Christopher's hands--long-fingered, ink-stained, nail-bitten--are his best feature. They move runically over cheap old parchment, working the greatest of enchantments, inscribing words that glow and quiver invisibly with power.
At night, his hands do other magics. They trace obscure symbols in charcoal on the floorboards, or in sticky fluids on Giles' tremulous body. They bewitch him, enrapture him.
Giles kisses each finger, memorizing every callus and contour.
If Christopher is arrested, the torturers will break his hands, warp them to agonized claws.
It will not happen. Tomorrow, Giles is taking Christopher drinking in Deptford, where murder and mercy wait.
An explanatory note, for those not as obsessed with Marlowe as I am: in 1593, Marlowe came under suspicion for various crimes, notably treason and heresy. Not long before he was due to be questioned, he was killed in a mysterious tavern brawl in Deptford. Many historians now believe that Marlowe, who had been a spy for Elizabeth I's government, was killed by government agents to prevent his revealing state secrets under torture.
But now we know the real story.
And incidentally, the OED says runically is a word.
I know, it's weird, and it means I've written another drabble that requires footnotes. But how could I ignore a chance to merge my obsessions?