30. Stay Cool, JP

The dregs of light and color drain from the clouds; the sky goes black. It’s a cloudy night, the dark of the moon. Just as Tereus is thinking of lighting a candle, he hears a whinny of terror from the stables. There’s a frantic equine scream, and then a chaos of sound: Paris smashing his […]

28. One Last Thing to Break

Soundtrack and Video: Frank Turner, “Recovery (Live)” Six weeks later, Tereus presses a note into Valeria’s palm. It says, “Meet me in the hayloft tonight, if you can.” Of course she makes her way to the barn, climbs the ladder into the hayloft. It doesn’t much matter what she does. It feels like her conduct […]

21. Lost Children Returning Home

8/31/17— We retreated to the hayloft again. The days are so very long. We were tired, and I think we felt that we deserved a small reward for all our hard work and diligence. He made no attempt to persuade me. We lay in each other’s arms in a dream-like state, as if we were […]

14. Xialo

Tereus enters a long, dark period. Later, it will feel as if he’d fallen under a fairytale curse. During this time, he engages in unbridled brutality, beating Lavinia, raping the odd parlormaid and terrorizing his valet. He has a series of  near-fatal carriage and riding accidents, which prove that neither is a reliable method of suicide. […]

9. Particularly Brutal

Tereus wakes the following morning feeling ill and out-of-sorts. Breakfast is slight and improvised. The toast is cold, and his request for bacon meets with polite incredulity. Lavinia actually laughs it off. She and Valeria seem to have met and reaffirmed their sisterly bond by agreeing that he’s a Bad Man. Tereus has often wished […]

8. The Smooth, Hard Surface of His Indifference

When they reach her bedchamber, Lavinia hisses, “How could you humiliate me like that?” He’s a bit taken aback. She’s taken much more flagrant behavior in stride. “Pardon me?” “The way you fawned over those vulgar, nasty old women.” He says in a commonplace tone, “If you’re bent on quarreling, come into my dressing room […]

6. One Episode in Decades of Combat

The ink dried on Tereus’s quill long ago. He sets it aside, covers his face with his hands, blocking out the fading light. His jaw is clenched, his throat is working. He’s trying to bring something up, or hold it down. Long before the events of that day, during his first command, he came upon […]