This desert, new and endless, holds no terrors. Demons cannot feed where humans dare not walk. I own this world, bright sky and burning sand, only my footprints marking the safe path to oasis. I sleep beneath a crippled tree, fretted stake splintering in my fist. The sun won't wake me and the whispering lies of the desert don't stir me. Sleep isn't peace and Slaying holds no promises, but dreams are as plentiful and unmysterious as ripe seeds at harvest time.
In the noontime, heat rises, and You descend. You are massive, imperious, glittering fire-heart, power in every tendril of your caress. There is no difference between me and the demons I kill, no difference between the elders who bound me and the children whose easy play I fight for, no difference between me and the empty expanse of desert beneath my feet, home to the homeless. My calloused feet and the sharp sand are ground by the same floodwaters and fears; my face and the sun's are brightened by the same hopes, but You arose in a time before.
You are all difference. Brighter than the sun at midday and darker than the vampire's heart, if I slew You, You would crumble, but Your dust would be stronger than the hearts of men and Your worship would continue. I have kissed You, and the glitter of Your power will never leave my lips.
"You will serve Me."
I am alone before You with no stake and no hope, only the tightly coiled shoulder muscles that clench in Your grasp.
"I do not serve."
"Thousands upon thousands serve Me, Slayer, and thousands will die if I deign even slightly to breathe upon them. Your world is deep with hunger. The vampires you kill are but children, scrambling for scraps and morsels of power. You will serve."
"I have no service to offer. My gift is death."
You depart in a flurry of wings and heat, and the memory of You is pressed into my abdomen. I wrestle with the dead but am crippled with pain that slides through my belly as easily as wood slays a vampire. My body, already mangled with the power to kill, splits open now with missing You. I am undone, a shell at last relinquishing the sweet nut it hid through long seasons of drought.
I bury my arms to my elbows in sand and, flat against the ground, I worship You.
"You will be born again."
"I was born twice, once to woman, once to men. I will not be born again."
"Mortal birth mocks the rising of Gods, Slayer, and the men who made you bore no pangs and surrendered none of their blood. They are filth, and you were never their child. You will be born again."
There have been Slayers as long as there have been demons, and births as long as there have been men. But when You rise, the charcoal sky pales to the color of vampire dust, because You are demonic and possess the power to slay demons, God-King and apostasy, destruction's destruction, and You cannot be chained or broken or buried. In glory Your kingdom will come, and I bow to no one until I can bow again to You.