There is a comfort in blades. How they glide between my fingers, dance along my claws, sink so greedily into flesh.
Purity in a dagger. It does not boast or buckle; no need to brandish or flourish. Such a simple, transparent thing; a waltz upon the skin, a silent symphony of the breath between cuts.
This one has little gifts to give me. The foul git decided to bleed on me, and the blade begged to take his hand. As errant blood drips over the ledge, I inspect the spoils of such an act. A brilliant ruby, still slick, and three gold rings - past wives perhaps. In any case, it is a service I provide to those stricken maidens; he was not worth the effort.
It was kind of me to liberate his body. It is now up to him to discover how to fly; it is a simple thing, I'm sure he'll be fine.
My city is soaked in rain; it dulls the smells and quiets the world, washing away the stink of the putrid masses. So many glittering prizes they could give, but my leash, my sovereign, she dares me to keep it locked away. I let the beast out sometimes, sparingly, in short cuts and minor moments crimson painting. My art is beautiful, she says, and I smile and she kisses my cheek and says good girl.
I touch the memory, red delight tracing my face in broad strokes. The paint smells of cheap liquor - I dare not taste it this time - so instead I trace the stars above me, connecting the points between gods and men, and marking my place in the cosmos. What beats of life still pulse for me, and what hearts carry them below? These questions haunt my dreams, and I wonder if I am ever really awake.
A flutter of silver and black; my heart skips a beat as my Beloved returns. Her talons, still warm from the kill, wrap around my gauntlet, her face pressing into mine. Her beak opens, a rolled bit of fabric dropping into my hand. Another contract? Another note, perhaps. Maybe a warning that my art is spreading too thin.
No. No instructions. One word, struck with fast ink and vibrant script.
"Lend." A name familiar, yet forgotten. Somewhere, the loose end of a noose lays swinging in the breeze of life. So disappointing, if left unchecked. A little mouse lost in the maze - watched by old Owls...
But no matter. The night calls. A susurrus of rapture slides around my body, my Beloved rising with the air, as I let the moon take me over the edge...