The Loneliest Traid

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  • Published: 2 Apr 2017
  • Updated: 13 May 2017
  • Status: Complete
Love and death and war and Gods and blood and magic and dancing and rest and revenge and kings and fate.
Don't worry, within these three stories you'll know yourself,
And I will put you back together again.


30. And When it Does, I Will Find a Way to be Reborn Where They Cannot Be, Now Ruined, Now Made

The washcloth stung, but the cold swabbing over the salt in his wounds was somewhat soothing, a sign of kindness where he had thought it lost.

    “I’m sorry,” he said, “I know it hurts, but please be patient.”


    He heard Gomez’s smile, the light reflecting from the tears in his eyes like a candle flashing across the moor, so far away from him, “No longer Gomez, so?  I should have expected, that it what I get, after all.”

    “No, Gomez, I-” Chene gasped at the water found his open arteries, a tremor now spreading through each nerve.

    “Be still, just while I do this much,” he could see Gomez’s palm below him, and the dirt he had concealed within it.  From the mud, a small sapling grew, its leaves magic and eternal.  They stuck to Chene’s skin like stitches, closing what wounds they could.

    “Thank you, Gomez.” he managed to say.

    “It’s the least I could do,”

    “The least you could do for a wizard you knew nothing of?”

    “You weren’t listening to my father again, were you?”

    “It’s difficult to avoid people down here, I’ve found.”

    “He told you that I thought I didn’t know you, and what’s more you believed him?”

    “Well, I’d have to wouldn’t I?” Chene coughed, looking up at him, “He is - Gomez, what happened to you?”

    He was even weaker than before, the swallows on his cheeks worn and cracked from stretching over his meatless bones.  They hadn’t fed him in days, his body barely able to stand.  For a boy free and without chains, he seemed ever more tortured than Chene, his body scarred and bent-double, but most noticeably was one eye as white as snow, clouded over, a moon where his vision should be.

    “What did they do to you?” Chene whispered.

    “Oh this?  It’s fine, just stand a little to your right.”

    “I’m chained up, I can’t move if I wanted to.”

    Gomez laughed and cried through what eye he had left, “You’re an idiot, Chene.”


    Gomez wrapped his arms around Chene’s neck, lifting himself onto his toes to relieve some crushing pressure.  He was careful around the stitches, leaning his lips down to his shoulder, ghosting over what clear skin was left on his torn flesh.  Chene wanted nothing more than to hold him, but he knew that there was nothing he could do.  For his deathwish, his final goodbye, he would leave Gomez to run his hands over the marks in his chest and over the creases that formed in his face.

    “Don’t be so worried,” he said, sniffing and soothing the wrinkle between his eyebrow.

    “They blinded you, they left you to die,” Chene said, his voice sharp in Gomez’s ear, “They could kill you after me, and there would be nothing I could do to stop it.”

    “And yet you aren’t worried about your own death.”

    “When would I ever be worried about me?”

    “On the eve you die, I would like to think.”

    He shook his head and made a brave attempt to smile, “I only care for you, Gomez.”

    Gomez took his chin in his hand, pressing it back against the wall with great care.  He traced the three slits running over the collar he had been left with, pressing new leaves over the broken skin, “We will meet again, Chene.”


    He sighed, resting back into the crook of his neck, leaving Chene time to wince and move as to keep the pressure of his hold away from the gaping wounds in his body.

    “I would like think that it would be on the Autumn day we saw in the hillside.”

    “Would you?”

    He hummed, his eyelashes sweeping shut and raising the hairs on Chene’s collar, “A day what’s not yet warm, soft fires taking up each tree and inch of land, the robins and owls finding homes where the light breaks through the trees.  I would like to see the turning leaves again with you, if only once more.  To see the reds and golds and emeralds that catch your eye as they fall to make room for those that grow again.  It always reminds me of home, and there’s where I would like us to meet again, Chene.”

    “Then we will.”

    “Do you promise?” he looked up to him, one half black, the other white, a boy now scattered across the sky and made of contrast.  Half filled with the hatred of those who made him this way, but overpowered with his memory of the love and kindness that made him, and maybe it proves that you don’t need to be hurt to be strong, nor hurt to be powerful.  Instead you need love and a home, and maybe that is all.

    “It’s funny,” Chene whispered, “For the first time in my life I feel as though I’m home already.”

    Gomez swallowed the lump in his throat, his hands shaking, Chene longing to hold them still, and safe, “I know you well, I would like the believe.  I know that you are not simply a magician, but a great warrior.  You live up to the name your mother gave you, that is certain.  And Chene?”


    “I am honoured to help you come home.”

    Gomez pulled away, taking the torch from behind him, and pressed the dying glow to the sapling in his hand.  He grunted as the leaves set alight, the fire growing into no more than that of a match, sinking down into his skin.

    But from the flame, a dragon appeared, a set of keys in her beak.

    Gomez pressed the fire out on her head, ruffling the warm scales, and she purred up into his touch, “Good girl.”

    He looked Chene, and the rusty locks his hands had been kept in.

    “Gomez, please.”

    “You’ll be free.”

    “And they’ll kill you.  Don’t-”

    Chene fell to his knees, but was pulled up to his feet and straightened out so fast the blood drained from his head leaving him spinning and blind.

    “They’ll kill me anyway,” Gomez pointed out, pressing the keys into his hand, “Go, get out of here.”

    “What about you-”

    Gomez chuckled and took Chene’s face again.  His tears evaporated over the heat of his dragon’s body, and turned to mist under what eye he had left.  Chene confused this for look for bravery, or arrogance, rather than acceptance to the whims of those most evil.

    “Go on without me, I’ll be right behind you, I promise.”

    Fae don’t lie, but Gomez was more than a fae.

    So Chene left him rooting through swords and daggers, turning the rusty key so hard he feared that it would snap in the lock. Gomez’s wish was almost true, the autumn air was crisp on his face, keeping his eyes open wide as he ran down corridors.  Through the kitchen, into the grand hall.  If he looked, he would see Gomez’s past stand as ghosts in each room.  Sitting with the cooks as a young child, meeting the chef’s dragon that cooked her fish and ate her scraps, the two rolling on the floor, giggling.  An adolescent, not grown out of racing around the halls barefoot, skidding over carpets and being beaten when he did not stand to attention.  A young man in royal red, his hilt new to his hands and never more than a stranger.  This castle - it was never Gomez’s home, Chene could see that now.

    He saw a dim spark go out by the row of tall windows overlooking the world below.  The door swung open, and Chene froze in his tracks.

    “Go!” Gomez broke the silence of the castle, his sword raised and twinkling in the starlight.  His face, though fatigued and broken, was just as filled with fear as it had once been watching Chene be dragged down to the gallows.

    “Promise you’ll stay behind me?”

    “I promise, now go!”

    Chene ran out the door that slammed behind him with one more puff of sourceless fire.  He had no time to turn back, making twists down long flights of service stairs that were stone and slippery with rain.  Lightning flashed overhead, the drumming of war Gods.

    He ran out until his feet hit grass, the bare skin melting into the wet mud.  He kept running, his muscles feeling strong again.  He ran until the lights of the palace were left behind him, leaving him alone in shadow, laughing and turning back around with the rain peeling the leaves from his skin.

    “Gomez, we made it!  Gomez?”

    And in the castle, in the center window he saw his friend with the lights catching behind him, framed forever in the prison walls he was made to call a home.

    He sheathed his sword and waved to Chene, but refused to run.

    From so far away Chene could only see his smile, the heartbroken look that did not belong to a free man.  He could not see the tears on his face, nor the final whisper on his lips that tolled - “We will meet again,” before the hand of his father covered his mouth, dragging him down into the darkness of the palace halls again.

    And here is where I tell you that it is the last time they met in this state, the brothers, the strangers.  The last time with their minds unbroken.

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