Oblations of the Soul
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Dear Child Gregoriy:

Every single time I lay down my head to sleep I see those wreched Gallows.

I see that bloody sun drench the gnarled timbers of that damned engine, oozing upon it as it churns, as it whines, spits; I see it beat down upon both the watchers and the observers alike. Like they deserve to be. I see those spattered planks span the horizon, splattered by the sweat and the tears and the piss and the vomit. And I see the Children, clothed in those rough sinewcloth cloaks, marching their oblations into the engine's gaping maw, the stewards wrenching all-who-gaze's heads to abrupt attention, to pull them fully into the spectacle.

And I looked.

And I burned.

The corpse of the newest victim was pulled limp out of the Noose, and, and then She was pulled up.

I was five. But you knew that, didn't you? You filthy god damn animals didn't even give her clothes to cover herself. You just paraded her up and covered her head with that wretched bag of skin, and you placed her into that fucking Noose.

That fucking Noose.

I have to pass that thing every time I head into town, that loop of eternally bloody viscera ever squirming. Every time, there's a new corpse in it, sucked completely dry save for the excretions, and I pause for a second and have to take it down because you found out it gets stronger when it's seen. I see its tongue dart from the intestine and probe the air, the flesh, searching still for fresh blood. Pointing straight at me.

I'm lucky that I don't have to hear them. But I still hear it every fucking time.

I hear my mother's screams of agony and anger. I hear those muffled curses at the top of her lungs that lasted far too long for a dying woman. That's all anyone ever did. That's all anyone ever does. They just fucking scream, and they writhe, and they claw. She screamed. She screamed at God — they all do —; she screamed at her parents; she screamed at the Children. And she screamed at me.

She screamed about how she would have never gotten stuck in this fucking nowhere town if she weren't unfortunate enough to get knocked up with a worthless daughter like me. She screamed at herself for not throwing me into the river, or throwing me to the dogs, or the orphanage.

And then she stopped screaming.

I've tried so fucking hard to forget that but I see her again every night, every single fucking night. And I get angry. I go to sleep angry, and I wake up angry. At her. At the Children. At God. At myself. At myself even if I know I didn't deserve that, didn't deserve all that pain that still haunts me.

And I just… I remember the dreams the night after.

I remember seeing God. And I remember it burning, burning my head, my eyes, my skin, burning with the fire of Gehenna. And I can't, I couldn't help but think, in the agony, that she was right.

I'm so fucking angry. But you wanted me. So I went with you.

Every night I stayed in your church I stayed up as long as I could passing a knife between my hands, thinking, dreaming awake on how, when, I could disembowel you and strangle you with your entrails.

Other nights I sat up thinking of slitting my own throat in front of you.

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