A Crown of Bones


THE HUSK OF the fruit laid upon the ground.

I felt the juice of it dripping down my face.

Carelessly, I wiped my hand across, looking at the stain that bloomed on my flesh.


It looked like I had killed for that fruit and the small drops of blood within.

I rubbed my hand across my father’s black jacket, not worrying about leaving spots, but the stain remained. Stuck upon my skin.

Perhaps this stain was really the inside of my soul showing upon my flesh. The darkness and bloodshed no longer hidden away inside.

I looked around then, not knowing what came next. Mother always got the story mixed up from time to time- telling each version as it depended upon her mood.

I knew when she was lovesick and craving father’s attention- those would be the times she told me of Axis coming and taking a companion- someone to help him.

When I had done something wrong, something to threaten her or that went against the norms of our society and reality, she would tell me the story of Axis. A dark creature who stole you away against your will and tricked you into eating the fruit so that he could lock away your soul and feast upon it.

Maybe I had been tricked.

Maybe my sanity had reached the edge and finally tipped off from reality.

Once you fell though, there was no climbing back up.

Then I heard it.


I reacted quickly and softly padded to the side of the entrance.

Whoever it was, I would catch them by surprise before they saw me.

The sound grew closer and I held my breath in anticipation for my attack.

What I wasn’t expecting though, emerged from the mouth.

A man in a suit.

The blackest of suits that had my eyes blinking twice to reexamine it and absorb it in.

It felt like the color was grabbing and latching onto everything else around it- almost as if it were a black hole sucking in the contents of its surroundings.

It threw me off and left me breathless- missing my chance of attack as he walked past me and towards the fallen fruit.

Slowly he kneeled down and picked it up.

The sound of his voice startled me, causing me to start slightly as the suddenness of it against the hours of just hearing nothing but my own voice.

“Did you eat the seeds of your own free will?”

He turned to me then, and I finally was able to see his face.

He was beautiful. Beautiful in the way that a forest fire was beautiful.

How you watched in awe of its power, yet stood stuck in helplessness at the chaos that emerged from it, knowing there was nothing you could do to stop such a thing.

That it would consume you from outside and within, not caring what and who it touched along its path of destruction.

His eyes held such age and pain, that I felt like a child who knew nothing of the world. A child who had yet to experience it.

And that made me all the more willing as I stepped forward and answered his question.

“I did.”

His swirling eyes examined me. I couldn’t quite tell the color. A mixture of brown, green and blue. It wasn’t the look that I was used to in which he regarded me. Where men would leer and show their emotions all too well of what they thought of me.

Instead, his face showed nothing but blank curiosity as he took me in.

“Do you realize what you have done?”

I narrowed my own eyes at him and silently nodded.

He slowly shook his head, letting a strand of loose, chocolate brown hair fall onto his face.

“Are you not afraid of the darkness?” He sounded reluctant. Like he wanted me to go away. The opposite of what Mother had told me.

“No,” I replied, “You haven’t even seen mine yet.”

His lips pressed themselves back into a thin line, and he almost looked…bored.

Like he had better things to do than scoop up a half-frozen girl from this dreary cave and question her sanity about why she would willingly give her soul away to him.

Finally, he sighed.

He held out his hand and offered it to me.

There was no hesitation within me as I reached out and took it.

He knew. He saw. I watched the spark of surprise hidden deep within his eyes as he regarded our held hands. Nodding once to me, he gripped it tighter.

I felt shadows pull and whisper in my ear, but the whole time his hand never left mine, as he held me in place, bringing me to whatever hell I had chosen to consume me. 

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