"They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
'Peace, peace,' they say,
when there is no peace."
Where Can You Find Peace
In A Dark World?
I will let my avatar, Samuel McCord, answer that question from a bit of French Quarter Nocturne.
His arch-nemesis, DayStar, has come for him in his darkened club, Meilori's.
Not just to kill him but to destroy what little remains of his soul.
Out of the blackness a voice, like the tolling of bronze bells far off in the desert, spoke, "You have interfered one time too many."
"Been said before."
"Not by me."
The half-moon peeked out from behind a cloud and for a flicker of an instant I caught two gray eyes studying me.
Deep, gray eyes that seemed to look inward as well as outward. Eyes that appeared to burn with cold fires.
The darkness grew denser around me.
"I went to some effort to bring Katrina to New Orleans only to veer away, building up hopes of escape, and then have my carefully constructed levees collapse in the fashion I wished. Such despair and death. It was delightful."
DayStar took two steps towards me. "But then, you had to interfere."
He sat down in the plush leather chair opposite me and neatly arranged his clothes.
"Armani if you are wondering, talking monkey."
"Only the very best for the very worst."
He laughed as if I mattered. I smiled back as if I gave a damn. We both weren't fooled.
I asked, "Don't you have a government to topple, a politician to corrupt?"
"All in good time, Samuel. All in good time. In fact, I am having a marvelous time right now with the opportunities still afforded me by Katrina.
Whispers to bruised egos to insure one agency will ignore another. Stroking of inflamed pride to keep insufficient mouths from asking for help until it is too late. Suggesting of shallow men for pivotal positions.
All so simple, so enjoyable, so effective. Government agencies are such great fun to play like puppets. And the nature of human nature makes it laughingly easy."
His voice lowered until I had to strain to hear it. "And the helpless die."
I barely made out the flutter of his long fingers. A dim flicker of images swirled before my eyes. An old woman clutching a small child as the rising waters threatened to swallow them. A faint mewing came from the young girl.
"G-Grandma, I'm ... I'm scared. Awful sc-scared."
"There, there, honey. I'm right here. I got you safe in my arms."
I watched the woman hug her granddaughter as the waters steadily rose, saw the shivering girl clutch back as if onto a lifeline. My fingers became fists in the effort it took me to keep on watching as the dark waters crept up their chests, nibbled at their chins.
I forced myself to keep on watching their thrashing about as the waters choked them, then smothered them to finally rise to the ceiling. It took them much too long to finally die. I felt DayStar's eyes on me.
I ignored him. All I seemed able to see was the trail of bubbles shorten, then stop as their bodies slowly became loose and limp. But somehow the grandmother's arms still held onto the small girl. All became black once more. And DayStar laughed as if at the funniest joke in the world.
"Tell me, Samuel, where was your invisible man in the sky in all that?"
His question echoed my own. But I would be damned if I gave him the satisfaction of admitting it. I reached into the bruised shadows of my mind for a truth I could say with a straight face and forced my throat to work.
"In the arms of that grandmother."
Where Is Peace In This Dark World?
In The Arms of Love That Refuse to Let Go.