The fall that I lived past my son, Rolf, I retired from the merc guild and took a dark fellowship in the distant part of our world. My life boiled to motherfucker stew. Beatrice greyed and took to scowling in dim corners like a dirty mop so sometimes I treated her like one. I volunteered at bake sales, but mostly pocketed the shekels. I tried hanging myself from the bell tower with a thick cord, but nothing came of it. Beatrice scowled. This much I learned: our marriage wouldn’t survive our son. I rode my warhorse and lived in mourning and wore the thumbs of others. I ran into Melvin, this surly serf, who called my dead son a “pantyhose wearin’ tart.” I should’ve murdered the balls out of Melvin, but my battle-axe felt ridiculous in my hands. Melvin turned away, ashamed. I looked at the ground, to Rolf’s pink socks beneath my boots.
I had fresh madness in me. I saw no one alive for six weeks, but at night fields burned outside my camp. I spit-roasted weenies and tasted despair. I wrote to Beatrice from derelict posts and imagined her scowling in response. My son came to me in sleep, faceless. The moon replaced the earth. I felt frozen. I murdered all I remembered. My warhorse farted in the dark.
I lived beyond life and the sick, beyond ruin, hung from charred trees. I felt the ghost of otherworldliness. When I arrived to the waters, I found the churning black and saw my faceless son there. So I entered the waves and promised, “I will love you now. I will love you now.”