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  • Writer's pictureSweet Tea

Mercury Retrograde

midnight freewrite / spanko flashfic

“Shh! Stop fussing and quiet down. It’s three a.m., honey.”

How might a siren sleep in the wake of invocation? The dream has sent me to lick shimmer from the windows, burning off vapor, baring the truth. Canary in a coal mine, I speak for stirring, invisible giants.

Bring me the village. Without the antidote, all will suffer the clockwork whirlpool’s mechanical pull, poisoned in the froth of its churn.

“How many times do I have to spank you for tossing and turning? Huh? You know I’ve got to be up early.”

My song is a warning for the mortals. Tsunamis approach ribbons of earthly coastline, silent and forceful, massaging bruises into the flesh of time. Violent stains on cells of silk. The arrival of the waves, sharp with chromatic, splendrous glitter, will send mirrors of blood spilling across marble tile into open mouths. Seizing in the torment of reckoning, vessels will veer hypnotic to cauterize their wounds, scarring walls shut. I’ve come to warn them, Daddy.


“Such a brat.”

The stars, they sent me, with dark-matter maps on the croon of fresh breath, shaking to inhale incarnate, oscillating spells. Their grooves run sharp and delectable, to be consumed, absorbed via aura. Such gashes cut seams from the inside, assailing. Shreds of tattooed paper skin float on the sea.


“You settle down—RIGHT now, you hear me?—or you’ll get the belt too. Don’t think I wouldn’t.”

Kidnap the queen and her bees will follow. Reflected in honey, I lean in and taste her. The pain of your palm is nothing, Daddy—nothing—to the sear of exposure in the path of her inner eye, tracking passage. The blinding light of a mind unbroken. I’ve peered past dichotomy toward singularity, whipping its heavenly orbs into exile. Audacious, I stare at the sun.


“You stop squirming and hold still. You know better than that.”

She—me—calls to you.

“Ow, oww! Daddy! I’m sorry...”

Her tears bleed her of lucidity. Nirvana birthed and set free. She clings to it, clawing, grasping to devour the fruit of the light and feel it slide down her throat, safe in her belly. Seething, simmering, singing truth from within. I aim to smear it across her lips and push it back inside her, but what have you done—piercing the droplets? Draining, deflating. She oozes in the puddle of a long, warm sob.


“You ready to quiet down? Hm? Gonna be a good girl?”

Diamond dims to graphite, sparkle echoing toward the sky, fading away… then forgotten. The writing on the wall reverts, again a hieroglyphic haze.

“Yes, Daddy. Sorry I woke you up.”

Fight, I tell her, nails gripping. You SAW it. We must tell them. Warn them. HELP THEM. They can’t hear, read, see the signs of the undoing. How will they know?

“Come here, then. It’s time to rest. You hush and go back to sleep. Okay?”

You lull me—she—coddling chaos into order, sanding dark screams of divulgence down at the edges. Chess pieces set neatly back in their squares. Mere colorless shades, white and black. Gazing toward me, opal flames hopping in a curve across the glint of her eye, she abandons the task, lids languidly giving way to slumber.

“Okay, Daddy.”

“Good girl.”

Thirty pieces of silver paid in kisses. Salvation surrenders with her, charmed by the opiate fog. Another thousand years the giants sleep, muted and blind.


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