A proud refugee from his cold and cloistered home, the abbe was free to wander a seductive road. His femininity encouraged his billowing curls to flow down his back in a dangerous, romantic cascade; and willed his body to become soft and inviting. His complexion was white, like a princess'. His small head nestled between curls and cravat like a bird.
But he was still masculine enough to be proud. In scorn he held his cane like a sword, cutting the air with its stiletto point. Yet his grasp was pale and his hand tiny, like a starry moth.
His cape swept around his figure in sculpted, cold waves. In the midst of the curves and froth, his face was cruel and profane – although the tassels hung from his sash like a priest's incense burners.
He stood, a portrait of conflicting sexuality, in darkness and glory. Behind him there was an eruption of shadow and shape – a living brocade that moved with the sibilant, patterned grace of a snake. Creatures – with a courtesan's sickly sweetness – reflected his daintiness and pretty decadence.
All – the crawling forest, the spotted and languid creatures, the moon looking in like a worried parent, the abbe himself – shared a common source. Every living thing dissolved into inert lines, delicate, trembling streams that branched into pools of black discovery. And they all merged into five rivers: fingers, thin and strong. Then they moved through muscle and bone, revisiting nerve and flesh, up, up until they reached their birthplace: a mind that was contorted and stunning, tormented by a shocking imagination.