Characters from the television series Highlander belong to Panzer-Davis
productions. The plot is mine. Fugue is an experiment, an offshoot,
a love letter to a very old desire.
none. Mildly slashy.
sickness and in health"
"By the blessings of Hymen"
"Jump the broom! Jump the broom!"
And early, only the smell of myrtle and the cool water of the sacred
spring. He'd worn red, gold, white with the Senator's purple stripe:
he'd gone crowned, garlanded and bareheaded. The first time, he'd gone
barefoot and naked and so had she, slipping hand and hand into the darkness.
So simple, like children finding each other in the tumble of a box bed.
Laughing. She'd been as tall as he, grave eyed, with a tilt of humour
to her brow. He remembered to this day the moment when they looked at
each other and found love, like the first flower after the rains, grown
between them unaware.
"Do you take this woman"
"By fire, by blood..."
In Haiti he'd married once and expediently to a woman who needed the
shelter of his name. Her skin had been the colour of coffee brewed with
milk. Two months after the priest had said his dry words over the pair
of them, heads bent and hands clasped in silent conspiracy, she'd come
to him and asked to do it properly according to her own rights. Under
the light of an autumn moon.
"Papa Legba, open the gates.."
They'd killed a goat for him, despite the colour of his skin.
There had been time when he did not believe in love. He'd washed his
heart in blood, written his name in pain and fire across the souls of
a hundred mortal women and one immortal. Even then he lied to himself,
for what did he bear Kronos but love?
A child's hand on his knee, a face lifted to his in innocent friendship,
a calculating desire: the feel of a baby's skull in his fingers and
the grass-blood smell of a woman heavy with milk.
"Her name is Eanna."
"Frances. Look, isn't she..."
Other men's children. He'd learned to walk away after the first time.
He was no Marius, to chase the bloodline through the generations. What
could he give them? Violence, duplicity, knowing when to run? ...and
even that had deserted him, this time.
Sometimes it was easy, a matter of tumbling into the nearest hayrack
or barn or the outer darkness away from the fire. Sometimes it was a
gift offered in kind and sometimes a formal transaction.
"Honour my wives, stranger."
"Two camels. Take the bitch!"
"Menathos, my daughter asks me..."
Yet Safira, who he'd seen bent under the weight of a load of firewood
and followed home simply for the look of gratitude in her eyes when
he glanced at her in sympathy had loved him long and faithfully, whilst
Murri-el-mamou - She had run away with the water carrier's son and had
to be brought back, squawking incessantly, to be kept miserable with
sherbets and sweetcakes until her father would take her back.
time he'd seen her she'd been vast and laughing, mother to four sons.
They'd been friends, in the end, but not lovers.
Sometimes it was like that. Like Leah, unwanted elder sister, who'd
come to him a month after the wedding and asked him, using the most
formal of honorifics "My husband...teach me to read." Scholarly
Leah, reading into the night by the flame of a single oil lamp, burning
up with the power of knowledge. "Tell me...""What do
you think...?" All mind, all bright, sharp intelligence unfettered,
nothing of the body. He hadn't minded, had wanted her solely for the
look in her eyes when he opened his boxes and showed her the wealth
of words they contained.
look like a gazelle, all eyes."
is going to hurt. But it will pass."
Buxom Sally, tumbled giggling behind the box hedge on a summer's afternoon.
Alexa on a beach in Greece, thin and brown and happy. In sunlight, in
darkness, between sheets and without: in love, in friendship, in the
flame of pure lust. Aiden, twenty years old and already with two years
of a rotten boroughs' vote behind him: John, with the monkey chattering
from the bed hangings: sweet Diogenes laying aside his shield amongst
the almond blossom.
the apples are ripe."
loved and had been loved gently, powerfully, jealously, with joy and
balanced on the fine edges of madness. Curled like puppies, making love
sweet as summer, knowing the hunger that can only be quietened by the
soul of another. After a while, the face didn't matter. It was the words,
the person, the mind in the flesh...
you really seen the pyramids?"
are too important to lose."
when it was the flesh, the curve of Mirri's breasts plump as pouter
pigeons in their cradling of silk, or the way Nazir's back flexed carrying
wood. It was all love, all of it love, sweet and deep and abiding and
mortal, yet he loved them yet and always would.
you love me?"
me you will marry again."
here at last that greatest of promises, the one that crept up on him
unaware and then showed its claws like a lion.
not easy at all, bowled over, in lust, in love, laughing like children,
fighting like heroes, running away terrified of the power of it, here,
found and pinned like a butterfly under the lamp.
it be like this always?"
a candle for me at Samhain, when I leave you."
now this. He looks up.
man before him wants all his tomorrows.
can he not lie? How can he not run harder and faster and deeper and
longer, for ever?
man in front of him wants forever.
opens his mouth to say the searing words that will rend them apart in
safety and nothing comes, for this is love and it burns like the sacred
flame of the sanctuary.
he says, for how can he not, helpless and stripped of all his artifice.
Yes, yes. Duncan. Yes. It's yours, it's all yours, always.
68 has been translated into Chinese by AT - you'll find it here.
Please consider feedback to the translator.