“A veil!” someone shouted. I remember the cry. Agreement surged from gasping elders and wide-eyed youths alike. The first man to move snatched a scarf from his startled daughter and threw it at me to wrap over your head. He couldn’t imagine touching you himself.
We had to find a veil to cover your shining face. We couldn’t have the people blinded. Radiation, of course, must be contained. We didn’t have anyone infected. It stuck to your forehead at first, your sweat thick like the dew the cold morning after a thunderstorm. Wrinkles whiskered as your face strained into expressions few mortals have had.
That mountain was saturated in every form of electromagnetic radiation and energies unknown. It bludgeons the heart. Melts the eyes. The people could not bear the sight of anyone who had come so close to such a power. I think their hearts need a good bludgeoning.
The wind streaked your hair for a micro-eternity. It retained the swept-up form for nearly an hour, though no one could tell once you put on the veil. Have you touched it to see if it is still cold?
Your fingers—what was on them? Smoke, or earth? Melted stone? Incinerated atmosphere? Pure carbon, black as the abyss and under nearly enough pressure to crystalize into diamonds rarer than hope? When you grabbed my arm with those fingers, I nearly screamed. You left black marks everywhere.
What does the veil cover now? It's edges are no longer like the cracks beneath Heaven's doors. What is it you wish to hide? Isn’t it time for this mask to be cleft by a seraph's sword?
This is one of my favorite things I've ever written. I hope it's enjoyable to read as it was to write. I started scribbling down lines for an exercise in poetry class, modified it into an assignment, and edited it a whole bunch. I'm finally getting around to posting it now, but I'm too afraid to actually read it again. I don't want to start doubting it and I don't want to work on it any more.