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Closer To You

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mirror mirror on the wall,

why am i always meant to fall?

roses white and dying light,

silver's sweet forgiving bite,

he'll ask 'why'

no answers found

and i'll rot deep

beneath the ground


     The feeling of cool rain on his skin was a relief, but also a burden. It sent shivers down his spine and made the air crisp, making the nerve endings on his fingertips go numb. Water streaked down his face, mimicking the tear tracks as the rain dripped off his chin and into the freshly turned soil underneath him. 

     A heretic, they called him, turned him out like livestock and beat him into submission, attempting to force him to stop speaking of the idea of there being any kind of 'true' religion, that only Christianity was the truth in this world. There was no such sort of real Pagan belief- no such kind of Germanic god that could come down from heaven and grant gifts to a worthy man that was on his knees and praying for days on end for some sort of hope.

     The thoughts writhed in Gilbert's stomach like angry worms as he stared down at the unmarked grave. He couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities that could have unfolded if he had just kept this dearest faithful alive. The revival of the Germanic gods, a real temple being constructed for them- worshippers far as the eye could see. Maybe he could have returned back to his godly form, even granted that beautiful, fragile faithful of his a hand in immortality at his side.

     Instead of those wonderful possibilities- all he could hear was Matthew's screams in rhythm with the crack of a whip, worshippers chanting incantations of the Bible as they tried to purge ' sinful ideas ' from his beautiful faithful's head. Over, and over, the crack of the whip- with each lash, Gilbert had only felt his power increase.

    Matthew was surely the strongest willed human he'd ever encountered- going as far as to believe in Gilbert, even after receiving all the abuse he had. Even after a rope was tied to his neck, the last words that came from his mouth;

"Our lord will still love you, even after the acts you have committed against him!"

     And Gilbert was all but powerless to stop them- not possessing enough strength to stop all those people. He could do nothing, as he watched the beautiful light of hope fade from Matthew's eyes- before the light disappeared entirely- and his body lay motionless- swaying ever so slightly from his earlier thrashing. Maddened cheers echoed from the crowd, believing Matthew's fate was just.

     That was the first time Gilbert would ever cry over a human, or even cry at all- tears coming from bloodshot eyes in heavy wells as he stared up at the corpse that was once a beacon of life, of hope- the hope he had for the future. It had all been extinguished in an instant, destroying all that he had worked so hard to carry out over the years.  Matthew was the last believer.

     Yet- here Gilbert sat, months later, the fuss over Matthew gone to the wind- alive. How, he did not know, but what he did know, was that he was weak, and exhausted- and whoever still believed in his existence did not believe that strongly. It gave him time to sit over Matthew's grave, and apologize to the soil that Matthew's body lay under- praying to anything that at the very least, Matthew had found his way into the afterlife peacefully.

     The rain still poured down, in buckets, gallons of the cold, depressing liquid pounding against his back and weighing him down even more with exhaustion. His clothes had been soaked down to the bone by now, but he didn't bother rising from his seat. If Matthew had to sit outside in the rain, then he would as well. Blistering heat, freezing cold- he would try his best never to leave his faithful's side.

     The only time he ever departed was to return to his temple. A rickety old thing made from cobblestone, sweat, and blood, Matthew had constructed it in Gilbert's name- carefully carving out religious symbols and images into the walls, with candles placed neatly atop an altar that was once blessed with plentiful fruits and vegetables- all turned rotten long ago. Gilbert would visit there to assure the things he had offered Matthew remained- gold, riches, and items of great worth- were untouched. He'd polish the jewels and gold, assure they stayed there, waiting for Matthew to one day return and accept it, even if in reality, that would never happen.

     Gilbert coughed, pulling in his arms closer around him, as fine tremors cascaded over his scrawny form due to the chill in the air. He wondered if his faithful would be scolding him, or just fussing. Likely the latter- he had never been one to be bold. It brought a smile to his face to think of what he might say.

 

 

     "Oh, my lord, you must not sit out in the cold for my own sake, I am surely not so worthy of your time!"

    "Please, my lord, you mustn't stay in the cold, you will get sick, and then I would have to pray even harder for you to regain your strength!"

 

     Things like that and more- it made Gilbert feel warm inside, as if Matthew was still there with him, when in reality, that hope was most definitely false. Matthew would never return to this plane of existence, while at the exact same time he'd never move on to see Matthew. It was as if they were meant to be separated for eternity.

    The rain started to taper off in it's heaviness, but the weight still afflicted Gilbert as it pulled down his clothes and made him lean into the mud puddle that was the surface of Matthew's grave. The pools of water that had collected around the grave practically vibrated from the surface disruption from the water above. Staring into the puddles, Gilbert saw himself- ragged and exhausted, looking more like a human than he had ever looked in his life.

    Exhaustion was pulling him closer to the Earth with each water droplet that soaked his platinum hair and washed over his silvery skin- as he leaned, and leaned- and eventually the clean and white of Gilbert's exterior was meeting the muddy and dark surface of Matthew's unmarked grave. He closed his eyes and laid there- letting the weak feeling envelop him and make him feel maybe just a little bit closer to Matthew, as he let his face sink into the mud and seep into his clothes, staining his being all for his faithful- the only man that believed in him until the end.