Novel BonusesOn the Topic of Writing

Dear Cato (Sandcastle 15.12)

If you hate me, I understand.

The words that carried you forward were penned in my blood. Know that when you hurt, I hurt, but the pain was necessary. I had to strip you down to your bare desires and dissect your despair to understand my own. It is an unforgivable crime, but I am no goddess, only human, although I don’t expect that admission to bring you any comfort. It certainly wouldn’t soothe me to hear those words from the mouth of my own creator.

I’ve been rooting for you in your darkest moments. I’ve been whispering, “Just hold on; you’ll get through this,” even as I dashed your dreams, beat you down, and ground you into nothing. I knew you would persevere and rise from the ashes, like a phoenix. I didn’t always know how, but I knew somehow.

My muse is not a gentle voice whispering purest silver bells into my ear. I believe she is part demon, part ghost, and she eclipses me often, tuning my ears down to white static, dialing my eyes out of focus, possessing my fingers to move across the keys. I am, in many ways, a bystander, just like you. My ghostly demon muse unravels the dreams I’ve forgotten by the time my eyes open. She pulls threads of my own insecurities and weaves them into your clothes. She stands you in front of me, and I’m looking into a cracked mirror.

I don’t ask for your forgiveness, as I’m certain I don’t deserve it. I ask only for you to know that the ink in your veins is the blood in mine—that we’re connected, you and I, and for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.

If you hate me, I understand.

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