Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I had the hubris originally to regard myself as a collaborator, as a co-author. Very rapidly I found myself reduced to the status of character, follow

"It's never what they want, and if we give them what they think they want, they like it less than ever." The eldest of the three Fates, in SANDMAN #57: "The Kindly Ones:1" There are no gryphons, no wyverns, no winged horses in the waking world, raven. Not anymore. But we are here... The gryphon at the door, in SANDMAN #57: "The Kindly Ones:1" "I can remember the title, author, and location of every book in this library, Matthew. Every book that's ever been dreamed. Every book that's ever been imagined. Every book that's ever been lost. Millions upon millions of them. That's what I remember. It's my job. Other things... I forget sometimes." Lucien, in SANDMAN #57: "The Kindly Ones:1" "There's a downstairs in everybody. That's where we live." The youngest of the Three, in SANDMAN #58: "The Kindly Ones:2" It was then that Delirium noticed that she had absent-mindedly transformed into a hundred and eleven perfect, tiny multicoloured fish. Each fish sang a different song. SANDMAN #59: "The Kindly Ones:3" "What's he got?" "A feather. Looks like a phoenix's." "They're lucky." "For whom?" Loki and Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #59: "The Kindly Ones:3" How remarkably funny, Remiel. Not actually original though, of course. Lucifer, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4" Been there, Remiel. Done that, wore the tee-shirt, ate the burger, bought the original cast album, choreographed the legions of the damned and orchestrated the screaming... Lucifer, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4" You didn't join the rebellion, not because you felt I was wrong, but because you were too damned scared. What would you have done, had I won? Told me that you'd always supported me ideologically? That you were secretly cheering me on the whole time? Lucifer to Remiel, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4" I didn't say it was my fault. I said it was my responsibility. I know the difference. Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4" "I'm on my way to that castle. It's owned by a shape-changing ogre. I intend to wager the silver collar around my neck that the ogre cannot change itself into three things that I shall name for it." "Will the third shape be a mouse?" "Of course." "But...don't they ever learn?" "They can't. They're part of the story, just as I am." A cat and Lyta Hall, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4" It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half- wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. Dream, in SANDMAN #60: "The Kindly Ones:4" The gods we prayed to when we were young used up their time so long ago. They cannot answer anymore. Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" "They never liked us, did they?" "Gods don't 'like'. They love and they hate and they ignore." Stheno and Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" If you go looking for the Ladies... well, I don't know that that's such a good idea. You might find them. Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" "I was tttt--told to give you a message." "Oh yeah? Who's the message from?" "Your gggggg--grandmother. She said she had a message for you. She said it was important." "My grandmother is dead, Zelda." "I know. She said that. She said she was dead." Zelda and Rose, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones Pt:5" You don't have to believe in God. But what about gods? Eh? The plurality of powers and dominions. The lords and ladies of field and thorn, of asphalt and sewer, gods of telephone and whore, gods of hospital and car-crash? Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" There is a madness needed to touch the gods, yes, this is true. Few mortals possess it, the willingness to step away from the protection of sanity. To walk into the wild woods of madness.. Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" Do you know your tragedy, Carla? ... It's that, for all your goodwill, for all your willingness to help, you never knew what any of this was all about. What was going on. You don't know how it ends. And you'll never get to find out. Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" I am the mother to Odin's stallion, Sleipnir. I am the mother of Fenrir sun-eater and of Hel half-rotted and of Jormungund the world-serpent. I am Loki Scar-Lip, Loki Skywalker, Loki Giant's Child, Loki Lie-Smith. I am Loki, who is fire and wit and hate. I am Loki. And I will be under an obligation to no one. Loki, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5" And she wrapped her slimy body around his, and she whispered his name into his ear. And he screams, kill me, for god's sake, just get it over with. But she licked her lips with her long worm tongue, and she shakes her head. A meal this good must never be hurried, she says. Just hold still boy, and let me enjoy myself. And she takes her first, gentle bite from his cheek with her sharp sharp teeth... The closing of the tale, in SANDMAN #62: "The Kindly Ones:6" He was a very clever doggy. He said things like... like... "I would feel infinitely more comfortable in your presence if you would agree to treat gravity as a law, rather than one of a number of suggested options." Delirium describes her dog Barnabas, in SANDMAN #63: "The Kindly Ones:7" Dancing salamanders brought the children silver plates filled with exotic ice-creams of various flavors, and with fruits they had never seen before and would never see again... although they would dream of them, on rare occasions, until they died. SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8" He spoke to the embryonic silicon dreams who clustered in a far ballroom, and whispered to them, briefly, about the other machines that had dreamed in the distant past. SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8" The things we do make echos. S'pose f'rinstance, you stop on a street corner and admire a brilliant fork of lightning--ZAP! Well for ages after people and things will stop on that very same corner, stare up at the sky. They wouldn't even know what they were looking for. Some of them might see a ghost bolt of lightning in the street. Some of them might even be killed by it. Our Existence deforms the universe. That's responsibility. Delirium, in SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8" I know lots of things. People think I don't but I really do. I know more about us than any of us. That's just one of the things I know. Delirium, in SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8" "I am honor-bound to warn you to stay on the path through the castle. Straying from the path could mean your destruction. ... You killed my friend, woman. Stray from your path." The guardian dragon warns the Furies, in SANDMAN #64: "The Kindly Ones:8" Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "maybe we should just be friends" or "how very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9" The thing you ought to remember about ravens, is that we belong equally to both genders. You don't see that every day. But we're as likely to be the Morrigan's as Odin's, as likely to be Eve's as Dream's. Noah's raven, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9" Listen, an eye's just an eye. A few more days, and he'll be something not even a raven would eat. Over to the ants..." Noah's raven and Matthew, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9" It was like a bad TV show. "He's a reincarnated serial killer— his partner's a bird. They're cops." Matthew, in SANDMAN #65: "The Kindly Ones:9" "Now, majesty, banishment, decapitation, or something lingering with boiling oil in it somewhere?" "Cluracan, you are a rascal..." Cluracan and Titania, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" A Puck is harder by far to hurt than some little lord of malice from the lands of ice and snow. We Pucks are old and hard and wild... Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" I am the Puck, called Robin Goodfellow. I am a trickster, an antic prankster, a will o' the wisp. "Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loose upon the world." That's me. Robin Goodfellow, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" I bind you, Loki Sky Walker, malice-monger. I bind you with the guts of Narvi, your son. I bind you with frost and with fire, and with the weight of the world. Odin, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" You guys're an elite corps. >>Khoff<<>>Khoff<< >>Khoff<< We're at war. Mervin's pep-talk, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" "Me? Lady, I'm your worst nightmare— a pumpkin with a gun." Mervyn, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" Gods fear us. Demons fear us. We have hounded kings and angels. We have taken vengeance on worlds and universes. We are the Kindly Ones. We are the Eumenides. The Furies, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" Yeah? Well, eumenide this! Merv's reply to the Furies, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" "How... how dare you let that happen, Lord? How dare you?" "You will not speak to me like that, Lucien." "I doubt I'll be alive tomorrow, Lord. On that basis I find it particularly easy to say exactly what I think." Dream and Lucien, in SANDMAN #66: "The Kindly Ones:10" "On reflection, while I cannot give you the thing itself, I could give you a dream of my love." "I already have that, my Lord." Dream and Nuala, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11" No miracles. No magic. No dreams. Only pain and death and visa slips. Rose Walker, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11" This will be felt across worlds and days as a reality storm; and, as it plays its course, conflicting realities will fall and spin and shatter across time and existence. Destiny, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11" A customer at Lux's, drunk and flirtatious, peeks beneath Mazikeen's half-mask. He satisfies his curiosity, as he loses, one after the other, his drink, his lunch, and his sanity. Mazikeen has no patience with men. SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11" "They aren't your memories." "They are all I have." Lucien and The Corinthian: in SANDMAN #67, "The Kindly Ones:11" Alianora foretold that I would receive my scars in my turn, like the one I left on her cheek, like the one I left on her heart. She knew it then. Dream, in SANDMAN #67: "The Kindly Ones:11" If you don't let me in, I will turn you into a demon half-face waitress night-club lady with a crush on her boss, and I'll make it so you've been that from the beginning of time to now and you'll never ever know if you were anything else and it will itch inside your head worse than little bugses. Delirium threatens Mazikeen, in SANDMAN #68: "The Kindly Ones:12" "Sorry, sweetheart. I don't do funerals. Life is, as they say, too short. And I can't wear black. I'm an autumn." "Asshole, Hal. The word you're looking for is asshole." Rose and Hal, in SANDMAN #68: "The Kindly Ones:12" "You're crying." "Lord Shaper is in dire need, and he doesn't love me." "Would it be better if he was in dire need, and did love you?" Cluracan and Nuala, in SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13" The poison spills into Loki's mouth and eyes; he writhes, and a city falls: and in the moment of pain he gains a certain clarity. The master manipulator realizes how, ultimately— how strangely, how elegantly— he too had been manipulated. Perhaps the sound he makes is laughter. SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13" I had the hubris originally to regard myself as a collaborator, as a co-author. Very rapidly I found myself reduced to the status of character, following something of a disagreement in the fundamental direction of the Creation. Lucifer, in SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13" It's the same old story... Whatever it turns into on the way, whatever it is you originally undertake to spin or knit or weave, keep it going long enough and, in the end, my lilies, it's always a winding sheet. SANDMAN #69: "The Kindly Ones:13"