By Tori Morris
Author's Notes: It's a Delirium piece I've been meaning to write. It's a little spin-off of chapter four of A Game of Lives, but you need not have read that to get this. And I forgot that there was already an issue of the comic titled 'Facade'.
A coin has two sides. My brother, Destruction said that. I remember it, from when me and Dream found him on his island.
Don't look so shocked. I may act insane, it doesn't mean I am.
Death came to me once, well, actually, she's came to me bunches of times, but there was this one time in particular. When I was Delight. When my realm was intact, and I was a beautiful maiden. When I fell in love with one of my subjects, and desired to live happily ever after.
She said, "Delight, this is a mistake. Our kind just aren't intended to marry mortals." I hated the words that came out of her mouth.
"You are wrong, sister, I love him, nothing bad can happen." I said, delightfully giving her a hug. All the time I hated her inside. I hated myself, and I didn't understand. He loved me, and worshipped me, and everything he did should have made me happy. It didn't. I was the lord of Delight, the beautiful maiden, she who grants happiness.
And, yet, I was anything but inside. I felt nothing, weak and sad. I had a destiny, and I had dreams of the future, and I had despair and desires and maybe I also had destructions, but of all the gifts that make up a person, a normal human, I lacked Delight.
In retrospect, I should have asked one of my siblings. I could have. But I couldn't stand the pressure anymore. Why didn't I fit in, the one thing I should have excelled at and I lacked it in all forms. I could care less if I were married, if I died, just as long as the pain stopped.
It ate away at me, and it affected my realm, slowly, to be sure, but it did.
I tried to stop it, I spent more and more time with my love, but it kept getting worse. I was so confused. Then, one day, Death came for him, without me ever marrying him. She must have known, when she came to talk to me, that it would end like that.
I fell into a despair, and gave up hope. I refused to refresh my realm every morning, and the trees died, and the flowers melted.
Destruction came to me, then. He said, "Del, what's wrong?"
I giggled and couldn't stop. He would never understand. But he held me until my fit ended, and then we watched the sun sink. At the end, he smiled.
"That's another day gone, destroyed and we will never get it back."
"That's depressing." I said.
"So I've been told. I, however, do not feel that way."
I giggled again, acting normal and delightful. "Why not?"
"I envy it, sister. I can never be destroyed myself, can never change, not as long as I am the Lord of Destruction, anyhow." He said, musing. It was as if a puzzle had been solved for me, and my heart leaped in excitement.
"Oh, that's sad, but, it's ok, let's dance?" I offered, smiling. And I meant it, for the very first time. The pieces clicked into place. I needed confermation, however.
"What about our sister? Can she be destroyed?" I asked, leaping in circles, for the simple enjoyment of it.
"Aye, in a manner of speaking. Not permanently, however."
"Why not?" I asked, again innocently.
"She is the Lord of Death, however, like me, she cannot be what she already is."
"Sister cannot die?"
"So it is supposed."
"Aha..." I grinned, and danced again. The wisdom entered me and revitalized me. He was silent for a time.
"Things are changing, Del." he said, not finishing my name for the very first time.
I said nothing, and smiled instead. He knew what I was planning to do, and indeed, had already begun.
I am Delirium now. Over the next few years, I changed myself, my realm, traded one power for another. It isn't a bad trade, not at all. It's the best of both worlds.
You see, I can enjoy life now. How horribly constraining it was before, to be the mistress of all that is beautiful and enjoyable, not able to taste that myself. Now I am the guardian of the Insane, trading my outward beauty for rags, and my beautiful grass green eyes for a blue one with silver flecks. But I can delight in the taste of cherries on my tongue and the shimmer of a silver fish above my head.
My siblings think it is terribly sad. The change, I mean. They try, in their own way, to understand, but I know that they all secretly wish for the happy ending, the return of my 'sanity' and Delight of the Endless. Even Barnabas, my brother's dog wishes I were sane.
It'll never happen. I could never give up what I feel now, for their respect. In the end, there is a side to every coin, and the side of my change was that my family would treat me even more like a child than before. Destiny would look down on me, more so than any other person or Endless, Death would try and nurture me, Dream would refuse to speak to me much of the time, and the others weren't much better.
I suppose, I could tell them why I did it. But it's my secret. Not even Destiny knows. Destruction, my favorite brother, understood, but he doesn't know the reasons entirely.
I was particularly sad upon Dream's funeral. That was partially my fault. If I hadn't been so eager to see Destruction come back, I would have known that he wouldn't. He's the same as I; made a similar choice, and now the rest of us have to deal with it.
But, I had grown closer to Dream as we had gone along. As always, I hid behind my facade of insanity, refusing to directly answer the questions most of the time. They hurt, the questions, but the change also provided me with an easy shield.
The reason I had grown close to Dream, in the end, you ask? He was the first person in longer than I can recall at this instant, that I dropped my shield for. Destiny really dealt him a hand he didn't want to play, and was now forced to. He had promised we'd see it to the end, and now he had to. He collapsed on the ground, from what? I guess it might have been fear, or denial, or despair. In any case, I dropped my shield, got Destiny to stop long enough for him to regain composure. And, I did it for myself. It shocked the hell out of Destiny, I could tell. Did he honestly think all that time that I was really insane? I guess they all must think that.
But, in any case, I didn't come here to chat. It doesn't matter in the long run that I've spoken to you in this manner. In the morning, all you will remember is a rush of colors and passing out. Your friends will gather around and say it was a miracle you survived.
No, I'm sorry, you can't
remember this secret. I can't let on, and I have to do my duties, it was part
of the exchange. But, all the same, it's been refreshing, hasn't it?