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once upon a time, in the year of bated breath and lover's debt, there lived a man and his beautiful wife-- and though they toiled in circular disintricacies and stayed the coming of any age that time mustered, they loved each other dearly, to the threat of every deathbed and beyond.

she spent her days singing songs about the house as she did everything in her power to create the best home she could manage of the sagging willows and bastard reeds she gathered-- for the husband she loved so much.

There is nothing you can see that is not a flower;
There is nothing you can think that is not the moon!



and always, though he never knew the verses precisely, though he always knew the words to give her, though they sometimes meant the same with their smattered syllables and backtraced fingers on the parchment under the pillow, always there were sweets on the table.

he brought them in her sleep, in his wake, kneeling on the floor for the morning.

always, arms thin but full. eyes wide, view narrow, their blessings as few as one, with everything beautiful and dismembered as the enchantment he suffered.

a blissful zealot.

she smiled when he made his prayers between her legs, when he tasted the divine upon her mortal tongue, and when he loved her from the inside out, she always wished at the top of her pitches for his ultimate happiness-- always thought of how fortunate she was to love so readily and be loved so heavily in return.

"someday," she'd say, "i'll make you the perfect copy of yourSelf."
"someday," she'd say, "i'll make us something perfect."

when he'd fall asleep, dead of night and dark of day, she'd whisper her songs into his open ear until she too fell unconscious.

Sad nodes
we're all the bamboo's children
in the end.



not once did he ask which day, because

she always rattled in the spirals of his ears, a broken figurine in an unlined case. but it tickled, pleasantly-- the bells, the tottering footfalls, the sliding doors and water on granite, all sounds and all things bubbling at the base of his neck.

they kept the vermin at bay. they stood before the shrine, wet and desolate. his hands always played a part in the rhythms and the functions of what, to any man, was as clear as water under a full moon. the ripples beneath his outstretched fingertips put the finest of mirrors to shame.

clean and quiet, with the scent of sandalwood.

on the day of star rise and sun slept, the genkan was stained red with the same red that stained winter frozen lips.

her fingers limp and her body numb, that evening heralded no whispers for she could not breathe with so much wire twined like ivy about her whitewashed neck.

she wanted so badly to make him a perfect copy of himself.
she wanted so badly to make him something perfect.

she waited for him to return home, arms thin but full, eyes wide, view narrow.

she wanted to weep, but she could nary muster the sobs with so much wire twined like ivy about her whitewashed neck.

when he saw her, she was bound and brittle. his thin arms fell and the floor was filled with the taste of dried persimmons.

he tried and tried-- his eyes so wide and his view so narrow that in the end, he saw nothing.

in the end, he knelt as he always would, admiring her and waiting for her whispers.

and waiting.
and waiting.
head tilted, ear to lips,

he smiled as he waited,
so happy to be home
with her,
waiting for her whispers.

when he grew impatient, he was a craftsman. his fingers laid across the lacquer of her throat and the ripples of the wires, and when he tasted them he tasted the silver of the moon and the gold of the carp swimming just beneath that reflection.

just beneath that sleeping pulse.

with every touch, she lost a little more,
lids glued open, pupils attatched by fishing line to the ceiling beams above their collective forms,
surrounded by the sweetness of her husband's broken persimmons
and laden with the love of his unseeing eyes.

her fingers laid untwitching, her body still all his,
but without a throat to reach her lungs,
how could she
how could she
how could she
even begin
to sing him this evening's song?

his focus flew, a lifetime of dreams over withered fields, to this and that. surely, in that tiny room, there was something that could breathe her voice for her.

and that sleeping pulse would crawl from its shell if he said the right words and used the right parts.

"i'll have to rearrange. i'll have to make this room a womb, for you," he said, explaining to no one but himself and a collection of wire-strung sweets.

"i'll have to find everything for you, in you," he told the air,"and in your scent and fingerprint lingerings."

a knife caused the ripples. the water was her neck. the wire was unravelled.

and it was then that his work began.

her throat yawned open, her love soaking his legs and his bended knee.
unmoving fingers and eviscerated needs
loved his very purpose
as her spine


under his persimmon stained fingers
and his blinded need.

swiftly, swiftly, his knees scuttling and skimming across the floor, he reached for a broomstick in the closet-- oh, he fretted and frought with a tyrannical inkling, breaking it to the length of her spine, that he would need another.

his hands splintered, or the splinters sunk into his hands. he wasn't sure but nothingnothingnothing mattered so much as the two silk purses in the dresser.

the room was turning red as a plagued tree succumbs to autumn, spots and patches spreading and waiting for the white of winter. his footprints and bloody knees were an infection on the tatami, his finger blighting the paulownia wood and its brass handles.

but it was hers and she needed to be everywhere, just as her voice tinkled in his ears and richochetted off the walls.

ecstatically, his fingers trembled in time with his lips, inches away from his wife and her new spine. he didn't know how, exactly, the strings of the purses were to be tied when used for breathing, but he twined them around the remnants of her first spine and the body of her second.

and oh,
how he kissed her,
with all the bombast,
a child for a mother,
breathing life with his love and her blood
her songs would spit out and stop choking her mute.

her tongue seemed to move-- oh the divinity to be tasted on her mortal, coppertoned tongue!-- in the breath of her husband's throat.


the sound projected from the objects laying haphazard in the room, posessed by her blood and controlled by the memory of her fairytale happiness.

Though fragrant are the colors,
Yet shall the flowers scatter.
Who in our world
Could forever endure?
Over the mountain of transcendence
Let us today cross,
And there will be no more shallow dreams,
No more drunken illusions.


of these things;
they pulled stressed fingers over bloody earshells.

only for a moment did he fail to consider the tiny set of bones in her head, still fertile and abraided by
a flock
a gaggle
a symphony
of locusts.

to veil her from herself, lest she ruin her own dreaming, he gave himself up
and started again,
just to speak,
to tell her that everything
everything was fine.


"no no no no no no
don't listen, it's not here,
we won't find it here,
we can't look here,
not yet.

will you let me . .. ?
stillness is the sufferer,
the stammering, and you,
and i, and everything--
it's coming done.
it's coming done, i promise."

he placed herSelf on a half moon's platter,
served raw and serene to the stars that peeked in through the barely-opened shutters--

gentle visitors,
depraved divine!
have you come to
see the show that spends your time?

her eyelids drooped and her jaw asunder,
she hummed and she murmured,
murmured and lulled,
as the pro



the preparations went barebacked, halfcocked, raw.

kitchen where door set snobs
disk dials
cored upheeled
comb conchs
ever sundries sundried
caveats unbarrelled
spine upon spun
twine, tempter,
after all and in the marrow
drips of draught tremored
travailed, torched
for fact for ambergris


many things and many hands and many hours

matchstick humming
tin can stick stare
stairwell distomb
bitters ninefold
soft touches

and so many colors.

oh, while he worked, how she wanted
to kiss him
to love him
to sing him his songs

and send him off to


because she missed him so.

the feeling of his body in her emptied ribcage and the feeling of his love in her emptied heart
rotted the pediment of her instructured desperation
that left her feeling nothing in her
deadset skeleton shell
the no longer
held o n e
s i n g l e

between her dreams and his realities there was nothing to be said
because she no longer had the voice with which to say them
(oh, she lacked the voice with which to speak).

the instruction standstill, stoodfast. it gaped and swayed and he, beloved, understood his mouth would have to spill for two. pushing out post-abortive melodies
("oh, the newsprint needed for the fall, it must have been")
gossip in columns, fact for fact an uneducated anatomy.

sufficience. in drought, excess. he smiled as he sang and sung as he worked a steelsouled magnum opus in his dead wife's bed.

"Still in the water, I'll wait--
mispresented and r-rewretched,
three tons of gasped air in
one lifetime, four and two,
charted up and bartered out."

the fumes fixated him in an asphyxiated cough. fixative. here and there, there, there.

"there there. we're almost."






she resided and she waited, she waited so long like she always promised she would.
how she willed and wanted to touch those pomegranate stained hands, the juice-bloodied fingertips,
how happy she would be to feel him again, to make love to him again,

to provide for him again.

"someday," she'd say, "i'll make you the perfect copy of yourSelf."
"someday," she'd say, "i'll make us something perfect."

oh, such promises that she wished she could keep.

.for hours.)

sunlight questioned, deliberated, ratted out the window. soliloqies, regrets, spat.

spit. sweat.
no tears,
never tears.

ever and always i'll
(but the stench)
love you, love you
(blades and wire)
my voice and my heart
(raw fingers, ringing ears)
yours, everything
(shipwrecked, dessicated)
overflowing, overflowing

andtherewasONLY one (1) one placetoputitall.

"a love song, before bed."

he said it twice, for her whole ears and her whole body. her whole self.

"a love song, before bed."

he said it once more, before undoing his.whole.self unto her.

"a love song, before bed."


red from beneath the doorway,
seeping onto the feet of a postman
who heard five last words









together, once more,
forever and always.
The text for the first chapter of apologue, called 眠り歌, or Sleepsong, written by me and ~gloombox. If you enjoy it, please support it-- pass it along to others and keep it with you in your thoughts.

the five chapters of apologue will read like convoluted fairy tales, and will take on a darker dynamic as they progress.

please, enjoy. :heart:

edit :: for the record, I wrote the woman and Elle wrote the man in this story.

edit2 :: and please, if you favourite it, please leave comments. we'd really like to know what you think, of course. :heart:
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KrowKills Featured By Owner May 21, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I read this years ago. To this day I still think of it. I know this story will stay with me all my life. It is beautiful and terrible and has inspired me more than I could ever tell you.
Catie-brie Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I find myself enjoying this because it is pure emotion. Yes, there is imagery and story and detail, but it all bleeds together into base emotion--a style I respect and enjoy.
XsheepandmeeseX Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2009  Student Writer
This is beautiful and extremely disturbing at the same time. It's supposed to be, but still.
When I grow up, I want to write like you. .__.
raw0shark Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
This is so beautiful. Is your book being sold? Because I would really like a copy for Christmas and I can't find a buyers link anywhere on your DeviantArt or website. :(
emoxxangelxx798 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
very good!! :aww:
Drinnen Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
Oh, how I love this story. It's beautiful; there's something more to it every time you read.
mcgabby1994 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
god,these stories are amazing.
DJKID Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2008  Student Digital Artist
This story is just so beautiful! I've read it atleast three times now and I'll never get bored of it :heart:
citysilence Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2008
I think this is my favourite of the apologue stories. It's just really gorgeous. I would buy this, if you were shipping them to Canada, and I had money/a job. P:

Seriously, though. This is gorgeous. And the pages I've seen so far are amazing. I can't wait for more.
Liffe Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2007
There's this uniqe style of writing in this story. And it's really beautiful and poetic. Intresting to read - and such a sad story! But I like it. A lot. And I lovelovelove the art.
paintedmaru Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
just, wow. everything is so compelling and just beautiful. and it makes it even more powerful because the reader has to pay very close, almost painful attention to what they are reading so that they follow the story, and even with this wrenching detail to attention, you still do not fin d the answers to all of your questions. and i mean painful in a good way. i live for a challenge like this, to almost have to decipher what i'm reading. it's so clear on one hand, and then so muddy on the other. stunning. and after reading this i am just so overly inspired to go draw that i don't actually know what it is i want to draw. i can't even focus on a composition or anything cause i don't want to mottle what you've created.
KinaMorii Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this one was my favorite of all of the chapters(that I've read).

It was a veritable rollercoaster ride of text.

And I loved every minute of it.
senza-amore Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007  Professional General Artist
that was

i LOVE you.
Roselyn-May Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
I really dont know what to leave int he comment other than i love it.

It is all together very well done.
PuppyLivers Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2007  Student General Artist
So I basically almost cried. I've always been in love with your writing, and I can't tell you how captivated I am by how amazing you and your co-writer are. Your style has inspired me many, many times. And this is so strange, such a fantsastical phantasmagoria. To love someone so much as to take their brokenness and try and make it whole by anymeans possible... It's very reminiscent of romantiscism, but mix in gothicism and throw in the ache of love and you have this.

It doesn't help that I listened to Idioteque by Radiohead. Very appropriate song to listen to while reading this. My mind almost exploded...

<3 I would favorite this a hundred times over if I could.
bloodsoakeddove Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
this is absolutly beautiful... the way your words give a dark presence without usuing dark words, i love it! very inspiring...
PheonixReborn Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007
Such a tragic and spine chilling story.
rainbowsaur Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007  Student General Artist
I forgot to favorite this when I first read it. :3

Really, it's stunning. the emotion is overwhelming, and it's written with such an elegant....vagueness. It really does make you question some things, and wonder what exactly is going to happen.
moofestgirl Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
i love the way you write
not only the text,
but the way you present it.
it makes me omg jealous. -_-

but i love it ^_^
Tataouin Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's surreal how everything unraveled. I'm not even sure I understand it all. Between the sweet words and the sickly details, I'm in awe. I feel a bit sick to my stomach and nervous all the same. You've created such a beautiful world. I think I'll reread it, try to grasp what's going on.

Beautiful story.
KalbaxEcnailla Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2007
It's quite beautiful, and most of the beauty comes from the fact that it isn't clear. There isn't one interpretation. I read it twice to take it all in. The first time I read it, it seemed to be that the man had killed his wife, tried to bring her back, and then died to be with her. The second time around, I read it that the woman had killed herself in her struggle for perfection, and her husband was so desperate for her to be back that he tried to make her again, and then when he couldn't, kill himself to be with her. I don't know if either of these are what you had in mind, but the beauty of the story lies in the fact that the reader can read it multiple times and see something different in it each time.

Incredibly beautiful. I love it.
LordEnrique Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2007
It's so beautiful and poetic. I tried reading it aloud to one of my friends and was amazed at how the words just rolled. You and Miss Elle truly have a gift for language that even at my best, I could never hope to emulate.
hortaux Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2007
Beautiful as usual, as are its subsequent illustrations.
knightofpassion Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
This is beautifully written. I am astounded in how you both are able to work the words into a piece of art of itself. It is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

knightofpassion Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
This is beautifully written. I am astounded in how you both are able to work the words into a piece of art of itself. It is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

MizzReeLoves Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I have read this 3 times, and still, I am for the most part speechless. I'm anxiously awaiting anything else that pertains to this.
InnoTenshi Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2007
The way you write flows so perfectly ... I always enjoy reading your work.

dElAYeD-rEActioN Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
It seems a little tragic, but still rather beautiful. Did she... die before he took to her? Or did he just... erm, silence her for the song..?

*Was she dead when he got home, or did he kill her?
VampKitty9 Featured By Owner May 19, 2007
Whenever I read the things you write, It always starts out so happy seeming at first, and It makes me feel happy and almost as if I was in the story itself... but then.... it changes, and as I was with this one, I'm left with my jaw dropped and just gasping trying to fathom how some of these stories end up this way... and then, in the end, when all starts to come to the closing, I actually find myself tearing up, sad, depressed, and reflective upon it for the remainder of the night and for the next few days...

It's absolutely beautiful, even though it's a terribly sad and tragic type of story, I must say, you are one of the few writers (you and ~gloombox that is...) that I crave to read new things from.... And one of the few that no matter how long it is, I can stay and read through the whole time, and not a single thought passes through my mind about taking a break or giving up reading the rest of it completely...

I absolutely love it
retromortis Featured By Owner May 19, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you so much. it's really nice to know how we effect people, so i'm glad you took the time to give us such a thoughtful response on this piece.

again, thank you so much. :heart:
VampKitty9 Featured By Owner May 20, 2007
You're Very Welcome :aww:

I just hope you continue to share more work like this =^.^=
neurotikitten Featured By Owner May 19, 2007   Artist
This is like Loreena McKennit's "The Highwayman" song, [And the original poem], and a little Japanese culture by way of NIN's the Fragile.

It's beautiful. I can't wait to see all the images that come with the story.

Don't lose inspiration~
Skellington13Rose Featured By Owner May 18, 2007
There much emotion in this to take in and so much emotion put in. There is so much to say about this. Like how the words flow and how you arranged them to make them appear differently, uniquely beautiful. Like how you made up something that only you could and no one else, exquisite.I love it. Please never stop your writing. ^^
N0-0ne-1mp0rt4nt Featured By Owner May 17, 2007
it's gloriously written. and a wonderful thing to read.
Degoe Featured By Owner May 16, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Questions over questions....

Who tied her up? Why was he so clumsy in helping her? Did he BREAK her spine? And then repair it again?! With a broom of some sorts? He smeared the blood all over the room, and still wanted to keep her alive? Was she alive at all or dead all along? Why did he wait so long to join her? Does he kill himself at the end? Maybe strangles himself and breakes his own spine? Why would she wait for a guy like that? Their whole relationship does not strike me as a happy one....

All in all I am very happy that all my questions, in my opinion at least, are not fully answered. Seeing your suitcase girl I am slightly afraid of the illustrations that will go with the poem, or prose or whatever, after it is not a fairy tale anymore. :) I like the artwork to the first couple of sentences though :D
retromortis Featured By Owner May 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
some questions are meant to remain unanswered. for instance, who killed the woman. he wasn't clumsy in helping her, it's the fact that she was already dead. there's a line in there-- along the lines of with his eyes so wide and his view so narrow, that in the end, he saw nothing was an admission that he didn't realize that she was actually dead. he takes her apart and puts her back together with other things because he thinks that's what everything is telling him to do.
Degoe Featured By Owner May 17, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Now that you mention it...That makes a lot of sense :) Thanks! I think that the writers are actually the only ones who fully understand their work into the tiniest detail. It's very interesting to get to know the artists thought for a change instead of guessing what Goethe and Hendricksen tried to tell us :D
Eleija Featured By Owner May 16, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that I didn't get everything, since English is not my mother tongue, but I really enjoyed reading this! It's like a vortex that transports you to a whole different place!
Is every chapter gonna be a totally independent story?
retromortis Featured By Owner May 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
yes. ^^
insanekirby Featured By Owner May 16, 2007
Wow, extremely well-written. I loved the style and how you changed the structure as well. :3
thingoneoftwo Featured By Owner May 16, 2007
This boggles my mind.
There are some typos, but I don't think they detract that much.
It is well written, effectively and the imagery and abstractness of it all is perfect. The way it goes with the images that have been posted is perfect.
Well done.
retromortis Featured By Owner May 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
where are the typos? many errors were intentional, and i want to check to make sure i didn't overlook anything.
thingoneoftwo Featured By Owner May 17, 2007
Uhm... I would have to reread the whole thing to find them. I will try to do that sometime soon, but I'm short on time just now.
I will find them, though. I knew that many of them were intentional but a few seemed entirely out of place. Mispellings and a few homonyms... I think...?
I have a memory like a sieve. But I will find them.
huixuan Featured By Owner May 16, 2007   Writer
This is absolutely amazing! It truly encompasses the relationship of Anakin and Dormé (dormékin), even if that is not its intention. I also like that he refers to her as 'kimi' not 'anata.' =D
bloodraven77 Featured By Owner May 16, 2007
OMG this is so beautiful and so perfect! It reminds me very much of my favorite Star Wars otp Dormé (handmaiden from AOTC) and Anakin...Its just them...

I look forward to seeing your book once its complete =D
Goldfish-In-Space Featured By Owner May 16, 2007   Writer
Beautiful is the word that comes to mind. The seamless-ness of the poetry is wonderful; flowing and leading you into the next stanza. Beautiful.
va-gina Featured By Owner May 16, 2007   Photographer
I like your use, or rather misuse of gramma. It's very post modern and interesting. I think perhaps there is one line which seems awkward to me, but probably only because I am childish; "he made his prayers between her legs".
This really is a very inspiring piece of work. I love it.
CantSee Featured By Owner May 5, 2007
Amazingly written, and formatted.
I love the detail, and how it ends with you gasping for more.
Wonderful. :)
swizzlekiss Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007
Incredible. This was absolutely amazing. Perhaps it's because it's very vague or I'm just sleepy but I keep wondering exactly what happened to the wife. Or is it up for interpretation?

All in all, I loved it. I've never read anything like this before. (And I read a lot, hehe.)
retromortis Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
it's up for interpretation. things might be a little more concrete when it's illustrated-- or it might jar reality a little bit more. I'm not sure which way I'm going to go. *laughs*
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