The Pearl Caster’s Tale (With Apologies to Chaucer. And Jesus).

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Lo! I have been absolved. It is not I, and never was, who plays toxic. A quick juxtaposition of two briefly entangled lives shows my slate barely marred, the other’s consistent in its devastation. And now, to all who’ll listen, I tell an encrypted tale of warnings and revelations of he, whose list of sins is shorter only than the one of those he betrayed…

Beware the lost wolf in Shepherd’s clothing. Become not another pilgrim in the trail of tears he’s spent more than half his life laying. If where one invests their love is where one invests their life, then where exactly is his love? His life?

Understand that when he is most lost, he is most devastating: seeking out those he perceives as lonelier and more hopeless than he, so that he may feel superior in his inferior emptiness.

Be certain that the burdens he asks to carry, he will replace upon your soul, heavier than before. When he wearies, he will turn and cast them with aspersions into your heart cavity, the one he so masterfully broke open and readied for himself. And then he’ll leave you to stitch up the wounds his spell convinced you were self-inflicted.

When he tells you you don’t know love and he’ll show you, understand that he means you’re expendable and he will abandon you. But not before he shows you the difference between being taken care of and being cared for, the latter really meaning he cares only for himself and takes care of others so long as they serve his means.

Be weary, perhaps even affect a yawn, when he cries out: ‘I can’t go through this again.’ For he thinks not of the hearts and years he’s betrayed, but his own discomfort when the wolf is exposed. Know that he’s already washed his hands of his latest lamb when he fails to fix her because he has no real tools: ‘it wasn’t me, but the one before, who drove her to excess.’ He’s declared already, before he even pretends to dirty his hollow hands.

You’ll recognize his language because it will be your own. Remember, you’re standing at the edge of his void. He has no axis mundi of his own, despite reciting the gospels; he’ll begin to chip away at yours. He’ll tout forgiveness and yet never say he’s sorry. “Do you want me to say I’m sorry when I don’t mean it?” He means that. He doesn’t mean it. And never will. For Jesus was constructed for men like him, those who answer only to perfection because they deign not exist among the mortals.

We mere mortals, we sheep, lack ego strength. Hold your nose up high enough and you don’t have to smell the stench of their accountability. Cover your own with the fumes of the gaslighting you deploy so well, if you want to be a wolf masquerading as a shepherd.

Beware the lost wolf in Shepherd’s clothing, never pity him–he’s honest about that much. Save your pity for the sheep he chews up and spits out and the collateral damage he leaves in their wake. Pity the lamb who knows his devastation like no other and is doomed to a lifetime of watching it repeat.

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