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An Alphabet Of Fred

Here's something I wrote for still_grrr.

Funnily enough, it's about Illyria.

An Alphabet Of Fred

A is for Aftermath.
Thy world has crumbled to dust before Thee – the shattered substance of nothing mocking Thy triumphant return – all that is left corrupted befouled by the laughing pestilence of humanity.

Thou art everything. And hast nothing.

B is for Building, made of steel and glass.
And people, people everywhere, rushing past Thee, although nothing they chase can compare to Thy majestic self. They plot schemes, and fight their fights, that used to seem so important before – but no, that is wrong, Thou hast never been to this building before Thine awakening.

C is for Confusion, which is unexpected and horrible.
She– Thou– She has always known who and what is. Thy knowing was everything and enough to shape the world.

But now there are things Thou– She knows and yet shouldn’t. Names that spring too easily to a tongue that has said them too many times before. Thoughts unfamiliar, and a mind used to thinking them. She is not entirely Her. This is incorrect.

D is for Dixie Chicks, Demons, the Deeper Well, Doritos, Diapers, the Darkness Of New Time Diminished, Despair, Dimensions, Dallas, and Duality.
There are four thousand, three hundred, seventy-one words beginning with D in the dictionary. She counted – when She was twelve, and home with chickenpox – but words are nothing but the shallow reflection of substance, these days. Once, they were Her tools, Her shapings, and She strode the world with them. Words were living – filled with power – so She wrote them all over Her bedroom walls, fighting to reclaim the mind She’d lost, had stolen – but that was after Pylea, and no, She was in the Deeper Well, covering the walls with ink-fused power, asleep.

E is for Everything, which is simply Her.
She is all She has ever been, all that Is, entire, Her, the most of all, King, all that ever shall be.

But Everything was lost, stripped away. And now She is Her, alone.

F is for Ferromagnetism, defining iron’s magnetic properties – useful for advanced quantum mechanical theory, examining seabed magnetite, and making compasses – because they can tell Her where home is, even if She fell through a portal, but do compasses work inside fairytales? She’s not sure.

She has always known where She is. These foolish mortals are too blind.

G is for Grammar.
Capital letters are for the start of sentences, and for proper nouns, not for pronouns. Any grade school teacher could tell Her that.

She really does look ridiculous when She does that, by the way.

H is for Humanity, so insignificant.
She looks in the mirror and sees her face – the wrong, right, wrong face – so small, so pretty, ugly, pretty, pinkish, far too blue.

Humans are weak and despicable, laughable. They use words such as “pinkish” and think nothing of their disgusting inexactness. She is sick of them, everywhere, them, ignoring her, mocking her, thinking themselves worth anything.

She should destroy them for their insolence, but they’re not being insolent, and that would be real silly of her, and why does she think like this?

I is for Irritation, and she throws Spike across the room, and kicks his face, hearing the bone crunch satisfyingly under her heel.
She cannot stay in this foul world a single moment longer. She cannot stand this horrible closed-in place filled with so much anger. She can’t. She misses the Hyperion and – she has never been there.

J is for Jam Tarts, the kind her mother makes.
A smell from the lunchroom wafts past, and suddenly she is craving food she has never eaten – but used to eat, every Thursday, one fresh from the oven after school – she retreats into the memory of them, exploring what was, savouring every taste.

K is for Knights of the Round Table, and then the French Revolution, Henry the Eighth, the Roman Circus, the Civil War, Little Red Riding Hood, Martin Luther King, the Renaissance.
So many names, dates and places, all within this mind, almost as if she lived it – such a tiny, insignificant set of happenings – but important, repeating history is for those who don’t learn from it – over such a large, small, large number of years – these humans, ridiculous, who invent what they do not remember and call it better.

And she knows it is important, fascinating, she was going to major in it, even though she knows it really isn’t.

L is for Lilah, whom she has never met, and resented every time she saw her, those last few days.
Wesley grieved for her death – always grief, this man feels it overwhelmingly – and she will forever be competing with the last woman he loved, it’s frustrating.

He has lost? And? She has lost, too, indescribably more than he ever could – her world, her lab, her self, her everything. Why can he not live for what is, rather than looking back?

M is for Meetings, far too many of them.
They seem convinced that this talking, all written down, scheduled, recorded, will solve every problem that presents itself.

She does not agree.

She circumnavigates the building, exploring corridors – remembering sewers – until they emerge and she can resume her intercourse with those who interest her.

N is for Nuclear Fusion, which is a form of power.
If you could take two atoms, each individual and tiny, and combine them – fusing the two into one, indivisible – the energy released would be enormous, dynamic.

The Practical Science department has not achieved fully-controlled fusion, so far.

O is for Old Ones, as once they were.
They ruled the dimension – all dimensions, entire – and she wonders what that would have been like, before remembering that she was there, wondering is foolish fantasy, she knows, she heard Wesley talking about it once, but it was millennia ago and not so relevant, just an old story, telling what she saw, she was, she is, this is everything, but physics is much more interesting, she is everything, what has happened to her, why is she not her, what is this?

P is for Pylea.
She stands there feeling so lost – this is not her world, she never imagined – in chains, unwilling. The people are, were, are wrong, strange-looking, the stars, suns, stars are in the wrong place, and suddenly she is not what she was and she does not know the rules.

She takes a whiteboard marker and writes ancient symbols over the elevator walls – Angel looks at her strangely and says nothing.

Q is for Qwa’ha Xahn – that is to say, Wesley.
He guides her, mourns her, loves hates watches her, consoles her, and frustrates her more than anyone.

She has nearly killed him – died gasping in his arms – and does not regret it. She can kill if she wishes, why would it matter to her?

And yet it does matter, he matters, she misses him, he is nothing.

R is for Roger Burkle, and his wife, Trish.
Her parents come and she hugs them, smiles, these puny mortals, whose grief she could not bear, their daughter is gone, here, gone, here, gone – she cannot say it. She cannot – but she can do anything, not that, not to them.

She hugs them, smiles, and is herself… or something.

S is for Sex, and she is curious.
She dresses up for Wesley but he rebuffs her, so she retreats alone – together – alone to a bedroom, not hers.

And there they-she-they play, hands fondling breasts, back arcing, fingers tracing patterns in ever-swifter circles, skin singing, mussed hair…

It’s different from what she remembers – but then, this is her first time.

T is for Time, and the running out of.
She has seen many things end before, and can recognise this one before it arrives.

Angel misses Cordelia, Lorne misses Caritas – she sang there, once – and Wesley misses her.

She misses everything, before she slept, died, went to the Well. She wants the world as it was, when she ruled, when things were as they should be, when she still lived in Texas, before portals and detectives, before the humans came.

But time still flows past her in a rush, and she stands and watches as another end begins.

U is for Unique (her), Union (her), and Us.
It is interesting how the best-laid plans, by the wisest and most powerful of beings, still cannot plan for everything.

This self is not what she was expecting.

V is for Video Game, which is annoyingly intriguing.
The object is to jump on crates, and find things inside them. She is not certain why one should wish to do this – and yet she continues playing.

W is for Weakness, that she should not have, did not want, and does not understand.
He humiliated her – her! bloodied and beaten! – and he must be destroyed for it. This vulnerability is intolerable – weakness leads to defeat, cow-slaves, collars, craziness, destruction – and she will be strong once again, defeat all who oppose her, and be who she is.

Who she is may still be somewhat unsettled – but she’ll deal with that later.

X is for Xylophone – at least it always was in every alphabet book she’s read.
Reading – there’s something that could be done today. She always enjoyed reading.

And yet, what is it? Dead words on a page, describing thoughts that will not be remembered and facts that would remain true whether they are read or not.

In fact, the only real purpose to it is the pursuit of what brings pleasure – and in that case, it is just as sensible to spend the day sitting on a bed and being bandaged by a Qwa’ha Xahn.

Y is for Yearning.
Yearning is for Wesley – to not be lying here.

“Z is for Zechariah”.
There is a novel called that, she remembers. Adam was the first man, and Zechariah the last. The last one standing, after everyone else had fallen.

Funny – she’d thought that was what she had wanted.



The Mezzanine

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