August 5th, 2004

Mask

Grindstone




Hundreds of miles above the tallest building in the demon city there was a stone wall, but now, looking up, Seita could imagine that it was all sky, and that the flickering lights were not ships but stars. She smiled and rubbed her hands over her naked pregnant belly.

The spinning grindstone had been expensive to procure; made out of the walls of hell, it was harder than any material but hope, and hope was scarce in the demon city. Still, it was worth the expense, because the baby was worth everything.

Female demons often gave birth by tearing their pregnant bellies open with their nails, but for this special child, Seita had to forgo her natural instincts. As a precaution, she spent hours chiseling and rounding her long iron nails until they were smooth nubs. There are nerves inside demons nails, and Seita wept pressing them harder and harder against the spinning stone, one hand guiding the other.

Demons cannot feel love; love is God, and demons are shielded from God, but Seita believed that the baby inside her was suffusing her with reflected light. Love radiated, and she basked in the muffled echo of that divine spark. The baby was a tiny piece of God, a stolen kiss from the divine. The thing they did to get this child now horrified Seita, but her horror was overcome by her love for the fragile bohdavista inside her.

She craved things; milkshakes, dandelion heads, wild rice, holy water, beef, curry, virgin blood, unleavened bread. For each craving her tiny cell of revolutionaries would run to earth to catch or kill for her desires. They brought her all the comforts she might need; a pillow of feathers made from angel wings, boiling oil for her swollen feet, emergency pants in case her blood broke. Thinking of the childs' welfare, she lived in the top suite of the tallest building in hell so that they could be closer to earth.

Cloistered from hell, earth and heaven, she knew that she was only as important as the soul inside her. Sometimes Seita longed to spread her leather wings and dive, catching the currents of heat and cold, riding over fields of souls, lakes of ice, mountains of fire. If hell learned that she carried a bohdiavista, they would destroy the fragile child and she would be forfeit to oblivion. Seita knew that she would risk it all a thousand times, for an echo of the way she once felt, standing in the light of the divine.

Inside, she felt a hungry, beating heart.
A tiny conglomeration of cells, a grain of Gods love.

This savior was meant for mortals, but she would instead die for demon sins, face demon fears, and speak to her father for the fallen.

Seita patted her belly.

“I love you.”




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