since they came


a lot of things don't make me worry as much now since they came. maybe the stuff that happens, the stuff i notice, still bothers me about as much or little as before, but i don't worry about it as much afterward.

In an oddly comforting sense, I am already dead. And it's like the dreams from years ago, about the desert under a sinister sun, where the living and the real should be frightened and only the dream-visitors were safe.

it is like that now, when I am awake. it is a dangerous world, and I am not safe, as no one was safe under the sinister sun, and yet I can do anything, because I am also already dead. but not all dead, perhaps. like the infant king thrust into the fireplace, mortality burned away, he was dead but he was also not dead in the way a corpse is dead.

but it is not quite like that either..

They are changing me, just a little. The one who was there before they came, he was a dark powerful thing, romantic and vicious. He liked me, and he still likes me, but we all thought it would be a good idea to let him take a break for a while. He's shadowed me for more than a thousand years. He was always afraid to let me out of his sight, but now they're here and he knows they won't disappoint him.

Will he mind when he comes back and finds that I am dead? I don't think so. He might be disappointed that he wasn't there for it; it's sort of a coming of age among their kind, I gather. But it doesn't feel as new as it should for a simple fledgling. It feels familiar.

They're snickering now; I think it's funny too, but I don't feel like knowing why it's funny yet. I don't think we're entirely laughing at me--

I think we're laughing at the real fledglings.