Doomwing/Proclivity for Black
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
It begins in the middle between then and now. It begins with a scream. A scream of anger, not of pain. The man is so angry, he shakes and shivers even while his hands gnarl into fists, even while he still has self control to struggle with. "Damn it, Richard. As your FATHER..."
The boy doesn't even need to say anything. He just stands there and gives the man THE LOOK. That creepy unblinking look from freakishly distorted eyes, big and all black, unmovingly fixated on the man. That piercing look that seems to see everything, past and present and maybe even beyond. That look is all it takes. He doesn't speak, he doesn't need to. The shift in the boy's eyes, the boy's face, lips receding into hard lines, it's all it takes. And now it hurts, hurts more than if the boy had actually said it.
The man breaks and starts to cry, falls to his knees, still shaking, still shivering. Now it's a scream of pain. Pain of memories, of wounds that should long have healed but never quite did. Memories of a dark-haired gypsy girl he'd known. Memories of the girl he loved until there was nothing left to love about her, and then, and then he'd still loved her. She'd been six months pregnant when first they met. He'd wanted to raise the child as his own, he really wanted to. But the boy, he knew, didn't need him. He needed the boy. Because he really was all there was left to love for him.
And the boy knew it. And in his own silent way, he appreciated it. Even though the quiet hug he offered was stiff and cold, it was all there was to love.
Time flies. And so does the boy. He grows, outgrows the man and the nest he built. Spreads his wings and takes flight. Wanders, loses himself and finds himself again, in a world where he can be. In a place where there is music, night after night after night. Sometimes, he makes it, laying the low strum beneath the voices and melodies of others.
Down by the bayou where by rights there should be swamp, he bleeds his soul into four strings night after night, and before and after he feeds it with powdered ingenuity. But yet he has room to grow and in the middle between the beginning and the end, when his compatriots grab a quick high, he steps forward into the blacklight. Hair hanging into his face, cigarette dying away between the hard lines of his lips, he bleeds just as he chokes his lover's neck in pain. And when he shrugs off the heavy leather coat and shows his true self, and when he steps to the microphone to... speak more than sing, in that hoarse whisper, then he knows it won't be long until the panties hit the stage.
Because it's just that kind of crowd. Because he's exactly what they want. The boy knows this, and he's willing to take all he can get on this trip. And so he pulls another cigarette from the bandolier his lover dangles from and plays them another piece of his heart and makes them another untrue promise and secures himself another pinch of snow white divinity for the next day.
In this moment, in this place below the waterline, the boy is a prince. And life is perfect, and in this cage of white lines and black coffin nails, he is free.
The days blur by, then weeks and months. White and black and singing and moaning, lovers made of wood and steel, and lovers made of flesh and bone. Too much of everything, a constant overdose, but never enough to sate or satisfy. Just more hunger.
"Our kind does not believe in small helpings. We pick a part of the world, smash it open and suck on its marrow until we can barely manage to leave again."
The boy-prince knew the voice had always been there. It had taught him how to survive, find carrion to subsist off, how to deal with those predators who thought him easy prey.
"Go for the eyes."
It had said. And he had. With a razorblade the first time. Then just with his fingers.
But here in his palace-cage the boy-prince does not need the voice. Here his ambrosia is served to him on a mirror, and his companions in all states of duress, just as they please.
"Your Sodom is not built to last."
But the boy-prince just groans and turns up the stereo. Turns up the white in his nose, seeks to drown out the black in his eyes. But that blissful moment never comes.
"Your Sodom is ripe to be picked. You must leave this place, or perish."
The voice insists. He just covers his ears. Eyes lit up black he knows knows knows already. Could speak the words himself. Just won't won't won't.
"You must survive, my son. Because that is what you are. What we are. What your mother wanted you to be and why she chose me to beget you."
Still doesn't want to hear it. Doesn't want... doesn't want this father, doesn't want this heritage. His actions are pure instinct. One, two, three steps from the couch to the window. Was it closed? His arms feel wet in all the wrong places. It must have been closed, but the air is soothing and cool up here, despite the heat and the humidity.
Up here, all is better. Up here the sky is the limit. Up... here?
It begins with a scream. Life tends to do that. Not of anger, nor of pain. But of realization. The young man's own personal 'let there be light'. The acceptance of the thing he cannot change. Acceptance of who he truly is. Admission that it doesn't change a thing.
Only makes him free. Finally. Again. And again.
Some come with him on their own, some he has to take by force. They are twenty and seven when his kin brings the Storm and the Wave. Smashes the palaces and all that life he clung to. There are twenty times as many he had touched, but the time is not there. Once, he tries to fight it, but only once.
Shivering, he drops to his knees. Tears paint eyes black. Without knowing, he reaches out, as he should have known to. As he should have done to save the others.
But all he sees is the future. No way back. Not a one.
And it does end with a scream, though there really are no endings, only new beginnings. Not of pain or anger, and there is no epiphany in the caw either. Just a man going to find his place. Among the clouds and among the towers of concrete and chrome.
Just a man. Finally.