"That's One Gallows That Worked"

Hiding in my absinthe cover has always been easiest. It's the best way to forget. Just drink, and watch the Firebrand.

Damn him. I can't help loving him, or feeling the need to watch and listen to him. He's too much like my old master. He collects people, and he's so brilliant and captivating that they stay. He talks, and people listen, because he's that kind of person - the sort you'd listen to. He's believable. He'd really die for his Patria, and my old master would have - did - die for his cause too.

Thinking of them as being so similar hurts, because I'm certain, I know, Enjolras will die. And I'll maybe die with him. But then I'll be reborn again, the same as I was when I died in the lifetime that my old master existed in.

It's endless. I've served many masters, some of whom cared for their servant and others, like this fair-haired boy, who hated me. I've been man and woman, served man and woman. But none of my masters ever left such an impact on me as these two, these two who are so alike.

And I am so utterly different in the time when I served him from how I am in this one where I serve him.

Barricades. Why, for God's sake, does Enjolras feel his death will accomplish anything? There he differs from my old master, for when he died, it meant everything.

I didn't want him to die; I don't want this boy to die. Both of them are engraved on my immortal soul. Both of them mean the world to me. Both of them have a beautiful, eternal dream. It's just that his was real and achievable, and Enjolras' won't come to anything.

Sometimes I'll dream of my old master. Those are always good dreams, though they are sad and throbbing upon waking because of the memories that accompany them.

"Mary, are you all right?" A hand put out to help her up.

"Yes, yes, Master, I just fell. I was running too hard, and in a dress."

"Why were you running? This road is rough, and it was a foolish thing to do." The reprimand is stern, but gentle.

"I wanted to catch up to you, I guess. I was afraid to be left behind. I mean, for you to leave before I could really see you, and listen to you talk about your Kingdom."

This is disregarded. "Mary, I wouldn't leave you behind. I would never leave any of mine behind." The calm eyes are fixed on her, and she nods, head bowed. "Look at me."

Her head flies up and her eyes meet the other's. "Yes, Master?"

"I need you all. You're my children. My followers. O, you may think I have no need of fellowship because of my power, but you disciples - you as much as any of the twelve - are special. I need someone, no matter what, who will believe me, or I won't achieve anything, not the smallest of miracles, will I?"

"But Master, Master, you have your Kingdom. And it's so beautiful, so true, so - I mean, someone will always follow you! Someone will always believe in you, because you're right, because what you say is right, because what you teach is right!"

A smile is bestowed upon her. "That someone is you, isn't it? You're a good woman, Mary, and a good follower. A person who wants to achieve something needs a true follower. A follower like you."

They called him the 'Jews' Apollo'. And he told me that a person who wants to achieve something needs a follower like me. Maybe he was right. At any rate, I'll never forget him. He's the reason I'm a follower, why I have been, why I keep re-living so that many different men and women in many different times have one.

Of course, in that life, my master acknowledged me. He let me follow - I didn't have to be 'tolerated' - and he was pleased with me, and I felt blessed. I believed him.

I believe this master too, but he's not the same. I love him, but my love for my other master was perhaps a better thing, and a prettier thing - unconditional devotion for a man who was more than a man.

In that life, too, I was not drunk, or harsh, or cynical. I was trusting, and young in mind as well as body, and I knew less of how people hurt each other. I had no idea, while I followed him, my very first master, that he would be killed by the people he loved. That's part of the reason I turned skeptic.

This world finally had someone who could do it some good, and it nailed him up on two pieces of wood and left him. 'That's one gallows that worked,' I tell people, and it's because that hurts me so much. Life is no good. The world is no good. The good was him.

I am sure that no matter how much I've changed and gone to bad, my old master would recognize me, and maybe forgive me - again - but I doubt my companions or my dear sister and brother would know. Who would have guessed that gentle, dedicated Mary Magdalene would have come to this? That was where I started. I would barely remember...

So more absinthe! Let me forget! I'll just watch my new master, the People's Apollo, and forget comparing him to the first one. When he dies, I'll go on to another new one, and the endless cycle will continue. For now, forgetting is good. More absinthe!

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