The fire raged.
The fire screamed.
The fire burned.
Somewhere beyond the heat and the smoke and the crackle he was talking. Words came rolling in on little wet waves.
“Some years ago I found that deathfish are not named solely for their habit of living in graveyard ponds.”
The floorboards creaked under his weight. Inside the cabinets dishes danced to the beat of his steps, welcoming their master home.
He paused. The house leaned into him, waiting for his acknowledgement, his approval, his love.
“They are very poisonous. Very poisonous indeed.”
Fingers grasped and pulled on a metal handle and the house sighed as a cabinet opened.
“Some people in Shang Simla pay quite a high price to eat them. But then isn’t all life just food for other life? No matter what defenses you have, someone will come along and find a way past them. Find a way to get under your skin…”
Under your skin. Under your skin. Under your skin.
“…take out all that is you…”
All that is you. All that is you. All that is you.
“…and consume you.”
Consume you. Consume you. Consume you.
The fire died down to a slow silent smolder.
“It’s a very fast-acting poison. Nothing too messy or uncomfortable.”
“You won’t feel a thing.”
She heard a heavy thunk from the back of the cabinet as he pulled out a large glass bowl.
“You see, ambrosia requires four life seeds. Four seeds sewn together with a single string.”
She heard the groan of the faucet as it turned under the pressure from his hand. She heard the water splash against the sides of the bowl, filling its emptiness.
“And you are the string.”
The water roared. It thundered through her veins, rushed through her brain, and flooded her heart. He had emptied her out and now the water crashed into the spaces he had left.
There was no Lilith. There was only water and fire and love and hate and life and death.
The fire comes for us all.