Deerly Beloved II.VI (XIII): Cauterizing The Cold

Persephone Erin Hudson

This is an excerpt from the second arc of Deerly Beloved, a serialized horror-farce. Arc One is now on Gumroad, and Arc Two is coming soon!
Do you feel it, under your skin? That which will never bleed or boil out of our bodies. Do you feel it? I know you do. I can see it. It ripples across you. It shivers. You. Shiver. I see it. I know it is of you. But. Do you feel it? Does it ache? Does it ache to utter agony? It must. I can see how much it hurts you. Each and every day. I can see that in weathering the wound it has weathered you.
Do you feel it? The aching cold?

It is always cold, here. So cold there is nothing but to freeze. Everything blackens under the frostbite, and falls off. In the unceasing agony all falls to incoherence. Senses slowly scatter to the frigid wind. Then the passions slowly wither, like a flower aborted in the frozen earth. Then your loved ones leave you; your friends, your spouse, your children and the church. Connection and community, all alike in absence. And then the soul—the heart of You—undergoes organ failure. And thus you fall into ceaseless shock.

You can already feel it fall apart,
can’t you.
You feel the state of shock set in.
We can feel it.
Can’t we.

It is always cold here.
In you
In me
In we.
In accursed land and sky and sea.
We are all withered in its shivering wake.

Yet blessed be there a way to save ourselves from the throes of catatonia. Together we can cauterize the cold. Together, when us is you and us is me and us is we, do we set the village to the flame. Warmth may be but momentary in burning barns and scorching stables, but it is all that we have.

We are The Arsonists.
In arson we are saved.
In arson we are warm.
In arson we are home.
In arson are we.

Look for us everywhere the burn marks form, trying to find a place to keep warm.*