You could have stopped it
Those haunting words will not leave me. I writhe against their restraint, verbal chains which tried to tie me to the ground and never let me up, never, lest I catch the breeze and fly from their grasping fingers. For all my efforts against Time and Tide, the words continue to repeat themselves, a neverending chant that fills my waking hours. That is, all my hours.
I try to drown them in other words, ancient words, friendly words, words which were written in another Time, before and beyond this place. I sit and grimace at the friendly words which give me no respite from the unending crash of the waves of the malignant phrase on the shore of my mind. They taunt me, weaving tapestries of lands long ago and places far away, singing sonnets and soliloquies, ballads and birdsongs, teaching the reader how to assemble a lamp, or play the piano, or bake the most savory cookie known to mankind, but not how to mend a fractured land, change the past, and be free of guilt.
Disgusted, I put down the book and longingly search the shelves. I know there will be nothing able to banish them back to the past, that they are a scar which cannot heal. No book contains the knowledge of healing sufficient to mend the tear they've ripped into my psyche, or the methods by which I can unlock the secret of slipping their chains and flying free again. No book possibly can, nor ever will - the books, after all, are my prison.
As I pace the room, however, something draws my eye. Something just out of sight but there the whole time. I hadn't noticed it through the torrential rains and the useless words and the shelves and shelves of books and the eyelids of my third eye. The one that sees only the truth and is closed to all lies - closed, sleeping, for a long time now.
It cracks open, squinting in the light. Through it I can see an hourglass, spinning, glowing, radiating light and truth and meaning and all at once, the chanting voices grow silent. In its sifting sands I can see the shattered city growing older under the shade of a neverending overcast. No - not older. Younger. Coming back, turning around, piecing together like a puzzle that defies understanding, uncrumbling, renewing, unmolding, reinhabiting. The hourglass fills my vision and its truth envelops me and then
Half-finished commission for Aluisio - he initially requested Michael, the dragon from The Last TimeWaiter, but my style and pose was sufficiently different that the commission has changed to a new, original character. Thus, this drawing, intended to be Michael, is going to be extensively modified, so I'm posting this version here for posterity, along with a small tale which represents my perspective on some of the events (as I remember them) of Aluisio's story - nothing should be taken as canon, I'm just doodling with words.