The heroine of this story is a villain, a bastard. Black lungs, ruby red nose. Bourbon. Marijuana. Goddess worship. She calls me a liability, that I drink too much and care too little. She is both true and false, we dance with fact and fiction. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The truth is nowhere to be found.

I am in attendance. Church for hustlers and degenerates. She is Benediction in towering heels. The body of Artemis sways before me. A collection plate rains from the sky. Inhale the smoke and rearrange the battlefields in my dreams. All week performing alchemy, all weekend on the front lines. I open my eyes and it is so. Her lips might be the Universe. I pray to the Goddesses that I know.

Breanna stops me as we are about to enter the Chamber.

“This is a Sanctuary.” Breanna says. “You are to behave accordingly.”

It feels like an Initiation. Breanna leads me by the hand down a narrow corridor. My heart flutters with each step. The words that I can say are interrupted by delight, admiration, and astonishment. Breanna performs magic before me, producing images so meticulously designed they create a beautiful illusion that leaves me spellbound.


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