windhover: (fallout ❧ gomorrah)
[personal profile] windhover
just some experimental writing for one of my OC verses (same as this guy, though he is not exactly directly involved in this), nothing to see here, doot doot.

(even in the context of said OC verse, this is generally not supposed to make a whole lot of sense, if any at all.)

Title: Dal segno al fine.
Word count: 1,486
Summary: refrain (noun) : 1. a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song; 2. a much repeated saying or idea; 3. the principal, recurrent section of a rondeau.

Day 7, round 9
“We are the only ones left.”

We. There was another here with him. Who was that?

“There are no others anymore. They’re a part of us now.”

What others? Was there really someone else standing before him?

“If we want to get through this, we have to work together. But we have to stay apart.”

Another man stands before him. Who is that?

“Sevens and silvers.”

He doesn’t understand.

“Just hold on.”

The man before him stretches out a hand to touch his own, and his flesh melds around his fingers and joins them into

Day 2, round 173
He still doesn’t know where he is, what’s going on, or where the whispers in his head keep coming from. But the whispers never cease, and while he can feel something deep inside him coiling up and fighting to rebel, something else tells him that the effort would be wasted. Something else fills him with weariness, with a want for the day to end even as it’s just begun. He lets the whispers soothe him instead, affirm to him all the truths of the universe.

The opposite of up is down, of left is right, of hot is cold. Things that are solid cannot be passed through. There are laws and boundaries of nature that can never be swayed. His own eyes can never be deceived, and all that he sees must be true.

Who is he?

But that is a question for another day. This day is for the basics alone.

Day 5, round 16
There are others here with him, he’s learned. Four others, and from what little he knows of them, they know just as little of their circumstances as he does.

They are to work together if they want to make it through the day.

No one else moves. He doesn’t want to be the first to speak, but something tells him he doesn’t have a choice.

“Does anybody know what this is?”

The others look at him, suddenly wild-eyed. Most of them back away, but one makes a lunge for him, hands twisting and clawing at

Day 5, round 117
There are others here with him, he’s learned. Four others, and from what little he knows of them, they know just as little of their circumstances as he does.

They are to work together if they want to make it through the day.

No one else moves. He doesn’t want to be the first to speak, but something tells him he doesn’t have a choice.

“Does anybody know what this is?”

The others keep their heads down, remain as resolutely still as before, but he knows they’ve heard him. Eventually one looks up, eyes timid, and speaks.


They have a long way to go yet.

Day 7, round 22
“Sevens and silvers.”

He doesn’t understand.

“Just wait.”

The others are already gone. They were too weak to stand on their own. He doesn’t know how he knows this, but he does. He doesn’t understand it, but he knows it.

“Sevens and silvers. This is important.”

He doesn’t understand why. Why is it important? It can’t be more important than what the voices have been telling him, can it?

“Sevens and silvers, it’s important, this is important...

It occurs to him that the man before him is turned away, talking to himself. Who is he? Who is that self he sees?

Where does the boundary between himself and this other man begin?

“Sevens and silvers.”

Does it even exist?

“Sevens and silvers, I am me—black letter, I am a black letter…”

He reaches for the other man, puts his hands to his back, sinks them into his flesh until

Day 14, round 92
None of them have any understanding yet of who they are. But that no longer seems important, not to a single one of them.

Except for the one who keeps muttering to himself, always muttering sevens and silvers. He doesn’t understand what it could mean. But that no longer seems important, either.

What is important is that they continue to work together. What is important is that they continue to learn, to speak with each other, and to listen to what they are told. There is much yet to be covered in the days to come, and none of them have any hope of making it to the next day unless they do as they are instructed.

Failure is not an option, and this they learn again and again.


He doesn’t know. At this point, he doesn’t think it matters.

Day --, round --
When the night finally comes after each day that passes, he dreams.

He doesn’t understand them, and he doesn’t have the time to linger on them during the day. But still they come to him each night, each one more intense than the last, unfettered by the voices that guide and regiment his daily routine.

He dreams of a sleepy house on a round hill, overlooking grassy fields and a small village down the road. He basks in the sun on a warm summer day, hands entwined with a girl who laughs like a sweet silver bell.

He dreams of darkened streets, of cars rushing past and people surrounding him on all sides. He finds solitude beneath the tracks, feeling the rumble and thud as a train passes overhead, and watches the city lights that outshine the night sky.

He dreams of a tower in a vast and wide kingdom, the greatest citadel in a vast urban sprawl, the center of might for miles around. He is the prince who rules beneath its black banner, and for all his power, his lover’s touch is all it takes to bring him crashing down.

He dreams of uncertainty, he dreams of fear, he dreams of despair. He dreams of faith, he dreams of love, he dreams of a life that seems long behind him. He dreams of losing everything, of losing his family, of losing his name and all he holds dear. He dreams that he knows himself, and while that self is never quite the same from one dream to the next, it’s a sweeter feeling than anything else could ever be.

But for how much they differ, they each end the same way: crushed in the jaws of a great scarlet hound, a smear of red that seeks only to destroy, to tear him to pieces and swallow him entire.

So it is that with each dream that passes, he wakes in fear, more eager than ever to put it far behind him and well out of his mind.

Day 7, round 1
In order to succeed, you must remain your own self.

But how can he do that when he doesn’t even know who his own self is?

You must retain your own self.

Who is his own self?

You must maintain your own self.

Why should he bother?

Day 7, round 5
You must maintain your own self.

There’s no point in it. Everything bleeds together in the end. Everything mixes and melts and becomes one in the end.

You must remain.

Everything bleeds.

Sevens and silvers. It’s important. He has to remember it, because he is a black letter. He is the black letter, the man in the tower, the prince of the black banner who lies beneath the train tracks and watches the city lights. The hellhound’s jaws snap him up just as they do to all the others. Everything bleeds. There is no self anymore.

Failure imminent. Round again.

Everything bleeds. There is no

Day 21, round 80
His alarm clock buzzes at six o’clock on the dot. He fumbles groggily to shut it off, swings his legs over the edge of his bed, and rubs his hands over his face.

Another night of dreamless sleep, and another long day ahead of him.

His phone sits silently on the nightstand, red light turned to green. He takes a moment to check its screen—no messages, no replies. He frowns. He hasn’t heard from any of his friends in the past couple of days, not a single word out of the four of them. But it doesn’t worry him. He has other things to concern himself with.

He stands, walks to the mirror above his dresser, and stares deeply into the face it reflects back at him. A sound echoes from the back of his mind.


That’s his name. Of course it is. He doesn’t know what else he would think.

But somehow, he feels like it matters.

Riff leaves the dresser and heads into his bathroom, ready at last to begin his morning routine. There’s another echo at the back of his mind, lying beneath all his other thoughts, sevens and silvers, like a quiet never-ceasing thrum. But that doesn’t matter to him now. All that matters is the day to come.


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