she sits, kneels on the cold stone floor of the cathedral
an old woman, now
despite her age
dressed in sombre robes of black
pale hands clasped as if in prayer,
yet no longer knowing what she is praying for.
Mid-morning light sets a glow into the colorful stained glass
turning the dark world of the cathedral into something else entirely,
facets of distorted light playing onto her cheeks
twin streams of dried blood run, frozen under each sealed eye
which once shone amber with youth -
once, she had it all.
she was certainly born a princess to her own rights,
proudly proclaimed as the most beautiful in her land.
suitors poured forth
but she was as conceited as she was beauteous;
As we all know, my dear friends
pride pulls blindfolds over even the wisest prophet's eyes,
the bell to every jester's cap.
she scorned them, turning every one away
unkind words dripping like the sweetest poison from coraline lips
all the time with that sweet mask set upon her face,
concealing the hideous visage so cleverly concealed underneath.
her soul delighted in these acts of unkindness;
she enjoyed seeing suitors turn away in ill-concealed shame,
their faces crimson.
even Death came, then, in the form of a young man
with pale skin, and drawn eyes
that would make any maiden's heart beat faster;
hers certainly did.
in all seriousness, he professed
fire burning dark in his eyes
but she brushed him off, laughing
believing that no-one would ever be good enough for her -
the laugh of a fool.
his eyes tightened in rage;
and soon, her eyes were no more.
deep hollows of crimson liquid that ran down her face
flowing anew despite every attempt to clean them away,
and she, of course could no longer see
as blind as a baby in its mother's womb
except she no longer had any protection...
there, then, she discovered the cruelty of this world
what it was like to live like a beggar on the streets
to be accosted by thugs on the street
what it was like to feel pain -
to sob herself to sleep on the cobblestones,
where blood, more than hers, often flowed.
just that she had been blind to it,
much blinder than she was now
it had only been a year, but it felt like she had aged a lifetime.
she sits here, now, in the shadows,
praying that no pain will come to her...
prays to the deaf stone ears of the various saints.
and then...she senses him
step by step over the cold stone floor
a cloaked figure, enormous black wings protruding from its back...
...she does not move,
turning around only when his cold fingers touch her shoulder
and the blind princess smiles,
dirt encrusted fingers touching his,
not afraid anymore
He has come to claim me...
Under the hood of the cloak
a skull smiles, drawing her into his cloak...
and they are gone.