Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Despair

I was asked by a friend to write a Sandman story focusing on Despair. I thought I'd share what I came up with.

Suzuko looked into her daughter’s eyes and saw only the horror of her own existence. There were times when Kikyo resembled her father so strongly that Suzuko could only gasp as the pain of his absence hit her like an onslaught of arrows from the sky. At times like this the beautiful woman would retreat to her balcony and let the cold mountain air numb her soul. Her winter-white hair would billow in the wind and sweep upward as if longing for the stars. Suzuko, too, longed for the stars, for a freedom she would never know again. She had gone into the arranged marriage with open eyes of course, but the child, she hadn’t expected her to remind her of the love she had known so acutely. Her husband had no idea, he believed Kikyo to be his daughter as the midwife’s lies about the baby being premature had eased whatever suspicions he may have harbored. Still, Suzuko knew, and knowing what she could no longer have was killing her. There was only one way to be free of this despair. Realizing this Suzuko let a cold and heartless smile slip across her face. After tonight she would no longer have to be reminded of the man she had been abandoned by.

"It is strange to me sister, that they seek to escape my realm by falling into yours. They only end up coming back to me in the end, even if it’s only for a moment." Despair commented.

"Oh I wish they would stay sometimes, I get so lonely and confused, and I like this one especially. She reminds me of ice cream and songs about seagulls." the girl who once was Delight chewed on her orange fingernails as she looked through another of Despair’s mirrors.

"They stay with you sometimes sister, but this one is mine. I have my hook deep in her heart - she only flirts with you."

"Ooo, is she? Do you really think?" Delirium blushed and turned back to the white-haired woman in the pyramid-shaped mirror. "Maybe I’ll ask her for a dance. With cartwheels and pumpkins and sparkly dresses!" Depair ignored her sister’s chatter and dug deeper into Suzuko’s pain.

"I’m not done with you yet pretty thing."

"Burn it Kikyo, do what Mommy tells you to do, don’t disobey me." Suzuko’s eyes gleamed with madness and her daughter cowered before her. Kikyo had never seen her mother like this and the candle dripped hot wax on her hand as she shivered in indecision. "Do what I tell you child!" She grabbed her daughter by the throat and shoved her into the rice paper door. Kikyo screamed in pain as the flame caught and began to grow. Suzuko left the child sprawled on the floor sobbing, reaching her hands toward the flame as if welcoming a long absent friend. The fire spread through the house rapidly and it wasn’t long until she heard her husband’s screams. She had blocked the hallway that would have let her jailer escape and knew herself to be the cause of his agony. Her prison was burning down around her and yet she felt nothing. She wondered why the heat had yet to warm her frozen heart. Kikyo had already passed out from the smoke and Suzuko watched the ends of her hair blacken from the ash. Then, she saw him. With his long black hair lose from it’s top knot and his kimono sleeves burnt from rushing into the house he looked a different man, but Suzuko knew him - Miyo, Kikyo’s father. She didn’t know how he had known but seeing him again dragged Suzuko back into reality. She gasped in pain as the heat rose in the room and her skin began to burn. He gathered Kikyo close to his heart and reached his hand out to Suzuko. Even now he would save her life, even though he had seen what she had become. The love in his eyes hurt her as she saw what she had almost done. Her own daughter, she had tried to destroy her only child, Miyo’s child. She turned away from his outstretched hand and walked further into the burning house. She knew then that despair was the only freedom she had ever had.

"But she’s gone to our elder sister now. She didn’t stay with either of us. Now neither of us will dance in sparkles and seagulls." Delirium looked saddened for a moment as the pyramid mirror faded away.

"She was mine in the end, not Death’s. She see’s them all but none of them love her as they love us. And they do sister. They do love me so once they know they belong to me."

"Do you love them too? I do. I love them as much as candy frogs, black bubblegum on days of the week and fireflies."

"I do love them sister. That’s why I give so much to them. I give them hopelessness. Without hope they never want for anything else. What more could they need?"

7 Comments:

Blogger Brainiac6 said...

note: sorry for the lack of pictures, blogger won't let me load them and I'm tired of fighting with the computer!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Oh yeah, I forgot - I know it seems like it's short, but it's actually way long. It was only supposed to be a drabble but I got carried away.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Geez, a real tough way to begin the day - now I'm depressed.

Nice little story.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

well it IS a story about Despair... did you expect happiness? :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

No - but still.........

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

but still what???

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

It was depressing and tough for the start of the day.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home