Kyra: Von, did you ever think it would come to this?

Von: What do you mean?

Kyra: Let me ask you a different question. Do you feel as if you are standing between crenel and merlon, looking out upon a great battle taking place and a cold wind is whipping the flags above your head? You look with misty eyes and everything is slightly vague, not so much dreamlike, but just vague.

Von: Vague?

Kyra: Yeah vague. Vague like when you stare at a word long enough it no longer looks familiar, yet you know it is a word you’ve seen a thousand times. Vague as in fate moving on, but you’re not invited. Vague as in you know you should be hungry but you’re not.

Von: (heavy sigh) Tell me more about the view. What do you see on this great battlefield?

Kyra: I hear sounds, faint of glory won and glory lost. A drum here, a trumpet there, voices just out of reach, of charges made and lives lost. I smell soil dark with crimson and I look around and no one is speaking. The sounds grow louder as if waves upon the beach and instead of us moving to them, they are moving toward us. I want to move my feet, but I have no desire to move them, no energy. You know, that’s not quite right. The energy is there. I can feel it. I just see no reason to use it. I place my hands on the stone in front of me and it is warm and wet and the stone feels heavy. I’ve never noticed that before and I feel heavy too, as if this is where—(Kyra pauses, looking through Von)

Von: Where what?

Kyra: What?

Von: You were saying that this is where, and then you stopped.

Kyra: I always thought death would come—that it would come, not like this. (twirling her hair, Kyra smiles to no one) You know what I see on the umber fields before my mind? I see a mighty battle fought in muck and shine, fought in light and shadow and you know who is fighting that battle, protecting me with limb and life? Hope and Faith; Courage and Love. (pause) Hope, surrounded, digs in her heels, grits her teeth and renders another charge to mother and maker. (Kyra pauses again with an involuntary sigh) I look to the right and I see Courage swinging her mighty broadsword above her head, the metal singing in its arc. Her eyes are bloodshot with effort as the hordes close in. Faith is standing to her right, radiating with a force of light that becomes dimmer with each attack. And at the center of them all, Love. My dear sweet Love and you know what Love is doing?

Von: Tell me. What is Love doing?

Kyra: Love is singing. She is fortifying her troops with song sung from heart and lung and Hope and Faith and Courage fight on, inspired.

Von: How does it go?

Kyra: How does what go?

Von: Love’s song. What is she singing to her troops? (looks vacantly)

Kyra: I’ll stand by you.

Von: Sing it.

Kyra: (in broken verse Kyra begins to sing)

Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
cause I’ve seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

So if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like you
When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
cause even if you’re wrong

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And Ill never desert you
Ill stand by you

And when…
When the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You wont be on your own

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you

I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

(Silence)

Von: (a tear runs down his cheek)

Kyra: I’m dying in pieces. And I see it. I’m witnessing my own death, belief by belief. I feel my heart beat and it beats with a ferocity I don’t call my own and I hear a cry. I see a beam of light, like lightning but flowing from ground to sky and for a moment I can’t breathe and I’m blinded. The cry is cold and warm and I fear it and embrace it and my head hurts. I’m sorry Von.

Von: No please, keep going.

Kyra: You ever pray?

Von: No.

Kyra: I’ve been praying. To Janus. To Kieran. To Papa. And you know what I hear?

Von: (just looks)

Kyra: Nothing.

Von: (looks down)

Kyra: Do you hear it? Carried on the winds of the innocent, those not involved in this fight. Sounds like whispers, growing. I reach forward but you can’t hold a memory. Are you cold?

Von: Yes.

Kyra: Am I crazy? These visions, these voices?

Von: You’re Hynerian.

Kyra: This is not how it is suppose to end. Not like this. And then I think, who am I and what do I know. What if this is all there is? What if everything I believed about seeing Kieran and Papa again was a lie? And then I wonder if I just imagined it all. And then I think, so this is it. There is nothing more. No one is coming for us. No one is going to rescue us. And I wonder if all that I am is nothing and all my life has been a dream, a deception.


I’ll Stand by You

The Pretenders

Categories: Story, Kyra, Von

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