by Collie

For that fearful leap into the dark
I did my time
In the jail of your arms
Now Ophelia wants to know
Where she should turn
Tell me...What did you do
What did you the last time?
- Tom Waits.

He left dark rainbow footprints on the hardwood floors sometimes. The paint was always dry immediately after he stepped, though, so Orlando could never smear it, as he desired. It was oddly comforting to see them, but he could not help the way his stomach seized and his nerves twitched, and the way he always felt guilty when he flinched.

Viggo traced an ethereal finger along the sweat-chilled skin of Orlando's neck, burning along the jaw line, and Orlando contemplated Viggo's rope. He made a soft noise as the ghost's hand closed around his throat, and he could feel just a twinge of malice and resentment fill the room.

It smelled like moldy tea and smeared oil paints.

He keened softly as the hand passed through the meat of his throat, like a hot knife through butter, they say, and as Viggo snapped his allegorical windpipe, Orlando knew that he would never speak again.

It is dark where you are, I know... But where I am, I can see the end of the universe, but it is nothing compared to the shining lights in your eyes.

His hair hung in greasy strands about his face, and Viggo brushed it aside. He slid knuckles, amorphous, along his cheek, scratching his cheekbone with dry, cracked fingernails.

Or perhaps it was just the whirlwind in his mind that fluttered his hair back.

You promised me forever, Orlando. Do not break your word.

He whimpered and traced his finger through the imaginary dust on the floor; Straight line. Cross. Swirl. Circle. The alchemical sign for Antimony. The wild spirit. Man and nature. He did not know what it meant, or how he knew it, but then, he knew that it was Viggo's hand that had guided his.

I will be here forever. I am not getting any older.

Orlando pressed his naked flesh to the sticky-cold floor; his fevered forehead pounding. He shivered and twitched again as an insubstantial tongue traveled down his spine, and he was disgusted by how much he still craved it. Tears fell fat from his eyelids and splashed to the floor, and in the smothering silence of the room, they echoed like explosions.

Just you and me... Orlando...

He hated the way that Viggo said his name these nights. Like it was a piece of rotted candy that he couldn't quite spit out, the cream center filled with distain and acrid yellow fuzz.

There was a loud 'thunk' on the floor beside his head, the noise reverberating through the room for countless moments in time. He screamed a soundless scream as a pure white streak of terror shot through him, his body seizing up, curling like a fetus in the womb.


He shivered violently, his eyes wide, unfocused, staring into that black oblivion, and he knew - He just knew - That if he moved, the maelstrom around him would catch up.

I miss you.

He smelled earth and turpentine and his own bile as he retched when Viggo sunk a hand through his head, playing stained fingers along the pinkish-grey whorls of his brain. He sobbed and darted his hand out, scrabbling blindly for the straight razor.

He knew it was a straight razor because Viggo's fingers painted a picture on his brain.

His hands shook and his heart was cold as ice as he slowly sat, staring at the glint of the blade in the complete darkness. He did not know how the blade was glinting, as the darkness here was like a vortex, but he did not think to ask as he drew the razor-edge along his throat, flaying his skin like a fish's belly, flinching only as the blade grated and caught on bone.

You have no one else but me now.

He did not feel the pain, only a sweet, sharp clarity that now Viggo would be pleased, and as he felt warm, slick lips on his own and the soft blackness clouded his brain, he was sad for a moment that he could not see the brilliant color of his own blood one last time.


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