When ke steps into the circle, ker wings are bloody and ke’s lost ker voice. The people gather about ker and murmur and stare, but ker eyes are unseeing. Ker body is haunted. The circular hall glows with the twilight blue light and illuminates ker, and ke falls in a flurry of feathers and limbs to the stone. The crowd gasps.
Blood pours forth from ker back and from ker head and from ker heart and it touches every crevice and flows against the stone until the hall sounds with the trickle of tiny streams. And still Ke moves forward, crawling and tugging with ker fingers turned to claws, wordless. Ker eyes see nothing but ke stares at the throne draped in blue and silk and goes forward. Ker body is haunted. It crumbles and splutters and decays, ker legs useless and stinking.
With violence ker arms contort and ke turns birdlike, ker face sharp edges and hair shifting to feathers. Ke claws forward still, eyes on the throne but viewing past it. The disease creeps faster and ker hips wither into reeking meat and smoke. The crowd has stilled, all their eyes resting on ker progress, even the pixies still as they see ker.
Ke touches the foot of the throne, and ker eyes snap into focus and ke stares at the queen of blue, resting regal and staring above ker, unwilling to deign ker notice. Ker body withers still, but ke pulls kerself up each inch until ke can grasp her leg and her fine garments and veils and pulls further still until ker can grasp her arms and still she refuses to see. Violence attacks ker again and ker face no longer bears humanity. A great beak splits it and ker eyes contort and bulge as they shift to the sides of ker avian face, and words have no place between them. Ke claws further still until ke bears all ker height on kerhands and ke meets her denied gaze.
The shriek moves through ker to such volume that it bursts forth and touches every corner of the world and splits hearts and hopes evenly, leaving nothing in its wake. The queen looks at ker, and ke screeches still. The queen arises, and ke screeches still, and ker wings flare and envelope her in their orange and fire color. The queen moves forward, and ke screeches still, and she touches ker and moves close, so close, her body like cold and slime against ker fire.
Ke bursts. Ke is all flame and passion and power and hurt and promise, and ke cannot cease ker shrieking as the pain overtakes ker. Everywhere she is touching ker and everywhere ke is burning her, and the queen gasps and fights and stumbles away from ker into the arms of her lover. The twilight shifts to white morning, and ke arises. The throne lays forgotten even as its silks burn and crumble – all is forgotten in ker cries and the screams of those that flee the hall for fear ke too may touch them. Ke arises higher and touches the mountains stained white with light and snow and ker body once so broken pulses with a fire that cannot die and a passion that devours all ke touches.
Ker birth is marked by screams and fire, and ke survives.