• My lord, the darkness, commands me to surrender my lips. He need not command, for my lips, nay, my body and soul already belong to him. Thus I sit, silent, porcelain, by his calcified throne. In my mind’s eye I see the red shoes walk by filled with the golden pebbles that wish no harm upon the wearer’s feet. The candle’s flame flickers as wind from my mouth crashes around it like a wave.

    Time is dancing her dance for us, sometimes she is slow as mud and sometimes she is faster than a hummingbird, but always as graceful as a nightingale’s song. Her soft bare feet make paper noises on the marble floor. This crown of courtiers is like a tractor with their rusty engine whispering their disapproval. How lucky they are to move, to be, to be free, while I sit here upon a dais, a red silk ribbon tied oh-so-prettily around my pale, white neck. My lord holds one end of the ribbon in his right hand, though he need not worry about escape. I am perfectly content to sit there, as cold as a porcelain doll, at his feet.

    I am content with my role, though, like a child, I am curious about how the world has changed since I last saw it, hence my wishing. You see, I was the child queen of the Night sky, until my lord and his kind built their machines and destroyed the Night’s power. They took my moon palace, but they could not rid me from its halls so I stayed. They don’t appreciate my palace as I do. They find the gardens dull and the halls plain. My lord likes the garden, his favorite flower is the rose that screams not from pain, but from frustration that the rings in the box buried there by the placid lily do not have sea colored rubies and wine colored emeralds instead of their wine colored rubies and sea colored emeralds. The rose is the most proud of the flowers, which is why my lord likes it. I prefer the lily in its tranquil calm.

    The marble of the dais is black as jet. I look at my feet resting upon this floor as they peek out from under my robes. My toes seem like pearls against its stony darkness. Tiny as the Snowflakes in their fatal waltzes on the window pane, and nearly as white.

    The music changes tempo and I begin to fade into my dreams. I once dreamt I was queen once again. With my bloodstone cloak I am once again free and floating in the night sky. But I fall down to earth, down to my Moon palace as the manic face of my lord leers above me. I land in my garden with my lily at my head. For a moment I am crucified there on the ground from the impact. My lily becomes my tombstone. Then I see the white snake I had long sought as I flew round the earth when I was queen. I give chase, but soon realize that it is chasing me not the other way round. Icy pinicles of fear hang from my spine, my eyes, my breast, my heart. I fly through the Moon palace, gliding from one corridor to the next, until I reach the throne room. My calcified throne will give me sanctuary. The snake becomes my lord come to destroy me once and for all.

    This dream was terrifying. Even in the womb-like folds of my scarlet lily bed I am frightened, my already porcelain face is whiter than the snow that falls [perpetually outside my Moon Palace. Whiter than the skin of the Stars that guard the Moon Palace in their glorious rigidity. So I stayed awake drawing conclusions with my delicate paints. I draw them on the walls of the lily. I like drawing conclusions—I like how they look. Shall I draw you a conclusion, friend?