I cast the blood into the dust, when the hour of the planet came, and whispered the name of seven silly devils of his court.
The drops spun in slow orbits, undulating worlds of potentiality; past or future, now or when? The pale light of Saturn burned in the sky, and on the pale earth came forth shapes.
Shadow gave form and meaning to the twisting runes: the suggestion of small pert teats, short pixie's hair against a long and fragile skull; the empty craters of eyes that had been hurt by the world.
A woman. I needed to know more.
The knife rasped once again on my forearm, another scar, parallel with the others, each a call into the void. Shadows of past and future danced past my eyes as I squeezed out another ounce of life's blood.
If some toad of evening watched with golden eyes, they might think me an artist of the macabre, but I do not create. I open myself up to the universe, I submit myself to those planetary spirits. As the light of that planet dimmed, my eyes turn quickly to the shapes in the dust, seeking patterns in the chaos.
A wavering double cross, upright and inverted overlaid, stood before those haunted eyes. A veil maligned that shapely head, seven drops drew a constellation above and behind her head.
Then, a cloud across the sky, and all was darkness once more. Primal chaos, as it was before.
Yet I looked north, in the shrouded night. A convent lay, a deeper darkness against the light of the town. His future lay there.