I hold her, cradle the trembling head between clawed hands and wonder at her beauty.
Eyes wide she stares up at my face. Does she recognise her own image? I stole it when I rebirthed her – she should be grateful.
A song sings, muffled behind the ribbons of satin at her mouth. I have woven them into multi-coloured braids. If she uses her tongue she will find a way out, a release for the nightingale in her throat.
We are naked, she and me; but we differ still. Her mane of gold now pours from my own scalp, studded in swathes and streaked vermilion with my old blood. I take a handful of the fine hair and use it as a paintbrush, dipping it in and out of the open slices at her belly. The thick fluids coagulate almost before I can apply them to my chest where I have tattooed her name. But all is well, the holes overflow with her juices and she is sealed to me forever.
It won’t be long. I reach down to gather the nest from between her legs. Humming an aria I sprinkle the wiry threads into a keepsake box with her brows and eyelashes.
Her last breath’s a pretty one. I help by biting the strap from her lips – I have caught her gasp before she can take another one and I hold her tight as she dies in my mouth.
It’s a hollow death. No shame in that.