In her dream, Melpomene is wearing the mask Weyland made for her. In her hand is the dagger with the cypress handle. It is much like the old one-- he knows her far too well-- though it is new, and shines more brightly.
She looks down at the man, staggering for breath. She knows who this is: the poet who stole her symbols long ago, because he believed he could be a god. He lets the knife and the mask clatter down, by her feet.
He’d kissed her sandals, begged for forgiveness. Begged to return the things he’d taken from her. Prayed that she would take this pain away.
(It was clear, on his face, that he had suffered—he murmured mad, broken sentences under his breath, hearing the hundred voices and not understanding—)
In the dream, she says nothing for the longest time. Then she tells him what she told him before:
You have taken them, and now you must keep them. Accept the consequences, poet. And hope that none of your kind makes the same mistake.
She can see herself, from the outside. Her eyes blaze like bright opals.
He gathers the symbols and turns away, leaving trails of tears down his broken face.
In reality, he died several months later, tormented by sleepless nights and images of other peoples’ dreams.
But here, in this moment, the dagger in her hand reaches up—
She wakes in a cold sweat.