He said, “I see a flat land, a land that no longer knows distinct color but where the bronzes and the reds and the greys all bleed into one another and the black lies under them all. Creatures wander through it that would put Saint John's vision to shame, but they are no longer dread omens but death itself, and they no longer terrify any but themselves. They flee they know not what to they know not where, bucking and screaming and biting their own tails. They flee across the country and occasionally the people, naked men with skin the color of sunlight seen through smog and women half-clothed with skin paler than white snow, bring them down and feast on them, and they howl their pain and agony and rage at what they must do but they do it anyway because not to do it, I surmise, would bring them much more agony.”
Across from Tatiana and Julia sat the twins. While eating, neither of them looked up from their plates, but pored over them as if they were necromancers and the plates tomes about how to raise their dead loves from the grave. They ate in this manner as well, passing utensils back and forth while scowling at their plates. Every once in a while they would each skewer something on a fork, hold up their forks to each other for comparison, look at each other, nod, and continue eating. It was very strange.
“At least I don't try to ad lib Shakespeare,” I said.
“I don't do that, foolish boy!” she glared at me. “I try to ad lib Spenser. He's much superior anyway.”
And we went to sleep there, in our warm little cocoon, soft and warm and comfortable and secure. We awoke to the roaring of St. John's beasts and the feeling of hell and the flash of hellfire.
“Mom would never do something like that against her will. I know her, and you know her. She would wander the world, forever, alone, rather than stay with a man she didn't love, or with a man who had done something like... like that. Right?”
A long pause, then finally, “Right,” from Tatiana.
“Oh,” said Julia then. “How I wish I'd been there! We would know exactly who to believe.”