Names That Cannot Be Spoken

You yearn to say his name – a long, rumbling O that shakes your chest. A single sound that fills you with warmth. He used to have a different name, a human name, but his heroism and his feats have turned it holy. It’s only to be written out fully in scriptures by acolytes in the Sacred Libraries in Maledendon, the City Walled by Waterfalls. Much like your name is now.

You reenter the Baking Chamber to push the cake onto the cart carved from millennial trees, service smooth and strong, and guide it to where the Mouth awaits behind six sets of metal doors, each wing cast in the visage of the twelve deities. The Mouth awaits – gaping in the temple’s wall, vines and branches shaking aglow with iridescence. It’s big enough for you to walk right into it with your held high, but the Mouth’s tongue have no taste for the living, so you finish the burial. It takes for the cart to connect with the overgrown wound in the stone for the gods to entwine their appendages around their offering, suck it in, close and digest.

Grief overcomes you and say your own name.

You can’t help it when all that the gods left of it is the sharp gasp of someone falling on a blade.

‘Ah,’ the chamber echoes. You pretend for one last time it’s the voice of your husband you hear and not your own pain tossed back at you.


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