S is for Shelley

Here I am once more at the Cauldron.

I wonder if the pale lords have decided to have me stewed? I wouldn’t put it past them.

Day by day, I mistrust Paradise all the more along with its guardians. They imprison us with the faith they implant within us, their subjects. They water us with words, allowing us to grow, meek and humble. Afterwards, they feast upon our timid worship, drinking every drop of life and vitality we possess until we’re nothing but withered husks.

The pale lords so all of these things, aided and abetted by their servants, yet the lords are not devoid of humanity themselves. I’ve seen flickers of it in Lord Ruthvyn, even though he tries to hide them.

What do I do with the knowledge I’ve gathered?

I already decided to resist. I took the name of Shelley, a rebel poet from a lost world our ancestor forsake for Paradise. My name is a symbol of strength, individuality, and freedom. I forged a bond with another boy who showed me the way in doing the same. He chose the name of Byron for himself.

Together we made a stand in song and spirit against Paradise and its Goddess.

Paradise rejected us as a result. It gave us to Lord Ruthvyn, one of its pale caretakers. Byron and I are now trapped on his estate, being transformed into his personal songbirds.

Madness creeps on me from every corner of this mansion and its grounds. I’m not longer sure what’s real or true.

There are two things I continue to believe in. One is Byron. He is too proud, too strong-willed to ever let Lord Ruthvyn master him.

The other is freedom. To be free to love, to laugh, to think, and to choose our fates for ourselves are goals worth fighting for.

I want to be worthy of what I believe in, Byron and freedom. For them, I shall resist.

The only question that troubles me is what weapons shall I use? For I begin to suspect that mere defiance and the will to fight are not the keys to obtaining what I want.

It may be possible to touch something deeper than the cold shells of our enemies. To reach the essential humanity which still animates them.

They hold the keys to our prison. They could open the doors if we persuaded them.

I find myself wondering if all the pale lords aren’t like Lord Ruthvyn. If they’re as trapped within the roles of being tyrants as we are trapped within their tyranny.

Perhaps they, too, are tired of this. Perhaps they, too, wish to be free.

If I can awaken that wish within our captors as well as my fellow prisoners, it may be a major step toward freeing us all. Toward escaping Paradise and its Goddess.

I must look for every opportunity to do this in On the Other Side of the Mask.


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