- January 24, 2021
The Incarnations Chapter 7
Chapter Seven: The Lord and his Lady
Lady Love has not left her room for the hours that have passed. Her servants attend her, try to calm her, and overall do their to best to make sure there is no need for her to leave the castle.
She sits up on her bed, tears still streaked against her cheek. Her servant Liefde, waits with her ever so calmly, rubbing and holding the Lady.
Lord Dread has not attempted to appear before her, neither has he sent any of his servants to make contact. Servants of Love are already considering destroying the bridge, they do not want the Lord to visit their Lady anymore.
Then suddenly the realm rumbles and shakes. No servant knows, of Dread or Love, to compare it to an earthquake. But the Lady knows, she knows what it means, what her Lord is doing.
“I must stop him. I must try again,” she utters as she climbs out of her bed. Her servants try to persuade her back, but she tells them to make way. “If I don’t do anything then humanity will die, and I cannot not have that on my head.”
As the Lady walks out of her door, her closest servant calls to her. “My Lady, please, don’t you see what this is? This love you have for the Lord Dread. It is toxic.” The Lady turns around to face Liefde, expecting an explanation. “He has hurt you, scared you, and made you cry in a way that only Hate has done. For centuries you have tried to earn his love, and it has never come. Maybe it is time you give up.”
“Liefde, my dear friend, you are-”
Then the Lady pauses. The Lady thinks, for she realizes a secret her Lord has held deep. She keeps it to herself. “Liefde, you are blind if you think the damage has not been mutual. I cannot say that I have not hurt him nor scared him. I have not made him cry, but of that thing we all know him to be unable. My love for him is not toxic, and if I were to give it up after one wrong, well, then I would prove to be quite unfair, wouldn’t I?”
“My Lady,” Liefde pleads, but Lady Love holds up a hand to stop her.
“Nevertheless, no matter what I am convinced of, I cannot abandon humanity. Do you disagree with this? Is such an act of protection not my duty?” With that, all servants bow their heads, and take their silence. The Lady turns her back on them after saying, “Goodbye my friends.”
Then she searches for the Lord in the ether. She searches for him as he makes to strike. She finds him not in the throne room where he once wanted to stab the earth with a single plunge, this time he stands upon the earth itself.
The Lady knows the Lord to be standing on a battleground not unlike the one they visited. His darkness emits from him, and it blocks the sky. She knows it to be slowly consuming the world, but for a final strike, the Lord swings the Terror over his head.
She goes to him, across the worlds and stars, she crosses from their plain of existence to that of Man’s. The Lord is so preoccupied with humanity’s destruction he does not know she is with him.
Quickly, she gets to him before he can plunge the Terror into the earth, to send out a wave upon its surface that would silence the planet forever.
The Lady runs up behind him and before the sword swings down, she grabs for its handle. She screams, “No!”
Shocked and surprised, he lets the sword go, and she stumbles backwards trying to hold it in her hands.
The Lord turns around to see her, his face that of surprise, though not of the welcoming kind. He watches the Lady as she struggles to handle his sword. She has never handled a weapon before in her eternal life. It swings back and forth as she tries to find a grip, but eventually she holds it steady. She holds the Terror by its grip, upside down, the blade touching the ground.
The Lord demands of her, “Lo, give me the sword.”
“No,” she mutters, “I will not. I will not stand idly by as you kill them. Look at them!” Then she splays her hand out before them.
The men who were fighting in the war are all watching, they all see the tornado of darkness erupting from one man, a black smoke consuming and corrupting the sky. But they do not understand.
Then they see this bright light, a woman who disarms the angry god. They believe her their savior, and him their Satan god.
She continues, “Dread, please I forgive you for scaring me. I can forgive you for killing that man, and I can forgive you for soiling me with your blame. Just please, spare them.”
“Why do you this?” Lord Dread begs to know. “Why do you make me choose between the two things I care for the most?”
The Lady sees his face, she sees that it has not stopped feeling pain since she last saw it. She feels grief and guilt, she wish she knew another way, but she doesn’t, she simply doesn’t.
There is only one way left. “Give me one more chance, one more attempt. It would only take a moment. Please, I beg of you, with all the love that I have!” She watches him, she tries to listen to his heart, over the gusts of his storm, but it is gone from her. The Lady remarks, “Would giving me one more chance really harm your word?”
Lord Dread, looks away, he shakes his head violently, uncontrollably. He grunts and screams madly, “Fine! Then you will give me back my sword!”
“I swear, Dread, thank you my love.” When Lady Love calls him her love, he seems calmed. Barely so, but she sees what she is hoping for in his eyes. The spark of something she’s always seen in him, but has never recognized before.
Her servant helped her realize, a part of him that she should have known millennium ago. With that realization, that hope, she could have stopped everything from the start. Now she has failed her duty, and she must do what is necessary at the final hour to ensure that the world does not pay for that mistake.
Lady Love takes his blade, and raises it up high. Lord Dread does not understand, I do not understand. What she doing? Nothing will happen if she plunges it into the earth. She can do nothing to shatter it. The Lord can simply make another.
Then the Lord knows before I do.
We both scream, “Love no!”
The Terror does not plunge into the ground. Lady Love does not try and break it. She swings it down and stabs inner, she stabs the sword through herself. She pushes it through her, and the blade follows through.
Lord Dread races to her to pull it back, to pull it out and toss it aside. Lady Love falls back and he moves to catch her. He falls to his knees, and cradles her. He begs her, he demands to know from her, “Why Love? Why have you done this?”
As it becomes hard to speak, it becomes hard to breath. Intensely, and slowly, the Lady clutches her wound, too long and too gaping for her to hold closed.
She chokes and she gags. She croaks out to her love, “I had to prove to you… I had to prove that love exists…”
As the Lord holds her in his arms, he begs, “Don’t leave me. I am sorry for everything, I am so sorry, don’t leave me.” He practically ignores her sayings. He is too filled with grief. He is overcome, he feels everything inside boil and melt. He has never had such a feeling as he does as he holds Lady Love dying in his arms. He cries. Tears, tears black, fall down his cheek, and fall onto her.
Lady Love smiles meekly, and using everything she has left, she raises her hand to his cheek. She wishes to feel his tears, she wishes to know what such a thing feels like from a being such as him. She tells him, “Do you not see? Do you not… realize what these tears mean?”
Lord Dread holds one hand over hers to feel her against his cheek. “That you are leaving me?”
“I am… but that is not what your tears mean…. Please look at me.” When she asks, he opens his eyes, and they meet. Their gaze unbreakable. She looks deep into him, and him into her. She believes she sees what she is looking for, and he still doesn’t realize anything. “These tears mean that you love me, Dread… You feel love… Someone loves who is not me…”
They stay there silent, Lord Dread still holding her, still not letting her go, but his grip loosens. He doesn’t confirm what Lady Love says. She looks into him, and finds that maybe she is wrong.
“You do love me… don’t you?” Her question hangs over them. She feels herself wanting to cry, but she used up all of her tears. Is she wrong? Is she mistaken? Is she about to die in failure? After all of these years, these eternities, is it simply impossible that her Lord is capable of loving anything? The longer he does not answer, the more she realizes that she is wrong. If he cannot learn to love her, if he truly feels nothing like love, everything they’ve done, everything she’s felt, means nothing. “You don’t, do you?”
As Lady Love is about to close her eyes to the void, to let Death take her completely in her sorrow, she hears the wind stop. She opens her eyes. The darkness that emits from Lord Dread stops churning.
“What?” she gasps.
He simply tells her, “You’re right.” Then with that admittance, with that line to life, she opens her eyes wide and watches. She watches as the darkness that was to claim the world recedes, recedes back to him. Once again, as the last of the darkness from his heart falls back, he repeats, “You’re right.”
“You love me,” she repeats, and he leans his forehead against hers so they can hold each other close.
They wait, and eventually she comes. Death, in all of her glory, descends from above. A being gray, hair and lips white, her light consumes the sky. She falls down to them as if an angel, the closest anyone will ever get. She lowers herself to wrap her arms around her child, to wrap the Lady Love in her arms.
Lord Dread is not willing to let her go. He summons the Terror to his hand, the sword that brought along Death. When Death comes close he holds Lady Love to him, and stabs at Death with one hand.
Death’s hand holds straight, and the sword stops. Her force does not break, Lord Dread cannot drive her away. He feels that force, reach and grasp his Lady, and steal her away. Lord Dread goes to stab at Death again, but Death flicks him away, tumbling away, he is no match.
Death takes the Lady Love into her arms and tells her, “Let me take you to Paradise. We must let you rest.”
Dread screams and calls, “No Death! No!” He runs at them, sword in hand, looking to strike a Creator. He launches, sword over his head, and slams his sword down against the striking palm of Death’s hand. The Terror shatters, and Lord Dread falls to the land.
On his back he reaches to the sky, watching Death take his Love away. Watching Death take the most important thing of all, away.
Death reaches into the clouds, and with one last light, she vanishes, Lady Love, not to be seen again.
Lord Dread rolls onto his hands. Men of earth and war watch as he cries before the lands. He wails, and he growls. He screams to the sky to give him his love back, but all is lost, and love is gone.
He turns his wrath to the lives of Man.
The Lord moves to stand, but he seems so short. He holds out his hand, and a new sword forms. Looking much like the other, only not of steel, but of black.
The Horror, a blade much stronger than before.
He looks to one side, and slashes at them, a dark wave of glass kills much in its stead. The other side begins to cheer. They believe for a second that Lord will win them the war. They are wrong.
They know this when he appears, falling upon them.
He slashes at them, he hacks. He tears at all soldiers who dare raise their arms, at him or another, apart. All those who wish to fight, who wish to prolong the conflict that started it all, will feel horror when touched. This does not abide to only the one battleground.
In his power absolute, Lord Dread appears across all battlegrounds, across the planet. A sweeping hand of god across the land, sometimes as a man or men, with swords in hand. Some cases he kills all with a weapon without mercy. In some cases he spares those who quit and crawl to the ground before him. Men are dismembered, men are screaming, men are hacked and torn by fingers, by blade, and by teeth.
None understand how, but they know why. Never should they fight. There is always another way. No produce, no product, no money, no leader, no strife, no fight, is worth meeting the Horror, meeting the nightmare, meeting that which is the culmination of all fears.
Nothing is worth meeting Dread.
This goes on, and death litters the globe. Even those who do not fight, but those who sleep, who daydream, feel Dread touch their minds. Dread fuels them with the horrific sight of the war, a war they never wish to hear of, speak of, or dream of, again.
The war is over, and Dread has taken his toll. After all the killing, all the death, humanity gets to take more breaths. He will not end their existence, but he ends their conflict. He drives a fear in them that will never end. They will never pick up another weapon to commence war upon each other again.
Dread kneels before the spot, he kneels in the pool of her blood. He recommences his cries, his mad tears. He wails before the skies. Love is dead.