Woke up to find—I lost my mind. I snapped back in the middle of the Champs-Élysées. It was the headquarters that did it. I had to stop for a full five minutes and stare up at it. Dear God, it looked horrendous with that red flag draped over it. Like a bloodstain.
"What are you doing here?"
I'd wandered right into the midst of a group of them. The foot soldiers like goombas, with their black metal helmets, their leader with his snazzy looking grey uniform and the eagle on his chest. They're just like souped-up cops, right?
"Lost." He repeated.
Lost heart, lost soul. Lost my favorite word.
His eyes narrowed, like he didn't like what he saw there. My short hair, my slutty clothing. I spread my arms wide to let him see better.
"And then I thought to myself—the Empire's full of shit. Fuck. The. Nazis. Why not just kill them all?"
He turned away in disgust. "Just shoot her."
So the goombas raised their rifles and I smiled nicely at them. But they only got a few shots off. Then I reached the first one and blew his head off. He screamed real crazy for a moment, then bent over and collapsed on himself. The rest just froze.
"So you're soldiers, huh?"
I picked up his rifle.
"That's great." I tapped the officer on the chest as I passed. "I love a man in uniform."
I walked over to their car. I sat in it. And they all just stared at me.
"See ya later, sexy!"
I hadn't driven anything for a good five years. But I saluted them and floored it and it was all right.
I've always loved driving through Paris at night. One of those idiots had nicked me in the arm but it was okay. It wasn't bleeding; not that much, anyway. The entire seat underneath on the left side was red but it was okay. It could move every once in a while to take a cigarette from the pack I'd bummed from the dead guy and move it to my mouth. They were real shitty, though. Even worse than our guys have in the trenches. God, it was cold in that car. Even though I kept my eyes open, looking up at the setting sun, drove as fast as I could. Over sidewalks, ruined walls, sandbags, wreathes of smoke. God, my heart feels froze. I've lost something, it seems. I've lost my favorite thing.
"Where does love go if it can't find a home?"
Inside the bar next to the roadblock I'd crashed into, the patrons all looked at me askance and edged away. Several of them straight-up ran out at the sight of me.
"One moment here. Then gone with no forwarding address."
The old man didn't mind though, when I grabbed the bottle from behind the bar and helped myself. I said I'd pay him later but he said it was okay. He said it wasn't much, but it was all he had.
"Love no longer has a house. Or a residence in flesh."
When my bottle was half-full there was a crash and everybody shut up. I thought it was funny they actually bothered to come in through the door. Instead of, you know. Through the shattered remains of a window or something.
I didn't turn around when I felt his claws on my shoulder. My arm wasn't working real well anymore. So I was focusing on the secrets of life.
He spun me around.
"Hey you," I grinned.
He pulled me off the barstool. I wanted to scream, I wanted to throw things around. But no bar can buy forgiveness.
They'd taken no chances this time, by the looks of it. They'd brought along more goombas, and some of the more legit guys too. You know, with the runes on their lapels. Shadow Soldiers. I don't know. I was drunk. They all had their guns pointed at me and it was a frightening sight.
I punched him in a place where it hurt and he let me go out of sheer shock. I think he was swearing but I don't know. I don't understand these guys. They sound pissed all the time. I jumped behind the bar and ran for it.
I've had to desperate things to outrun this man. I've had to go real far. I ran I ran I ran. I've always loved running through Paris at night. Alongside the river, into the alleys, past dark houses and windows and souls. The city isn't usually totally deserted but it is now. The only people I passed were two Sisters, standing at the entrance of a church. Mercy wears lace and bottles of thieves. Which of these took you from me?
Emily. I saw the place and almost stopped. But I couldn't. Once light but dark now, of course. That café on the corner, you remember where we used to sit? I just glimpsed my reflection in the window and looked away. I'd face myself Emily, but there's a draft inside. Parts of me drowned in perpetual tide.
I ran until I was dizzy and I couldn't run anymore. And guess where my feet brought me. Where does love go if it can't find a home, Emily? The world trembled on its axis as I walked up the stairs and I shook too. I clutched the railing until my fingers bled. I opened the door. I went to the bedroom. I turned on the light. It was like an empty altar; no angel in sight. A religion with no temple, no place to take my worship to. No God for my eyes to see. Just apathy.
I collapsed into the bed and stared up at the ceiling. I listened to the sirens get closer and closer.
With lyrics from Jewel