Thursday evening. Streetlights outside are flickering in a way that isn’t particularly interesting anymore. It was remarkable at first, how they turned the night on and off in that particular road you overlook from your window, you stood underneath one and had a friend take some pictures, one of them turned out really good and you’re using it as your profile picture, but now you’re just lamenting the poor state of governmental involvement in infrastructure or basic electrical maintenance. You mentioned something symbolical to her like, ‘of course gov’t wants to keep the darkness in our lives, keep us scared’ and she responded with ‘lol’ (why did she say that out loud). Not that the view is particularly instilling of fright and dismay, but you like to purport noncommittal lies like that, to comedic effect or just in general. Watching that lantern from your room is what you’ve resolved to doing tonight, under the guise of “there’s nothing better to do (yes there is but i just want to be uninvolved with my own life)”. But! You’re not feeling sardonically corny enough yet to draw parallels between those streetlights and your life.

Darkness will come, but not right now.

Thursday evening. You forgot how the view was from the roof terrace. And you kind of hate it? Financial stability is already a tough scale to keep in equilibrium – on one pan your income and on the other EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER BOUGHT AND WILL BUY WOW THAT’S A LOT OF STUFF – and this cool ass house location is not helping. Is there some black market vendor who sells readymade custom roofs, ‘Cool Roofsman’, maybe some of the people here is this mystery merchant of your destiny, but you don’t recognise any of them. That’s what you get for disappearing right after high school, you guess, but at least you managed to stay in touch with at least one other person, hence the fact you’re here. They’re younger than you. Look at those children, they’re probably afraid of all sorts of things just like you are. When they’re older, they’ll be strangers and alone, and completely in their own company. For some reason, you want to be there for them, help them through days, give them years to live, whisper them a song, make their summers alright, but it’s hard to do all that before the end of this mutual friend’s party. Also, you really need another drink because goddamn you’re not feeling comfortable here. Standing around with a drink in one hand is alright, but being left alone with your own thoughts at a party is, well, being left alone with your own thoughts. Cause for a distraction. Maybe one day you’ll be holding someone’s drink in your other hand, because they had to go to the bathroom real quick, and you’ll feel less like furniture, less like a flickering streetlight.

That’s how it will go, but not right now.

Thursday evening. You’re climbing to the top of a hill, the city is so far away now, you can see that the streetlights haven’t gone out yet, so you’re not running late, not that you’re running, you lazybones, but it’s getting late. You’re wearing a scarf and your glasses and a blue jacket you forgot you owned, and it actually looks really good on you? That’s surprising, but in a refreshing way, a way that makes you feel good, confident. You’re getting closer! The sound of a guitar, finally the years of learning the guitar paid off, it’s an Em7 chord, then a G, oh my god is this Wonderwall, is someone already playing Wonderwall, is this literally happening, ahahaha oh god, and you’re inside. Everyone’s waving at you, so does the guitarist, thank fuck he stopped, you hate his plaid pants, and then they’re all shouting your name. Glasses are raised, you get one of your own, and the joke that’s made is the best joke you’ve ever heard. There’s conversation, dancing to strange music, and conversations about strange music, maybe some other weird combination, too. Luke hands you his beer, “we’re celebrating all of it!,” and disappears into the bathroom. You smile, you’re on the roof, a roof of stars and moons above you, and then I came in, and we’re looking at each other, the streetlights are as far away as they could be, and we talk, it’s just magical, a conversation that is just back-and-forth incantations. We are wizards trying to one-up each other but that will never happen, and the magic will never stop. Still.

The quiet will come, But not right now.


A copper string is pulled. Elsewhere, she wakes up.

She doesn’t feel like a container, despite the liquids sloshing against her metal frame. Hydraulic fluids, trace amounts of rustwater, and white oil – the purest of all – flow through manyfold capillaries and inject her skins with an inscrutable glow. As an addendum irrelevant to perhaps you and to her as well: she is not a robot or an ironworks, although there is a glimmer of appeal in that metaphor. There is, at the very least not within the woolen blankets covering her copperthread bones, no difference to be communicated between the untamable organic and the calculated machinery of her gestalt. A different mode of being, for all intents and purposes. Then, can be wondered, what intents and purposes does a non-robot live for?

She flinches back; the string was sharper than estimated. Behind her, the stack of wool vibrates. She’s still a novice, and her fingers know. What was it doing in her loom, anyway? The woodwork had seen a lot of modifications in the past few years, but none of them required metal, or allowed it to work metal. Who would buy a copper tunic, anyway? she thinks, suckling blood from the orange-hued cut. She notes how it tastes a bit different than the blood she usually drinks. Thin wool and rolls of velveteen have done quite a number on her hands in these few weeks, and the only bandages available to her, she has to weave out of shed cotton. A vicious cycle! Clothcraft was not her premier idea of work, but manual labour is the only industry that would have her (have anyone). Not even her tongue, the wisest of organs, could tell the blood tastes more like a certain metal than before, and why would she (assuming she has no unusual ingestive habits)?

The job continues.

Her moiraiic digits guide the material through a shifting labyrinth of heddles and beams. The blood has not stopped. She bleeds. It bleeds along, the loom, that is, white oil pooling underneath its frame. Damaged she continues working, expressing a sweet oblivion for the longest sword cutting against her glowing hands. If only the master weaver hadn’t stepped out to buy more distaffs, they might point out there are no yarns worked by the frame (or they would fire her on the spot). But no, her body gestures with the grace and invitation only a weaver embodies, and the copper keeps on coming – it was never removed the way it was implied. Although at this point, not even the master, holding a coin purse with her mispelled name on it – Clotho – could move her. She wouldn’t recognise the difference between copper and thread. Then, can be wondered, what is she weaving?

She wakes up, tracing her existence along a single thread, from an ancient technology to the skinned hands of a novice weaver.

The writer’s wont

The writer carves a way out of the chrysalis, writing acts of violence into the membrance until a big enough plotspace forms for her to fit through. Her tool, the knifequill – plucked from the plumage of a purgatorial bird – is any writer’s most trusted possession and the sole proof of their artistry-existence. Without one, an author cannot escape the silk, coffee shop-shaped pupa where all writing is mythologised to happen. She brushes slime and crushed material from her jackcoat with a beautiful, adjectival motion. Modified with many pockets and loops to hold her small cannikins and vials, the writer is both jailed and jailor. Her prisoners, homonculi of ink and thought, cannot escape through the confines of their caffeine containment. Suspended in coffee ground from human beans, they reluctantly absorb the liquid until it sloshes inside them, nauseates them.

The cork above is popped off when it is extraction time. All containers have imprisoned a child of a specific paradigm, and therefore only one may be open at a time. A homonculus kisses the writer’s knifequill, so she may imbrue the soft, fleshy writing slabs in front of her with its ichors. Multiple excretions can mix no problem, but adding the spit of the young white male homonculus to any other will poison the forming narrative into a boring, existential urban journey. The created simulacra stay stored inside this organic hub, revisitable at any time to be altered or destroyed. Murders take place here, daily.

Even outside of the pupa, momentarily freed of responsibility and having to jam her creative utensils into the mouth of Mammon, the writer cannot enjoy a moment of respite. She must continue to sculpt facsimiles of non-existent universes only she can create. She holds a pure white bee between her thumb and index finger and stabs herself in the throat with its rapier-like stinger. The venoms, the psychedelics do their work – she is in pain, enticed again to create more. She scoops up black wax from crystal hives and gorges on it. This is called ‘inspiration’, the sole source of nourishment for writers. Without it, they will dry up and die a sarcophagus of themselves.

But enough about the creative process. Why does a writer write? For fame? Individual pursuit of the creative? A book deal? Nothing so lofty as that. She simply means to pay off her debts. The dynamics between the reader-writer are a currency, one that pays itself. And the invisible children. Every writer is visited by them in their dreams, after consuming exactly seven narratives (surplus ones; the ones eaten for sustenance do not count). Tying a lint red string around her fingers, the writer is then eternally indebted to the writelings. Only through steady readership, which the writer in turn binds to her with alchemical strokes of magic quill, may she pay off her masters. Writing is obviously neither calling nor hobby, it is an inescapable destiny. Guard your children from excessive literary consumption, for no parent wishes the fate of authorship upon an offspring. Pity the names chiselled into the covers of a book, also known as an ‘anguish tome’. Oh, how they must have slaved every waking moment into slabbering words, dripping frustration and mania on hundreds of scared paper sheets.

If this seems surreal and fantastical, that is because it is. The writer exists not on the same plane as we laypeople. All artists have to suffer for their work, so this and they can be fetishised by readers. It pays the bills/children. It is not fiction: an artist is not human! Could a human being, one with feelings and a life outside of their art, create art? NO! There is no life outside of their art, you dunderpate! You must deify the artist to the point of irrecognisability. Grant them not a droplet of humanity in your minds, or whatever.

And cursed be he who mocks the writer by falsely writing about her, sipping a cup of coffee and not wearing pants as she listens to a well-known song, tapping away on a laptop. As if the writer is capable of enjoying her morning like a person.