Two Gold Lilies
“You always were a sour grape, always singing to me off-key...” the floor quips awkwardly as the Valeshard turns and presses the door call button, shutting the sliding entry of the frozen Storage Room.
He turns again, raising the fingers of his free hand and waving them about in slow motion, over joyed to hear a familiar sound.
“Ah, Flamina. Or should I say, the underdone, undersalted, generally under-everything pretzel walking around looking like Flamina? Such a shame you didn’t join the party downstairs,” he says, dropping the frozen little boy on the slick cold ground. “I heard he ate Jennifer.”
The child’s head makes a little plopping sound, then slides to one side.
Flesh Flamina rises in a spin from the shiny silver material of the floor, in a spinning billow of white fabric and skin and raging hair, not bothering to retain any color.
“Didn’t he tell you, Valeshard?” she murmurs, smiling without blinking, holding her hand out to the smaller form silent and clinging behind her leg, “... the cake is a lie.”
The Valeshard kicks the frozen boy to one side, cupping an ear as the child smashes gently against the opposite wall. Then he bends down, and holds out his hands, cooing to the little Flesh girl.
“Now Susan, clever girl, come to Grandfather! You can live if you come! Come on! I got the milk machine up and running again!”
Her dark brown eyes plop wide and wet on him as she murmurs, “No. Doctor.”
Then she runs, her hands outstretched, her mouth opening... body toddling forward like a wobbly cannon.
Her teeth latch on through the dark grey leg of his trousers, and he screams as her mouth grabs his shin for a second go.
“You little snot!” he spits, losing his balance, shaking his leg as she clings, “If Flesh didn’t taste like horse glue you’d be an appetizer!”
“You... ate... one of us before? Barbarian,” Flesh Flamina mutters, taking a step toward him, and another, and another, trailing silks.
The Valeshard raises his head and cries out, his voice a growling screech in the silence of the hallways.
“Rawrrrrrrgh! I will not stand for this rubbish! Ice is not the only tool at my disposal! I am chaos! I am...muflgrphmph!”
Flesh Flamina’s hand is on his throat, silencing the outburst, her long, deft fingers a ring around his laryngeal prominence.
She squeezes, shifting her grip by dainty degrees.
He just snarls a smile.
Suddenly, the fluid slows in her feet. Her toes harden.
Like clay, her shins turn to rigid slabs, her skin becoming more gray nacre than turned Flesh.
She looks down; Flesh Susan is already gray and unmoving, lashed by two tiny arms to the Valeshard’s black-bloodied leg.
As her thighs gray and turn stiff, Flesh Flamina lets her wings unfurl from the white materia of her back and snakes her free arm around his head, snatching a fistful of his hair and pulling his scalp back with the force of her grasp.
Dark fire pools in his glazed eyes as he stares, the blackening bulge of his vein-threaded face verging like a dry, bulbous fungus in a cave.
The Valeshard’s teeth gleam like little candles as he grins.
Then he presses his hand to her chest, and a char mark blooms over her Flesh hearts, in a butterfly pattern.
Her limbs crumble off her, dusting the floor as they shatter in pieces.
The last thing she sees before her head turns to hard clay and slides, is Flesh Susan’s little charred body, blowing away from the Valeshard’s freed leg in spectacular ribbons of blackened ash, like a movie vampire caught by the sun.
The Valeshard catches her shorn face, holds it in front of him like a mask for a moment, thumbing the back of the smooth porcelain charm of what’s left of her features; her alabaster eyes. Her mouth. Her thin lips. The nose he used to rub the wet from. Then he pockets the keepsake and walks straight down the hall, reaching up to rub idly at the burning bit of Susan that stuck in his tear duct.