The Beast Within My Bones
Yugi states without fear into the crimson eyes of the beast above him. He winced as shadow claws sinking into the flesh of his arms but swallowed the cry in the back of his throat. The tattered remains of a coat spotted inky black features and curled into shadows of inky black tendrils rippling across his muscles like skin. Monstrous arms grew long, gwant and spindly with dark purple skin, the coat opened revealing the gaping maw of his chest, black bones curling like claws forming a second monstrous ribcage. The body of the beast grew in size, shadows rippling like fur across his flank, expanded into extra appendages like long, clawed arms. Shadows shot like tendrils out of its body and ensnaring around Yugi’s arms and legs and his hands like tentacles, pinning him in place and immobilizing him in an inky black web of shadows like a butterfly in a spider’s web. Fiery eyes like hot burning coals burned, red and dangerous in the deep black hollows of its eye sockets, the skull that was its face not a man or any animal’s but some sort of wolffish skull with two curled ram’s horns spiraling outward: first in the shadow of a goat’s then a deer’s antlers then a crown of shadowy branches. Jagged teeth protruded from the bone of its jaw expanding becoming unhinged like a snake’s, as if to devour Yugi whole but always it stopped, hovered just above the junction between his neck and throat—the way its counterpart did just before he was about to kiss Yugi there.
“Atem,” Yugi whispered the name, lovingly. though only the gold, black and red tufts of hair sticking out from the base is the skull and the crimson color of those eyes betrayed the creature’s origin.
The beast roared, sending strings of saliva and the claws sank deep. Yugi flinched but was not scared and felt his limbs relax and part as the body slid closer to him over him, moving like it wanted to devour him.
Slowly, Yugi reached his hands upward like a child wanting to be held and the beast flinched away, not afraid but disgusted with itself.
“Atem,” Yugi called again and this time the beast slammed him hard into the nest of branches and shadows that made their bed. “Atem,” Yugi said again, gently brushing his fingers over the cheek of the skull, relieved when the beast didn’t pull away. “It’s alright.”
Slowly, the shadows relaxed their grip and Yugi sat up, looked deep into his beloved’s eyes and saw not the burning coals of the beast, but the lovely cerise irises of the husband whom he ruled besides as Queen. “I’m not afraid.”
He smiled when the shadows relaxed.