Escaphism

“Under every scrap of confining skin is the potential for escape. When life grows from your husk, you, in turn, may be reborn.” -William James Lemaire: Seeding the Verdant World

It had been so, so long since my soulmate had felt anything resembling escape.

We sat and talked about the process that would surely end his life. Our Benefactor, William, had proposed this journey to us at our final meeting. William, who’d given so much of his time and energy to the wretched around him, was generous in imparting his wisdom. He believed my soulmate could be saved – but only if he gave his life to the Verdant World. I remember looking at the swaying trees and long grass around us – trees and grass seeded by the numberless Saved. It was a defining moment.

“Grow what we love in whom you love.” -William James Lemaire: Seeding the Verdant World

I kissed the lips of my soulmate before removing them. He didn’t move. Tears sprouted from the corners of his closed eyes. The sweet taste of his kiss lingered as I poured honey in and around his new mouth. The honey was from bees which had pollinated the flowers grown from other Saved. The cycle was continuing with us. We whirl the wheel.

The tranquility of the pond was a gift from the Benefactors before William. Birds sang, bees buzzed, crickets chirped, my soulmate bled.

Before each cut, he nodded his assent. I needed to know this was what he wanted. It was. This was the most important moment of his short life – a chance for redemption. A chance to prove he loved the world which birthed him. A chance, finally, to show appreciation after a lifetime of inescapable sadness.

To be sad was to mock the gifts of the Benefactors.

“Float as one, return to shore as many.” -William James Lemaire: Seeding the Verdant World

With my soulmate open and honeyed, I set him adrift on the small raft in the tranquil pond. Birds sang, bees buzzed, crickets chirped, and all lit upon the wounds of my love.

For weeks, I stayed with him on the muddy edge of the pond. Once each morning, I would pull the rope on his raft to bring him to shore. I fed him milk and honey as I inspected his wounds.

His mouth and nostrils bore new life.

His open chest bore new life.

His pierced belly bore new life.

His split thighs bore new life.

During our morning times of closeness, I urged him to speak. His refusals came in the form of a soft gurgling and a shake of his head. Not too hard a shake; he didn’t want to disturb that which developed inside him.

He was growing larger by the day – purple streaks stained his sun-charred skin which now stretched and wept. It wouldn’t be much longer.

“On the day of escape, let there be great joy as the air and the water and the soil are rejuvenated. Venerate the husk as you would a flower, for it contains the Seeds of Ignition.” -William James Lemarie: Seeding the Verdant World

My soulmate burst and passed away on the 16th day of his journey. From his body came new life. Eyes that once stared at a world he believed to be bereft of joy now bore sunflowers: proof of the good we had done.

I left him, open to the Verdant World, and went on.

New birds sang to Black God, new bees buzzed to Black God, new crickets chirped to Black God.

The wheel remains whirling.

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