Title art by Ricardo Santos
Listen to Live Reading
Listen to His Audio
Metallica “King Nothing”
Listen to Hers Audio
Disturbed “Down With The Sickness”
Before we commence, we would like to address the elephant in the room. Every last one of us is a King and a Queen. No exceptions to the rule. No rule, come to think of it. Just a shit ton of monarchs and a kingdom of grue within which to enlighten and frighten. Our objective this day isn’t to place ourselves on a pedestal and feed one another glazed cherries. We’d much prefer to find a nice lofty precipice wide enough for all of us and gorge ourselves on dairy just for the nightmares. You see, for all of society’s narrow POV on ego, we happen to believe it quite beneficial. Not to puff out our chests and peck lesser poultry ~ rip their throats out, recline and observe them die slowly. Nothing quite so sinister, we assure you. Just to assist our Art in bleeding further from the page into hearts. Here in the Citadel, all kinds of debauchery plays out night after night, and it seems only fair to share the riches. And let’s face it – we’re not sons of bitches.
The thing about ego is that it has a tendency to go straight to one’s head. And that is why there are two of us. Double trouble then? Nah, just two times the love. Anyone who has seen us through this transmogrification should be more than aware of the direction we’re facing. Up and at ’em seems to be the best route to check out and we’re nothing if not damn devout. No half measures we said as we kissed, told and bled ~ take this straight down to Hell ~ to the heavens as well ~ to the edge of the void ~ for a swift Polaroid ~ down the Grey-Chapel Path ~ to the Ripper’s chop shop ~ all in ~ no requirement for flop. We’ll bring the cutters and you bring the mop. More hands means less work and more fun to be had. And we wish to involve every last one of you in the free-for-all. Slaying together on Twitter affords us this platform, a new stage on which to perform. So why not bring the swagger? Just enough to excite. No intention to blight. That simply wouldn’t be right.
So we Merge. And by Jove do we Merge. Right now you are reading both of our Prose and this couldn’t be a less isolated incident, you know. Every last syllable spilled is ours and it wasn’t going to be long until this spewed over into social engagement. Just to be Crystalline – we both bricked it. You see, everyone has their own perspective and are more than entitled to them. But naturally not all are going to appreciate the dynamic and this played heavily on both our minds prior to secondary insertion. What will folk make of this? Could it cause a dull ache, or worse still, full-blown quake. Will they extend us kindness? Or cry out river blindness? Who are we to play Kings and Queens? That’s a full country mile past obscene as the raven flies. There’s no way that we’re calling them highness.
That couldn’t be more fine by us. We’re not here to make that kind of fuss. But we are sovereignty to one another. The blood that flows between us is most royal and, while that may encourage recoil, it’s an A and B kind of deal. These crowns we don’t steal. We’ve just died for too long not to feel. And the love that we share is of sturdiest steel. So why not honor the Hell out of one another? After all, fully blown Citadels don’t run themselves. Besides, when you think of the pain we’ve endured, we’ve earned a little regalia right? Nothing too exotic, just a few uncut diamonds and throne room to recline in once slaytime concludes. But here’s the thing, we’re real people. Human. Well, all but a little bit of this and of that. Once we vacate the stronghold, we’ll still be quite bold, but ignorance is something which we long since annulled. Bringing joy to those who make our dual inferno rage – now that sounds a far more done deal. Bring a dash of fantasy to reality. And three shakes of insanity. But none of this boils down to vanity.
We are Grey and Keeper. No more, although you could just condense that to greykeeper for less characters. Just a suggestion. Which is why we posed the rhetorical question ~ are you in? And to EJ on Twitter, who neither of us knew before a mere few moons back, we adore the way you screamed your response in the half-blink of an eye. Suddenly we have gained a Sister and quite clearly of Spartan blood. Through just one communal surge. Which is what we have witnessed as a number of glorious souls have welcomed each Merge. Whether involving themselves in the merry madness first hand or simply spreading the sickness with a simple button click, it all aids our fitness. Lest we not forget, both of us recently graduated from the school of very hardest knocks. By all accounts, we should be licking our wounds like a couple of snared foxes. Not having any right to believe in a cause. What a preposterous thought. Get back in your kennels you mangy maulers. This is no place for ruffriders and ballers.
But couldn’t dark art do with a little bit of a shake up? After so long sedated, can’t we just choose to wake up? Be Kings and Queens, all bow down to each other. Not exclusive to a pair of blue-blooded lovers. There are more than enough crowns to go round. But we may be a couple short of gowns. Rest those frowns, turn them uppity down, as nobody likes prolapsed smiles. And while some of our output is admittedly vile, it’s not like we bid to defile. Okay, perhaps just a smidgen. But skin feels more cosy when lived in. Underneath we bequeath with the bloodiest teeth, show the nature of our ravenous beast. With a slapped dash of fortune, we can spark a few fuses. And this makes us hard as it fires us those Muses. The dirty half-dozen are as brash as they’re brazen and we dare not object to the ideas they’re raising. But you see, we mean you no harm. So it’s not like you’re chancing your arm. Far too late to disarm as we’ve loaded the cannons. Nothing reckless about such abandon.
Art is ultimately expression. And currently we’re expressing our little-big hearts out using every last tool at our disposal. So here cometh the proposal. Tag along for the ride, seems a shame to deny this exposure. As regardless of weather, we are in this together. Once creators unite, there is hope to ignite. We’re all battered and beaten, had our souls damn near eaten, but the blood which we share only cares for the sweeten. Kings and Queens we may be, but we’re just Grey and Keeper. And these Rivers of Grue go a whole shit ton deeper. It is our pledge this day, to fight to the bitterest end for those we adore. And there’s more. So much more. A vast kingdom suited up to explore. No war, at least, not the kind religion bargains for. Now what say we go make some folklore?
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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