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Bones of Worship

Emma Brennan


Content Warning: This piece contains violent and possibly disturbing imagery.

How much will he bleed if I peel his skin back, exposing the bone? No, no, I fear it will be too much, I am in no mood to clean up such a mess. My carpets are white, I’d prefer them to stay that way. Though I have always wondered what they would look like in rose. 

Perhaps I will take a knife to his chest, gouge holes, peek through to his lungs. Their powerful breaths, driving his being, keeping his blood alive with oxygen, allowing him to persist and endure. What blessed things.

His head would do well with a bloody crown carved around it. I can see it now—the crimson ichor dripping down the sides of his face, highlighting his cheekbones, outlining his strong jaw. And maybe, just maybe, if I cut deep enough, I’ll be able to see his skull, and deeper—his brain. If I study his brain, will I discern his thoughts? Finally understand how he became himself and enlightened me with his life. 

The tendons in his hands would be an interesting thing to examine—how they glide over one another, so intricate yet so simple. Simplicity leads to complexity in the most mundane of ways. I could pin his hands and feet back, compare the two, see how he loved with his touch and moved with his vibrance.

No, no, this does not seem proper. How do I worship him? He deserves my reverence—he has been the only one to provide me with the comfort I have long sought. That is what I must do. I will honor his body, grovel at his feet. I will not dare dissect his muscles, stare at his once beating heart… but, oh, maybe just a glance? To see his lifeblood, to see his veins, no longer pumping—or maybe inspect his soundbox, the origin of his hums. How beautiful a melody he sang as I listened from below his window. A tune he made for me—I know it. 

No, I must remain focused. I am not worthy to look inside, though I know he would have asked me to—he was always kind like that—opening my door, picking up the bags I had dropped. And he was so humorous, too! Acting as if every time he looked in my face, he had never seen it before. And when that little friend of his would spend the night, oh, the daggers she stared into me. Always keeping her distance, holding her breath. She was not worthy of his being. I could hear them arguing, then crying, then making love. To any ordinary listener, his moans were that of ecstasy, but I knew of the disgust hidden beneath them. Their arguments were always futile, she never could have loved him like I do. Little did she know of our secret connection.

I know why he never told of it—for fear of it being spoiled by the outside world, those wretched heathens always ripping apart anything that was pure and good. Does he know I’m saving him from that? He no longer must worry about the sharp blade being pressed against his back, for I did him the favor of sinking it in. Death is not painful when it is at the hands of someone you love. I pray he realizes that.

Oh, oh. That is it. That is what I will do. 

I will journey into the woods to the bloodless cross, past the icy stream and under the looming elm. The holy tree that watched over me in my loneliest of days as I spent cold nights on my knees, broken and bruised, praying to no one in particular, searching for a savior. Such a perfectly secluded spot where not one soul will be able to witness his glory, only sense it.

I will lower the old wooden cross, run a stake through his palms and feet. Prepare a crown of thorns, place it upon his delicate head. Hoist him up using the ropes hanging from the elm, the same ones I had once wrapped around my neck. The ones that kept me tied to this earth, unwilling to let me ascend to another world in which I would have found no peace for I had yet to find my deity. 

I will etch him a plaque, pronouncing him king of this blasphemous realm—give these impious beings a liberator. Decorate his shadowed ground with snowdrops and lavender, stain them red with the blood dripping off his body. And when I pray at his feet, will that make him my God?