“This is so hard for me/To find the words to say/My thoughts are standing still
Captive inside of me/All emotions start to hide/And nothing’s getting through”
Dear Serpentine Series,
Why, exactly, did you choose me?
No one sees me. I hide in plain sight.
I’m a businesswoman. A marketer. An editor.
Not a writer.
They don’t see me as a writer. No one knows I’m an artist.
I certainly don’t act like one. I’m not all dreams and worlds and visions.
I don’t even read fantasy. I get so lost in all the names and powers and locations, I just get frustrated and put these kinds of books down. I don’t even like Supernatural, Buffy, or Dr. Who, and I fell asleep during the last Marvel movie I watched.
The speed at which I draft is ridiculously slow.
The speed at which I read—for leisure—is ridiculously slow.
I can’t follow complicated story arcs that span over 14 books. That’s not how my mind works.
I can’t even figure out my own story arc for three books. Or even one, for that matter.
So I ask again—why, exactly, did you pick me?
I’m, like, the worst candidate out there.
“Watch me/Fading/I’m losing/All my instincts/Falling into darkness”
Yes, I remember. It was Corcoran who chose me.
My liege, my love, my fire. You saved my life, and I’ll never forget it.
After what those women did to me. The cry of betrayal—the appetite for revenge—would have destroyed me.
Only you could carry that burden.
General. Traitor. Annihilator. You are the human condition; your gift is divine.
So then, why isn’t this story about you?
Why is it about Laurel?
“Each time I try to speak/There’s a voice I’m hearing/And it changes everything”
Like Laurel, I’m drawn to the darkness. It fascinates me.
Ouroboros, the serpent inked on Corcoran’s back.
The scar on Murphy’s cheek.
My favorite stories are Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Interview with the Vampire. Hunger Games. The Dark Knight. Phantom of the Opera.
Ah, the shadow we try to deny. The mark it leaves upon us.
The power in bearing the scars. The honesty.
Why embrace the darkness?
Wait, didn’t Murphy ask this?
Yes, I know he did. I can hear Laurel’s voice. Wisps of breath in the chill of late autumn.
“Because death has chosen me.”
“Watch me/Crawl from the wreckage/Of my silence/Conversation/Failing”
My former therapist, Rosa, is the only person I’ve ever met who’s truly understood this. She knows I’m not crazy, fucked up, or suicidal. She’s the only one who’s ever accepted me, who’s ever truly listened when I spoke about the beauty of darkness, shadow, and death.
But Death chose her as well.
“I believe Death is Life turned inside out,” she says, “Like taking off a sweater too quickly.”
She is a phenomenal poet. One of the best.
But me? I’m more lyricist than poet. I can read and write on a musical staff, but I’ve always preferred words.
My favorite poet is William Blake. Ever since I read his work at age 17. Specifically, “The Chimney Sweeper.” Ah, his words. His songs.
Songs of Innocence. Songs of Experience.
“Tear down these walls for me/Stop me from going under/You are the only one who knows/ I’m holding back”
As I conclude this letter, I still don’t know why you chose me, Serpentine Series.
But I do know is that it’s for a reason.
A powerful one.
One I don’t really understand.
One that requires me to be a hell of a lot stronger and more honest than I am.
What will you have me do? And what will I become, in the process?
Oh, why me? Don’t you know what’s at stake if I tell this story?
To love the darkness, the shadow side of the self, to love death….is widely unpopular.
But it’s so beautiful.
I don’t expect anyone to understand. In the end, I even lost Rosa.
Please help me face the rejection. I don’t think I can carry this on my own.