Clustered around the table, eight with a spot left for a ninth. Light from naked candles, pinpricks in the slithering gloom. Whispers now, voices low and hushed. Is he here? Is he here? On the table—centered like a mathematician's inscription—is the rectangle of the letter. Is he here?
"Now she is asleep in the sun. He knows that in this world to which he has just returned for a while, only to be sent back to her, she is dead. She wakes up. He speaks again."
Answer tell pray answer look tell answer answer tell
Let me in.
All projections provoke counter-projections. The Jungian corollary to Newton's Third Law. The psyche flexes. The unconscious bows. Outward becomes inward. Pull becomes push. In becomes out. Let me out. The only gates are those we close behind us, unaware of our fear of history. Unaware of what trails behind us.
I know this name. I know this face. It whispers to me, hoping I will pass its message, that I will be able to speak to those around this table.
(listen to my voice, says the charlatan)
They are waiting, hoping, yearning for some sign. Just one. They are waiting for hope to reveal itself. Shhh. Listen. "He's using code that only you and I know." Answer say answer is the key.
Who decides whether we are sane or crazy? Who decides if we are being or spirit? Who decides if we are right or wrong? Who decides? Who?
Who keeps us alive after we have gone? Who keeps us haunting tables and séances like this one? Who keeps us?
There is no need for fear. Your identity is your chain; it is the cage of your senses, of your infected ego. Let me release you. Let me free you. Join me. (Let me in.) Join all of us. There are no outsiders in here; we are all the same. We are legion. W-E A-R-E.
The others, they queued up for their shots. I saw them. That yellow line of weary supplicants. They took their medicine. They took you in. Not me. I took the moth queen on a date, red ribbons strewn in her hair. I took her instead. Took her, and her salamander.
We climbed the stairs together. Hand in hand in hand. We three. We climbed the tower—
falling falling fall—
yes yes now, let me yes yes
"Are you okay, Harry? Did you fall?"
all gone . . . all gone . . . all—