i remember when the inhale was pure. ("well i smoked but i didn't inhale," he said long after you and i were through) back when it wasn't so bad for you. back in the 90's the inhale was so pure all the cells of my body would absorb the nicotine,(more) the pot, the whatever. leaning into the rush of calm even before the feeling, knowing the drug would make me feel -- okay -- everything would be okay, now, as i exhale what i don't need.
i like smoke, and fire too. smoking: the closest a man can get to fire without getting burned someone [famous] once said. i like watching it. curling out of a dancing fire in the dark of night. stars and embers share the same bed looking up or down or both. i have watched that same sky and that same bed and thought nothing about you but now
i remember and my cells do too. you, leaning against a tree, exhaling what you didn't need. and i agreed. i remember though, after that smoke, we were all we could do. i remember your breath heavy and sincere. i remember mine sincere too but rough and jagged. i couldn't commit so it was done and we smoked, throwing rocks in the river, temporary ripples. we laid on those rocks, looking at the bed of stars knowing it was done and wishing that it wasn't. i loved you to this day i love you still and i wish for an inhale even now. just a smooth, deep inhale of calm followed by an exhale of what i don't need.
or a good old fashioned fire, embers like stars and the smoke curling up
The expression in his black eyes, half-hidden by shaggy dark hair, was unreadable. His fingers massaged my hip through the now-ragged dress.
(more) "Asmodeus, doll. You may not know me, but you know my work."
"Do you work with Her?"
"Pssh. She's just an underling, even if she is the daughter of two Horsemen. Got some pull in Hell but...who cares anyway? I'm one of the Seven."
"Princes of Hell. I'm one of them."
"And if I lose...something...you're going to get me?"
"Yes, sweets, if you lose the battle."
"What battle?" I struggled a little against his cinching arm.
"The one they're here for." He pointed across the two rivers. Only trees crowded the far shore. Then, in the gloom between the trunks, spots of deeper darkness appeared.
Her children, with black flames curling in their empty eye sockets. They crouched on two or four or more legs, hair and skin dangling from their mossy, pitted bones.
Blackness coated my eyes for a moment and I sagged into Asmodeus's chest.
"How many are there?" My voice sounded distant to me.
"Well that's just the first wave. If I remember the story in Revelation, from book club, next will come two hundred million cavalry...and locusts with scorpion stingers...you got this all really out of order, you know. Honestly, I don't know what's going to happen if you keep this up."
I blinked, hard, up at him. "I don't know what it is I'm doing."
"This is you, baby. Your very own Wonderland. Don't blame anyone else."
My ankles shook and I slid down. He caught me.
"There is another way, you know. I could help."
His voice slithered on my skin like snakes in the dark.
"What do you want?"
"What's left of you. And..."