'Bone Rune Testament' by Elliott Dunstan

I can feel it in my bones, the years long past, the promises made, the promises broken, the years to come, the bones that shatter and shift and change. I can feel it in my blood, the poison song, the bitter grace, the life unlived, the prophet’s word, the life unweaving to his grace and we sing unto the blood that flows into the sewer grates –

I carve into my bones the words he promised the texts I wrote the way forward out of time that tick-tocks backwards into time and text and history we forgot – I carve into my bones the holy writ the blessed war the commandments of the ten and twenty hundred thousand on and on and row and row until there’s nothing more –

I strip myself to bone and flay the skin until I don’t feel it make the mark so that I’ll keep it put the silver blade engraved unto calcium phosphate and collagen and engrave with silver mark is made and I don’t feel it while the skin falls into pieces and I’m nothing left but bone –

– and this is all I’ll be I suppose, when the world is left in ashes, and his word has long forsaken me and his name is gone from memory, I’ll be the white dust in the magma and I’ll retch out all the poison from the inner depths of marrow and I’ll be bone upon the ocean floor as it retches and it heaves –

– but with all of this sacred knowledge, I know that I still cannot leave.


Elliott Dunstan is an urban fantasy writer and poet with an interest in liminal spaces, subliminal messaging and the thin line between horror, fascination and comedy. He publishes his urban fantasy serial 'Ghosts in Quicksilver' online at elliottdunstan.com, and has previously been published by 101Fiction, Queen of Swords Press, and Battleaxe Press.

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