To follow the patterns of the break, its webbed edges cracking cornflower clay. He knew only one way to hold a knife.
Pinned, like an insect, by translucent wings against the ground. Whirling breath comes back to him in a sweeping movement, as if his soul had been expelled from his physical body and then sucked back in. He struggles to pull the debris from his face, hands burned. His shoulder slit from falling wood, meat sliding, a thick sanguine flow, he screams when he shifts. He can't move his legs, color fills his vision.
The sky is red. Soaked red. Penetrative pomegranate-stained fetid red. A venerable split in the sky that leaked god-like ichor. Strong scent of hot coals and iron fills his lungs, soiled sulfuric gunpowder a deep blackening shade. Saltpeter rubs his bones, pinkens wounds.
Miki! he shouts, a strain on tightly strung chords, terrified vocals akin to the snapping of a horse-hair bow. The jagged, hellishly bright metal blade in his thigh sinks deeper, shrapnel shredding tendons, muscle splintering, separating. His voice sounds like thin flint rock, Miki! Miki! Miki!
The sun hung low, hovering above the horizon, a candle burning at both ends, glittering against oily seawater. His skin burns, a raw and irritated, bleeding burn, he had to go back in. They restrained him, Shinji holding him back, consoling, strained sobs as red consumed.
A drifting consciousness that saps the spirit from him; hot, torpid blood that steams silver into the cold morning air. He can hear others but cannot make out the words they speak, instead feels the dead weight of his body being dragged up a hill. The floors collapse and he screams.
Several years later.
It comes to Akihiko in fluid dreams, of Ancient Canaanite and Greek mythos seeping. While he lay next to him and studied the literary techniques of T.S. Eliot, folding the corners of thin pulpy pages of text. Satin red wrapped around his knuckles, it's the features breaking beneath them as he pummeled. He's woken from a fever dream, cold sweat across his brow baptismal-like, the tinny echo of a tape recorder ground its gears in his head.
Shinji grips his thigh in his sleep, presses kisses against pale skin, stretched tender over tight tricep.
He's a triple spiral, bent legs chromatic, the Archimedean helix a perfect symmetry. The jewel-encrusted shores of his body, ebbing to and fro by the weight of the moon, for his hands to roam, palms open to take in the sweet flesh that was given to him.
Along the coast of his spine he ran his fingertips, felt the magnetic pull toward his friend, watched as he rested so peacefully, a rare sight on an otherwise disgruntled face. How he rested the edge of his hand on the other's side, where his ribs completed the cage that held his precious heart. Time warps in a helix, prying Akihiko away from him.
The devotion comes easily to him, painted his fingers cold red, took his wrists and placed his pigmented handprints against the baby blue of Shinji's disappearance. Burying the cross-broken, the absence of veneration (he’d be no floral saint, summoned bright indigo and a eucharist of soil, hands together in prayer), crown of thorns with no hallowed head to be placed upon, behind rock and earth.
No place for the stigmata on his palms, which he had wiped so aggressively at the grass, bloodying it and tearing the root from the ground. The bellows hurt his chest, a great weeping and willow, the tree swaying and daring to take him from Akihiko, the angled crystalline monolith and his prince swallowed. What bastion could our hero provide? Twice I failed him-
Or the way glass breaks, splinters and cuts and he finds him in red, in crimson and limp, holds the other's head in his hands, thumbs at his temples as he watches it run from his face.
It’s the right fit, but Akihiko can’t seem to lift up his arms, his charge a splendor, overwhelming, restraining. It tastes like copper in his mouth, rubbing the tip of his tongue on the roof of his mouth, a dead Latin constancy, steeple and priest awaiting him- fealty and fraternity, fingers at a point.
His inevitable death would surely be on his knees, angelic and faithful before him, fated (appointed) martyr, with a sword in his back.
Akihiko can only move so far forward, before the sword in his side shifts, blade slipping further into him, and though he felt the pain, he bled another's blood.