Month: May 2014

I Am Lost


I stand still, not moving forwards, nor backwards.

It is a crossroads, and the directions are many.  

Too many.

Which way do I go?

I close my eyes and will my body to just start moving.

It matters not which way,

As long as I am taking one step after another.

Progressing.

But nothing happens.

I am still.

It would seem that my resolve to stay 

Is stronger than my will to carry on.

I am afraid.

Too many wrong turns have already been taken.

I do not know the way.  Why won’t somebody tell me the way?

I see faces pass me by,

But still I remain,

Frozen as the rest of the world goes by.

I beg them, I plead with them,

Help me.

But they don’t look back, the faces of yesterday,

The faces of today,

As they go on their way.

I am alone.

I am lost.

Do I stay here, in this place, and decay?

Please, somebody show me the way.

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The Visitor (Part 2)


The whole world is haunted now, and there’s no getting out of that. Not until we’re dead.
— The Walking Dead

“Come on, Ana.  We’re going to go for a little run, okay?”

A shake of the head, an overly exagerrated frown and the pushing out of the little girl’s bottom lip would indicate that nope, little Ana did not think it was okay.

The older boy smiled, a quick forced smile and softened his tone a little, but the words were still hurried and held some urgency.  She didn’t want to go.  He was scaring her.

“No.”

“It’ll be fun.  And hey… ” the boy reached out to catch her wrist with his hand, and she tried to pull away, but his grip tightened quickly, “I’ll run really, really fast.  Super fast.  It’ll feel like you’re flying!”

“Ow!”  She tried to pull her arm away, but to no avail.  The boy was already moving, and she had no choice but to follow.  She couldn’t pull free.  He was starting to run already and he pulled at her arm again, as if to hurry her, but he was already going to fast!  

“Ow!  Hurts, huuuuurts, stop!”  She started to struggle against his hold, even trying to dig her heels into the ground, but he was twice her size and strength and no amount of fighting with him was going to work.

He stopped abruptly then, dropped to his knees so that he was at her level and grabbed her by both arms, his fingers digging into her upper arms.  Why was he hurting her?  He’d never hurt her before this way, never.

“Look at me, little Ana.”

She refused to open her eyes.  She wouldn’t look.  She didn’t want to see him … it, again.  That voice.  She’d heard it before, that unnatural, spine chilling tone that while not particularly loud was menacing and disturbing and she felt herself go cold and start to shiver.  The entire room seemed to be ice cold now and the exposed flesh of her arms and neck were covered in goosebumps.  An involuntary shiver ran up her spine but still she lay there, eyes squeezed tightly closed.  She wouldn’t look.  She wouldn’t…

“Look at me, Ana!”

“No, I won’t!  You’re not here, you’re not real.  This isn’t happening.  This isn’t happening again…”

The cold hand underneath her chin and the feeling of it’s cold fingers on her face made her skin crawl, but it forced her to open her eyes and he was just as the first time she had seen him like this, long ago.  The night that the deal had been struck.  But she hadn’t been in her right mind then, and she couldn’t be now, either.  If she believed that, then she would know she’d almost certainly lost her mind for real, but she opened her mouth and spoke to it, to him, and her mouth and throat were so dry they barely came out as more than a whisper.

“You’re … you’re dead. You’re not here. You’re dead and buried.  I saw it with my own eyes.  You are NOT MY BROTHER.”

It cocked it’s head to one side and grinned at her, as it had done that dark night long ago and she had to force back the urge to vomit, her head starting to spin.

“Ah but you only saw what you wanted to see, didn’t you?”

Staring dumbly at the manifestation now, all Ana could do was blink.  Her mouth dry, heart pounding, hands trembling, she shook her head, confused.

“I saw you die.  I saw … I saw your body on the deck of that ship, and I ran.”

It smiled then, cocking it’s head to the other side, at an unnatural angle, it’s head almost touching it’s shoulder, and the smile spread into a wide, grotesque grin and it started to laugh.  Finally it spoke again.

“Did you?  Are you certain of that?  Did you really run, Ana?

Squeezing her eyes closed as her head began to pound, she allowed her head to fall back on the pillow as she ran the memory over in her head, again.  Gods knew she’d been over it dozens if not hundreds of times before, and nothing in her recollection ever changed.  The man’s shortsword pressed to Valgoren’s throat.  The words uttered, “An eye for an eye” and then the thud of her brother’s body hitting the deck.  And then … nothing.

“I … I ran, “she whispered, and the visage shook it’s head slowly, smiling that horrible smile again.

“The mind is capable of both wonderful and terrible things, Anaveya.  You won’t rest until you remember.  You will linger here until that time.  For what is done cannot be undone, what is seen cannot be unseen.  You can choose to forget, but you can also choose to remember.  And you must.”

“Why?”

“Because this … ” and before her eyes the grim manifestation of Valgoren Blackcrest disappeared and in it’s place stood the graceful and flawless figure of another man lost long ago, and he spread his arms as he spoke, “all of this chaos must come to an end.”

.

Time is short


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The sound of the bowl being set down beside the bed was what woke her up, and her eyes blinked slowly a few times before she was fully awake, glancing up to see Rainé looking down at her, the faintest of smiles curling the corner of the woman’s mouth.

Ana’s nose wrinkled at the familiar smell of the meal which had been set down for her and she turned onto her side slowly, intending to push herself up into a sitting position so that she could at least try and eat.

“It smells good.  Did you … did you cook this, yourself?”  An eyebrow raised at the older woman, the question quickly followed by abrupt laughter.

“Me, cook?  Please, Ana.  I’m trying to make you feel better, not worse…”her voice trailed off quickly, and then she stood up, straightened her shoulders and sniffed before finishing, “No, I had the help make it.  This Talbuk stew should be almost as good as if you made it yourself.  Gods know that woman is paid enough, it better be good.”  She nodded towards the bowl and then stepped closer to the bed, offering Ana her arm for support so that she could sit up easier.

Ana winced when she shifted, being rewarded with a sharp kick in the ribs.  Rubbing her swollen belly she closed her eyes as her head started to swim.  The effort of even moving so strenuous and uncomfortable, she felt faint for several moments.

“Nobody ever told me that being pregnant was quite like this, “she murmured when she finally did open her eyes, met with a stern but concerned look from Rainé.

“That’s because it’s not supposed to be like this, “the older woman narrowed her eyes, sniffing before folding her arms across her chest, casting her eyes over Ana’s exposed belly.  Pulling the sheet up over herself to try and avoid any further looks of disdain, Ana simply closed her eyes and listened as her sister vented.

“It’s not natural, what’s happening to you.  Nothing about it is normal, or natural.  Far from it!”

“Where is Kaeth?”  Ana asked quietly, a swift subject change, as if she had heard none of her sisters’ words, reaching for the bowl beside her.  Raine reached it before she did, scooping it up with her own hand.

“Careful, it’s very hot, “she warned, and helped Ana prop a pillow in front of her to rest the bowl on.  She blew on a spoonful before moving it to feed Ana with it.

“Rainé, please, I can still feed myself, “Ana snapped, almost immediately regretting her tone as the woman stepped back, sniffing once more before folding her arms defensively across her chest, a posture she took fairly often, though Ana was not usually the cause.  It seemed as if most people and things offended or angered Rainé Blackcrest in some way.  Ana often wondered if she had always been that way, or if something had happened to her at some point in time shaping the woman she was now.

It occurred to her then, that she would likely never know, and all at once she lost her appetite again.  She let the spoon slip from her fingers and it clattered to the floor, and she turned to place the bowl back on the nightstand.

“I’ll get you another one, “Rainé was already turning to leave the room, but Ana stopped her.

“No, I can’t eat anymore.”

“You must eat more, you’ve barely had three bites.  At least if you are stuck carrying that monstrous child you could at least try and see it through to term.  I won’t stand by and see you harm yourself this way.  It’s bad enough that it’s already killing you!”

The words had been voiced, finally.  They never spoke of the baby, the two of them.  Ana had tried many times, but Rainé wouldn’t hear anything of it.  She was too caught up in what Ana perceived as overwhelming concern that she seemed to hate the unborn child.  She’d never said it outright, but had hinted at it in small ways, veiled comments, body language, looks given, but now it was out in the open.

A heavy silence lay between the women for several minutes before Rainé finally broke it, her voice softer now, the tone heavy with worry rather than anger.

“It’s not right.  Something about it isn’t right.”

“It’s a baby, Rainé, “Ana murmured, “not a monster, not a thing.  A baby.”

“It’s killing you.  You’ll be lucky to give birth to the thing at the rate with which you are draining before all of our eyes!”

“She can’t help it…she’s just an innocent unborn child, Rainé.  How can you be so hateful?”

The older woman snorted at these last words.

“I’m hateful for good reason!  There is bad magic at play here, something dark, something … what do you mean, she?”

“I just know it’s a little girl.  I’ve dreamed it.  I’ve seen her.  She’s .. she’s beautiful.”

“And you’re delusional, unwell, exhausted.  These are just fantasies, dreams conjured up in your mind of something you wish to be.  It isn’t possible, what you speak of.  You can’t know!”

Ana leaned back into her pillows, resting her head and closing her eyes for a moment.  When she opened them again, she turned her head to look at her sister and simply stated.

“You and I both know that isn’t true.”

Turning away abruptly, Rainé was about to leave again, and Ana reached out to catch the woman’s wrist before she did.

“I want you to promise me something.”

“Don’t do this, Ana…”

“Rainé, please, promise me.  Stay.  Help Kaeth take care of her.  Be there when I can’t.”

“I will not hear your last wishes right now, Anaveya.  Not yet.  Not yet…”

The last words faltered as the hardened expression on the older woman’s face finally softened and her voice wavered.  She sounded close to tears, but Ana knew that time was running short, and if there wasn’t a next week, or even a tomorrow, there were things that needed to be said, things to get in order before … well, before the inevitable.

Time was short.

Watching and waiting


The child has made herself known to me, now.  Eyla.  Ana talks in her sleep so much and so often that it would all make sense to me would she have the energy to speak with me at length about it when she is awake.  All of the names and places that escape her lips while she is in her fitful dream states.  That ones name I had heard many times before I saw her, and so she at least is one I know now.

I knew she was here, or that someone was, but not exactly who the soul was until recently.  That child, or what remains of that child is so full of equal amounts of anger and now, in the face of her ‘mother’s’ illness, sadness, that one can’t help but feel her presence, for when it is near it fills the room with such darkness and despair that the very air we breathe feels thick and hard to swallow.

I’m uncertain if she is helping or hindering Ana’s current condition, but Lord Stormblood assures me that she could not be banished even if we wished it so, and the one time we have spoken of it, it was made known to me that nothing good would come of the souls departure.  Far from it.  So I leave it be.  The child and I stand vigil together now, strange companions in a way, watching and waiting.  But what we are watching is nothing short of tragic.

She fades before my … our eyes.

I’ve taken to sedating my sister now in order for her to be able to get any rest at all.  Though she is still deathly tired and has to be assisted to do the most basic of things these days, she is not getting actual rest that is able to sustain her.  As her belly grows, her weakness grows with it.  I can see the lifeblood draining from her.  I see it in her eyes which grow dull and empty.  She looks at me and we don’t speak.  I already know what she wants to say, how she feels.  They say that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, and hers is worn out, done.

I know that she only struggles on for the child which grows in her belly.  I know that there are only precious few months left.  I know it as surely as I know that there is nothing in my power that I can do to reverse any of the damage that I see being done day by day.

I despise it already.  I know not how or the reasons why this parasite slowly kills my sister, but I do know that there is something dark at play, some magic that I do not understand.  Perhaps as time goes on, something will become clearer.  Maybe not all hope is lost, not yet.

If there is any justice left in this world, it is that the child will be born as still and lifeless as it’s mother looks certain to become on it’s entrance into it.

If it lives, I will not, I cannot love it.

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