to my sweet mother?

I'll kill him red--unless I belong to other commitments. By the end of today, if his sign has not come, I will kill him red. That is a sign in itself, though I doubt he would appreciate. You are yet mortal, I hear him saying. Which is how he explained away my reaction to my mother's disembowelment. You are yet mortal. It would have been easier if she had resisted, but his hands on her were magic. I saw it. She felt it, unclothed again. That she failed to defend herself is why I have not attempted to defend mine. During my nineteen years of life, she was powerful against any and all other gestures, any and all save those two made by Mythos, one to bring life, the second, death.

I am her son. Alone. And tell him so.

"The sign," he says in a strange and trembling voice.

I follow the motion of his hand out across the sweep of the sky, and I perceive a change occurring--a slow saturation of the vault, a darkness ascending, gathering…


Blood Rose Home © 2002 Darren Speegle, all rights reserved

Summer Solstice 2002 Issue, Updated July 3, 2002

BLOOD ROSE is Copyright © M. W. Worthen.

"The Fifth Day"
Copyright © 2002 Darren Speegle, all rights reserved.