Out of Buffer #7

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Jenna

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Hm. I’m not back yet? Here, have the stream-of-consciousness writings that define what The Frog and the Thorn is about.

Wait, no, let’s start with the full verse, and then the stream-of-consciousness writings.


The sands dripped through the hourglass
And the hour of the wolf closed in at last
And life is sweet and the sun is high
But the flesh and the fire are born to die.

There’s a girl in the sun
And there’s girls in the sea
And in Elm Hill’s cages
There’s a girl like me

And life is sweet and it loves the sun
But we’re born to die when our hour comes
There’s Tainted John
And an evil frog
And Dr. T.
And a scary dog
And life is sweet and we love to be
But life’s not made for such as we

And the wheel rolls east
And the wheel rolls west
And the wheel puts an end
To all the rest.

And from east to west
Spread the graves of the saints
And that’s the end of the song
Unless it ain’t.

And the wheel rolls west
And the wheel rolls east
But the wheel won’t stand
To be used by beasts

And life is sweet and we love to be
Though it isn’t made for such as we.

And the dog don’t bark
And T gets stabbed
And the evil frog
Isn’t quite so bad

And the sun loves life and the sun is sweet
And death is hungry but it doesn’t eat
There’s a girl like me
At Elm Hill raging
And the sea and the sun
Break down the cages

And life is sweet and the sun is high
And the fear and the cold are born to die
And the hour of hope draws near at last
And a grain of sand breaks the hour glass.


“It’s the first dawn of your life,” says Magic A. “So you get a wish.”


There was a time when our gods were terrible, all-devouring things, creatures of the Actual.

That isn’t the way it is any longer.

Our gods have moved to the Ideal. They’ve moved to live in dharma. (And some to Never.)

But it didn’t have to be that way.

They could have stayed as creatures of the flesh, and not been emptier for it. They could have been the world-maws for the world. They could have been creatures to whom people were made sustenance.

That was the crossroads at which Cronos stood, back at the dawn of the world, when people were his beloved things, yet also they were his toys.

And he went forward down the path of love, but there was another option, and some would argue that engineering his own dethroning was the only way he could avoid to take it.

Which is to say, to see the world as puppets on his strings.

Which is to disregard the conceit that inside each person was an awareness equivalent to his own, and recognize only that they were data sources, unpredictable but constrained, and phenomena, and treat them thus as automata in the world, and meat for his devouring.

Now this is a state that we may only disregard with will.

We have learned in growing up to do this very thing. We have learned because it is our necessity, because other people are our milk and bread, our staff and stuff of life, that they be real. We have learned to make them real to answer all our loneliness.

But each of us is our own devouring god in our way, and each of us has the retreat to solipsism opening before us, disregarded only by our will.

We must force the existence of others onto the world we see.

This is a neutral statement as regards to fact. There is no authority at the present time that may tell a solipsist, well, anything at all; and no proof that an idealist may generate that may hold their solipsism entirely at bay. If they are to grasp and grope in that direction, we might say that they might stumble on the notion that the two states of being are only partially distinct—that we are, in some way, parts of a single larger mind, that there are trains of thought moving through our consciousness that begin outside it, and end outside it, in the hands of other selves. That the reason we cannot prove that there is anybody else living in our world is the same reason that the hand, or the eye, or the mind cannot prove there is anybody else living in the body: there is the other hand, there is the other eye, there is the nose, there is the flesh, but the boundaries are not distinct and allow for some equivocation.

In any case.

It can be argued, and has been argued, and is being argued now that Cronos saw it as inevitable that if he lived forever and sat forever on the throne above the world, he would come in time to normalize his power over all that lived within it and to normalize his rejection of all that lived outside. In the end the world would become his flesh and all we only puppets to the nervous movements of his will.

To engineer his dethronement was a radical, but in this light a necessary, step.

And we may definitely say that he engineered it; for a man does not eat his children without the expectation that one day his undevoured son will come along and cut open his stomach and let the others out and later stage a revolution to topple him from the throne above the world; or, at least, that’s how it always happens, and most likely always will. At most there is the chance that it will be a daughter, or a stranger, that dethrones him instead, and possibly with the assistance of a handful of meddling kids and their dog—

But the substance of the matter is the same.

So what then transpired when Demeter ate of Pelops’ meat?

What was the goal of it?

For recall that there were three meddlesome and troublesome gods who had arranged the matter; that she did not seek that blasphemous enlightenment of flesh, but rather it was foist upon her in her grief.

The end of human sacrifice, it is told, is the beginning of the arc of time.

Change was given to us as a gift, change and the right of change, change and the chance to move within ourselves and make our given selves to something greater.

We were given this gift to free us of our role as meat unto the gods.

We were given “dharma moves.”

That we could face the imperfections of our lives, the jagged edges of the puzzle, and climb; like Sisyphus, we could climb, and seek to make a better thing of them.

We were given ascendance, even unto the very edge of death, though nothing further; for time ends for us in death, and the Elysian Fields or other realms are then given to us all.

Not everyone likes that other people are given thus to grow.

Not everyone likes the wildness of it, the magic of it, the unexpectedness of it. Not everyone likes that the castles and the great orders that we set upon the world must break.

That nothing can last forever.

That all things end.

That all things end, not because of goodness, but because of people; that the crawling scourge that is humanity upon the earth will sweep in its erosive, Pope-like path across all things and end them. That against the vermin that is humanity no perfect form will e’er endure.

There are some who think that humanity ought to settle down and accept its role as meat unto the gods, to let the world build cages on them forever, and extinguish their voices that say so loudly in the silence, “We are here.”

The Great Goddess was the wildness of our dependence on the world; the untamed earth; the bounty, as she has always been bounty, but before it could be said that the farmers had any part in what they made. It was life without the power of control; a world without hubris, because before there is hubris there is a terrible dependence.

And here was the meat of Pelops, coursing to her gut, to remind her: people may have aspirations and goals and purposes and plans, but in the end, they’re made of meat.

They’re meat that sparks a dense knowingness and a cloud of words, they’re meat that hopes and wants and dreams of things, but meat can be contained.

The lie—

For it has always been a lie—

That there is no boundary they cannot break, no adversity they cannot statistically or with ingenuity overcome, is false, because their cage can be the world.

They are pitiful creatures that cannot even prove that they are not artificial intelligences being run on a bed of processors conjured from the imagination of a fish; that cannot twist their arms at an unspeakable, ungodly angle to point outside the reality that they know; that are cursed by the structure of their brains to think only certain thoughts, at certain times, on certain paths.

And we know that this is true because we may conceive of a deterministic prison. We may imagine that we lay out everything that we will ever do, and paint it on the arch of time, and then if in that painting there is an indication of our freedom, we may perhaps be free, but if it ends, or if it loops—oh, if it loops!—then never we’ll be free.

And to see a thing is to make a thing be so.

In the moment that she tasted Pelops’ flesh the Great Goddess understood the trap of our dependence, understood we had no manner of control over our world, understood that gods lived not simply in our ideals but in our actuals, were pertinent to our actuals, and with that understanding made it so. She knew that there was no power in us that could exceed the is of us; that there is hidden in the gift of time a flaw, which is, we may struggle in the web of time to reconcile our imperfections, but our success or failure is predictable, is born into us by our circumstances and our selves.

Now if there had been a Persephone at that time and anywhere in the world, she might have asked her daughter to end it; might have said, “Shatter this nature of the world; pass your hand across it; make it a mystery and devour it.”

But there was not.

She had understood the terrible trap of understanding: that to know a thing is to murder all the counterfactuals that were waiting in the wings.

That there is the is and isn’t and these are not terribly well controlled.

And there was nothing she could do but suffer from it, for Persephone was lost.

And her suffering was the other side of Meredith’s suffering, for Meredith existed without boundaries while Demeter was a boundary on the world.


The end of human sacrifice was the beginning of time.

And so we can say that for a while, after she’d tasted of that meat, the world stood still.

The woglies lived in the bowels of the earth and they grew lean.

The integrity of a wogly doesn’t really fit inside another wogly’s maw. You can take two circles of equal size and try to cram one through the other and you’ll see what we mean. There’s something in the circularity of them that makes it inefficient that one should eat another.

Further, the earth itself was beyond them in those days.

It was Ge.

And Ge, whatever else she was, was beyond the woglies, because she was a single shapeless thing. She had no flaws save those projected on her by the faulty eyes of others. She was unsuitable to this use, perhaps, or that, but only inasmuch as those were other people’s uses, for which they ought to find creatures or entities more congenial to what they sought than Ge.

No flaw in her that she was more rebellious than Uri had desired.

No flaw in her that she gave rise to the woglies and the siggorts with the titans and the deer.

She was such a timeless creature as to know already all the answers we could ever find to such suffering as she possessed; to be living them, even as she suffered; and so we could say that she groaned at the imprisonment of the woglies and the siggorts in her depths, and suffered, but knew even as she did the trick of Ge that freed her from that suffering, the every trick, the trick of mothers and the trick of Buddhas, the trick of Zeus and eventually the trick, we hope, of Jane. She was suffering, she was a mirror to suffering, she was an anodyne to it; she was neither the self-torturing ascetic whose pain we disregard nor the imperfect creatures such as we whose pain we find inevitable. She was beyond such things and we must have empathy for her pains without imagining that she is fallible in them; and if that seems a difficult conceit, if it seems that someone who suffers truly and while knowing the trick of ending suffering is not so sympathetic as we would like, you must remember that she had inside her a full crop of woglies, and some contradictions must be expected.

She was beyond suffering, and she suffered, and in her there were woglies who grew lean.

She was beyond them, and yet they were a contradiction in her flesh; a meta-wogly, one might say, if there were such things, but essentially there are not.


The world succumbed to terror in that moment without time.

The world became a prison inescapable, given o’er unto the whims of gods.

And perilous it was even to be a god in days like those, for the great goddess strained against even those chains that were Necessity, made white the face of Ananke as it had not been for some time, and the reverberations of that strength played out in all the regions of the world.

Gods were devourers, then, but also flesh, and flesh can be devoured.

And as for Demeter herself she did not set herself against the throne or take any action that could uncharitably be judged; but rather made herself o’er as an old woman, and went down to the human world, Eleusis, and lived among the humans there.
Though not concealing—never concealing, for all she made a token effort at it—that she was a god.

It was the best that she could do, caught as she was in a ghastly fate.

She had lost an illusion and could not look at humans without grasping that they were small, and fallible, and meat; but there was a hope in her that this was instead an illusion she had gained, or maybe both: that maybe a person learns to see humanity in humans, and then the meat, and then can see, with time and effort, the humanity again.

What else could she have done?

To roam the world as the great devourer-goddess is potent, magical, and lonely; we love ourselves, but crave reflections; we find no good when we know ourselves alone.

She’d eaten the flesh of the human race and now was desperate to eat its soul.

The adults were people cast in ugly rock, and even the children had tasted, now and then, of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.

They were formed into the stuff of meat.

But not the baby of the King.

The baby of the King was still a wildness that reminded her of Persephone whom she so loved. The baby of the King was clay that was setting all too rapidly and terribly into the form of man; but in that clay still burned—

A thing like fire, but made of mud.

And the name of that child was Coretta.


And so the great goddess put Coretta in the flames, to stoke the fire of soul that clayed within.

She gave the baby to the fireplace, where burned the flame eternal that was the great divine.

And she was terribly afraid that this would merely fire the clay; but time proved this fear was wrong.

The fire in the clay moved desperately with the baby’s cries, and then it cracked; and it let the one true fire in.

The child Coretta became one with the thing beyond her world, and screamed, and screamed, for she could find no end to her; but before she could loop around and set the body of her to flame, Zeus moved his will upon the King, and in he burst, and snatched Coretta from the fire.

Then Demeter was wroth; then she cursed the King, saying, “Had you but let her burn a while longer, then she would have lived forever, but now you and yours will die.”

And Coretta wailed thinly, because it is a terribly hard thing to be born a person, who will die, and in your flesh a fire like a soul, and entangled in and out with the substance of the vaster world.


Down went Zeus to the bowels of the world, where the woglies thronged.

And they hid from him, at first, and only came out scantily, and nervously, when he held out a handful of broken integrity crumbs for the woglies to devour.

You shouldn’t assume they’re his, because he’s Zeus.

Just assume that he brought food for them, and he’d found some way, some reasonable way, to do so.

They had no questions for him. They had no answer to him. They pressured him, if they pressured him at all, with silence, for silence is a thing that Kings find difficult to bear.

He says, “I’ve got a feast for you.”

They are so terribly hungry, and so thin. It makes him cry. It makes him cry, because he’d never thought to bury them again, any more than Cronos had, he’d just not had another way.

They’d made his thunderbolt, you know, the very symbol of his light.

They’d made the armor for him that he’d used to break his father’s grip.

They’d been the crack in certainty through which he’d learned that dharma moves.

But they couldn’t stay in the world he was ruling. They would have gone around this way, this way, and that, devouring the integrity of things, and pretty soon, it would have fallen into void.

But in him now is the fierceness of a joy.

He says, “Listen, and you will understand.”

And the prison of the world grew full of holes, and let the legends in.


(“If someone challenges my rule, … let you out” – to woglies?)

^^ that seems to be thinking about a Zeus and woglies backstory involving him offering that to them, or something. I don’t know exactly. It is what it is.


You don’t need time to become perfect. Time’s just the expression of it.

The maze unravels itself.

The corridors of our paths to perfection contain the germ of our walking them; and so we can say that seen from four-dimensional space we are a rose that navigates itself, a compass that finds itself, a perfect thing under the veils of its imperfection.

The suffering is a trick of perception, part of the eye, because the beauty is the motion of it—

But wait.

Laughing in the fields, sure, taking joy in the unraveling of the riddles of our lives, the already perfect taking joy in the discovery of that perfection, the slow shedding of the scales that kept it from realizing it, oh, dharma moves—

But wait.

The Elysian fields come necessarily to us all, and drifting in that joy we are ourselves, and complete, perfected—

It cannot stand.

This cannot be the end.

It is missing the other half of it, to be perfected and alone.

So we must give over our perfection to the fallibility of the earth, we must crack it, we must break it, we must incarnate again in flesh, we must redeem it.

We the fire must wake the meat to knowing joy.

All we have to sacrifice to it is we ourselves.

And so we stagger back, such gift as is immeasurable, to break our godhood on the altering of skin, for we have nothing we can sacrifice but the perfection of ourselves.

We feast the woglies, make feast to the woglies, and it never ends.

We pour ourselves into the flesh and the flesh keeps failing to wake.

God is that which gives itself away, to the last portion, and gets nothing in return.

And in Eleusis we become like God, and break ourselves upon the rock that is the world, give our flesh as grain in mortal sacrifice, and yet it does not rise.

Where are the people who were meant to be arising from the ground?

Where is our companionship in the stone?

We laugh at those who long to live forever, for that was the first thing given; what we need is the power to save others from their pain.

It is so still.

The world, it is so terribly, terribly, still.

And yet it yearns to wake.


The Third Kingdom of the world says we may change. We may change.

And when that change lost shrift against the meatness of the world, the woglies came, and said: “This is how things are, but it is not whole.”

They are the crack in every prison.

They are uncertainty that moves.

And there is a Tyranny even in that Kingdom; a thing, even in our freedom, that is suffering.

This is the secret of the gods, that when we choose to be a thing, we carry forward the consequences of that choice.

That we build ourselves inwards, like the Tower that was lost, that we build ourselves new burdens every moment of our choice.
We think that we are looking at the world, but we are building it, instead.

Or doing, at least, a little that is both.

And caught in the web that is our world there is the principle of suffering.

This is the Maya-Dharma: that we see what we see, and cannot then unsee it; that we are records, in our lives, of everything we have known. That we are the canon and the library of ourselves, and thus, are prisoners of ourselves.

It didn’t have to be that way.

We didn’t start the world that way.

But somewhere along the line a hero said that dharma moves.

Magic made us prisoners of ourselves, until the Buddha freed us.

And if he thought that destroying our jailers would free us, well, it’s understandable it would be so. That was the way of it back then, before tigers would impress the shape of their cages on themselves. They didn’t have to, not when there was dharma. That was the way of it back when we didn’t have to hang on to our memories with such great desperation lest they fade away. It used to be that people were people, and cages were cages, and the edge of one thing and another were distinct—

But it might be that he missed a trick, like the trick with Coretta’s fire, or it might have been that he got that right, but the rightness of his answer left us somewhere along the way and we can’t see it now in these the Latter Days of the Law.

The Kingdom of the World gave way to tyranny, because people were themselves.

There’s only so much that anyone could do.

As for Zeus, he took the treasure of the world and slipped away; slipped out from the throne as the seraphim besieged it, singing, “Holy, holy, holy;”

Slipped right out before the God of olive trees and of Abraham smote in;

And gave the symbol of the power of the world to a woman whom he thought could bear its weight.


The God of Abraham may be understood in this context as the law, the ordering principle that divides the world into entities. And the name of that law is the Word, and the word is many things, but one of its munitions is “Holy.”
And its rebellion is from one side a rebellion against Zeus and from another side a higher power stepping in to resolve him; and we may say that God is smiting an idol but that Zeus is solving a problem of his efficiently and getting out of the way of the world to have fun in better places.


The Devil keeps a house and a fire, and he’s mostly to the good.

He’s a part of the system, if the Devil don’t mind. He’s the accuser. He’s there to help you, in his wicked way, and he’s wicked only ‘cause he accepts your failings.

He’s a bit of a raksha, you know, but if you’re good and strong then he’ll be your friend.

Not because he’s good, but because he’s the kind of Devil what likes people, in his way, and laughs when he gets beat.

Now the God-Defying Lightbringing Yama King, he’s something else.

He’s not evil neither, ‘cause this isn’t a story where there’s evil things, not like that, not cosmically and awfully. To know a cosmic awful evil is to realize that it’s ultimately not.

He’s more of the Hades. He’s more of the afterlife.

He’s more like Persephone’s mystery.

I think.

Maybe the person, but, I think, the place. The place made itself a young man, a hero, a God-Defying Lightbringing Yama King, just like Neverland made the witch of children’s teeth.


Now the name of the God of Abraham was Righteousness, back before righteousness became a dirty word. And his was the power that Misrule invoked, when it said, “Your authority has no foundation, for you have done a wicked thing.” And his was the power, before that, that Cronos used to say: “To serve a corrupt regime is not correct.”

And we may say that this was righteousness, in those halcyon days: to understand the meaning of the many things we’d say.

/That the God of the thunderbolt from which Zeus forged his throne was nothing more or less than the giving over of our willful ignorance to the meanings of what we say and do; righteousness, to say the truth exactly, to be ourselves exactly, rather than hiding in the sound of thunder from the substance of our words.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with that which knows the Word and makes it into meaning./

To see

To make a map

That was the first excitement of the world, to make a map.

And maybe he gets away after his last great trick by threading himself through a wogly and to Never.


So this is Meredith’s story, and it’s called, A World Rapidly Turning to Cards?

Or, The Magician.

Or …

What’s the ending?

The ending is Anatman.

Temperance and the Moon


The ending of this story is Meredith letting go. She gives herself back into the world, and chaos livens it, and …

That’s very personal.

I don’t know.

I bet I can make it cool, but I don’t know how confident I really am. That’s sadness!


The conflict is purely that Meredith is scared.

She’s scared just like I’m scared.

So that’s OK.

And there is a war going on to claim Liril and Micah


At some point the land separates from the waters, and God smashes Jericho, and the people of Jericho say, “That was unnecessary.”

And God will make the sun stand still and the moon stay put.

And everyone shall wonder why, even unto the battle at Elm Hill; but it shall be so that Joshua may slay the enemies of the children of Israel.

We’ll tell Joshua’s story elsewhere.

There may be an argument among partisans at a comic convention or something. And the partisans of Jericho may find themselves surprised as their Jericho ascends, but only to be smit by the Lord lest Eric enter the world again.

(For Eric was the leader of the gods that warred, and lover to Red Mary.

And probably a jerk chauvinist, but forgivable, when she finally realizes and gets it and laughs and sobs, “Eric, you jerk,” when it’s too late to do anything but mourn him.)


Chaos Woman became the snake, like she’d been the wolf, and lived under the leaves and griped, but Meredith’s snake isn’t like Meredith. Meredith’s snake is a fallen man. He’s a somebody who kept her innocent, somehow, who told her not to give in to judgments.

He’s not at the tower.

He can’t be Eric, I think. I think that Eric’s dead.


The Frog and The Thorn

[Then I spend a while trying to figure out what the frog is, before deciding it’s the King that came to Spattle.]


[The Frog] is a Prince, of course, but not Deva.

He’s a bit like Sid.

How can a frog be evil? Because it will tell you to go to Castle Gargamel, and try to seize the power and responsibility for the world.

And I wonder if it isn’t the God-Defying Lightbringing Yama King, somehow.

And I wonder if it’s the son of a King.

If it’s Dehlai.

The frog was hit by a miracle wheel. The frog was treasure.

Communities project their sins onto evil frogs.

The frog that ate death.

Frog is something like the giraumon stories. Frog is something like

Frog our frog is a girl, though, and even possibly Red Mary, who gave up legs, but …

Frog orders the day and night.

A frog is a hidden prince, and a prince we do not see because we fear the wet, the damp, the muck. A frog is a prince hidden by the fear of death and sin.

Our frog is a god of life.

The Frog in the Frog and the Thorn is a frog bigger than life and death. It’s a frog bigger than the world. It’s the King of an Unforgivable Dominion, and there’s a thorn caught in its paw.

And it tells Meredith not to judge.

And it’s been around her all the days of her life, telling her what Chaos Woman didn’t, which is, don’t judge. Don’t make decisions about good and evil. Don’t get that thing stuck in your throat.

Right through the throat it goes to make a god that cannot speak; oh Meredith.

Right through the throat; but she can free herself from it if she can shed her head and grow another.

That’s not the normal lesson, but it’s a good one.

That’s terrifying, and even the dinosaur, he’ll have trouble in the doing of it, but she learns the trick.


So this is the love story between the chaos and the King.

And the thorn that’s been stuck in its paw, keeping it from moving without pain, since the beginning of time; a whole world suffering, because the monster had to stab children with it, had to keep the thorn in play, had to keep the treasure of his line until Liril got it away.

There’s probably more than one, isn’t there?

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s just all shards of the one Thorn.

There might be seven.

There might be copies.

But the original, it’s stuck in the foot of the frog, because the monster couldn’t stop.

Because he stabbed the King of Bloated Life.

That’s how you make false Gods, you know. With a spear that’s made from the treasure of the world.

(At some point Melanie sends 2-d people against Micah, and he catches them in the Belshazzar coloring book.)

(At some point Micah uses peanut butter to defeat the black dog.)


“You’re a fragile person,” says Demeter, “if the truth destroys you.”

“The thing is,” says Leucippus, “some of the fundamental ideas we need in order to be people are false. Like, being separate from everybody else. Being concrete rather than fuzzy at the edges. Being immune to external agencies of change. Things like that. So, speaking as an ordinary person who isn’t a goddess or anything, it’s hard not to be fragile.”

And Demeter smiles at him.

“You want the truth to be different,” she says.

“Can I have that?” he asks.

Leucippus and Demeter stand on the surging sea, near Delos, that island of stability on the chaos’ edge.

“Truth grows,” says Demeter, the goddess of the grain.


The Aristocrats!


(Both of those were me reviewing the old Boedromion series, which plays out here. I conclude that it’s going to map to the days of the siege. For instance, there’s one day of the siege which has:)

In the frozen world, with the moon unable to reach the horizon, things are happening and they are not appropriate.

There’s a man with an eel for a head, for instance. What a bad man!

There’s bad quartz getting sold to mountains.

And the black dog that has no love for death.

And then there’s the wheel, unleashed, the final strategic munition, the wheel whose words cannot be denied, greater and vaster than the world, bringing all things into order, the dharma, the incomparable truth, the Gnostic God, the cosmic fire, and it rolls this way and that, and where it goes it conquers.

And then a day without legends, a story crystallized to naught, a place that is extinguished from the process of continuation by its crystallization in perfection, and its end.


Day 5: Delicious Pomegranate

And wake in darkness as Persephone arrives.

(She challenges Melanie’s army with something notionally comparable to):

“You wanna go?”

I don’t know how I’m going to possibly tell her story enough to make this awesome, which it should be, in this time. I’m going to have trouble even making it so that she is clearly Persephone.

But she has the power to end this, and so she will.

Because she’s the other side of this war. It’s not just Liril and Micah against the gods. You need the Greek ships to come in, and Devadatta to end his sulk.

(At least, I was pleased with the idea of having Devadatta in the role of Achilles, because he’d be a great sulker.)

Day 6:

Persephone is asked too much.

She’s asked to overcome this (situation) before she can drink the blood of someone with the secret of the gods.

She doesn’t have the power to defy her husband, not yet. She doesn’t have the power to hold him to Cyane’s prophesy, the maiden must be asked, not taken.

She’s asked to save everybody else while she’s a prisoner; to give up her freedom on the boat, and go to land, where he will find her.

And Truth, being Truth, admits that she could sail away with him.

“If I order it,” Hades’d told her, long ago; and her fear, her greatest fear, is that somewhere along the way, when Truth had come for her, that he’d ordered she be freed.

But Liril sees that she is like the sun.

So on day 7 she asks him (Hades?) for his aid, and marshals up the armies of the dead.

And in the end, she’s defeated.

She’s laying there, beaten, and the thorn stabbed through her eye; and Tainted John dragged three times around the hill, and she gets the taste of Liril’s blood.

And they bury her.

They cover her over, drown her in the earth.

This is the story of the ending of the winter of the world, and of the wondrous thing that death became, and chaos, and how even in the final ending a bit of Meredith lapped in.

For the truth of our salvation lies
In what we cannot bear to see.


(Um, that got incoherent towards the end, so I’ll throw in a little more about what’s going on. The big thing is that Melanie has realized how a god hears the phrase:

“Even when you’re laughing, you can die.”

Which is: “You don’t have to be afraid.”

Put another way, the endpoint of all of this is: fear and tragedy are two separate forces. You can laugh in glee even on the run to disintegration.

Which is why Melanie’s plan has, as its first step, accepting the utter and absolute destruction of everything she is. Most specifically, she plans to use the King, and Micah, and Meredith, and anything else laying around that challenges the borders of her existence to rip them away; because that’s the only way she can really get away from the fact that she, like all the rest of her line, is fundamentally still Amiel. She can’t plan on hanging on to anything. She’s just going to render it all down and trust in the universe.

P.S. Jane’s solution is very simple: reinstate dharma, but rephrase all elements of dharma that describe the actions or fates of other people from a ‘no godmoding’ perspective. Melanie feels that this is going to end up with everybody being alone, and is aiming for a mass mind instead, making her the probable final boss.)