The other self — the one with power and hunger, lays daily offerings at the feet of his gods. He lies, calling them innocent names — distraction, pleasure, duty. But my strength is gone, talent stolen. When I question, he smiles and sings a lullaby. I sleep then, waking years later, ghastly and faint. In time the cycle of slumber widens, synapses become wintry, dead decades are buried under snow.
There remains a far glimmer; I yearn for its warmth. Talons run through my hair, soothing. Drooling fangs are shadows in the blizzard. The other self fled, abandoning me. I am alone to face the beast, falling night. I must hammer, shriek, weep, flee! But I dare not sleep. The earth is moving round, and dawn will come.