He will invite you to his cold castle, so elegant, and so refined. You will be charmed by his words and his intense attention.
You will feel for a time like you are adored, so warm in his gaze you will not notice. You will not see how cold the walls are, so deep blue like a limitless sea. Nor how icy his eyes, like crystals from the oldest, highest mountains, always just out of reach. Or how your breath shimmers before you as you walk through the halls, following him ever deeper within.
It is his ritual and in this he is not better or worse than any other. We all consume to live, it is the one constant truth of this pitiless universe. He is no monster for this, or for the icy grasp and deadly breath on your cheek. And you are chosen, it is true, and he does need you, truer still.
Once in his cold castle you may never leave. Like Bluebeard he keeps secrets, and in time one may be you. On certain nights you will roam freely and find the others, the others like you. And each time you will see how they become more and more translucent, then eventually invisible as he and his castle absorbs them, piece by piece.
Eventually you will be invisible also, just a trapped ghost under the cold glass. And you will see him invite others, and you might try to call out to them to warn them, but it will be too late. You’ll only try once, because then you will know. You have no form and no voice, and they will not hear.
c) Helen M Valentina 2019