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.


66. Deja

Estha was shaking, it was the only indication Ichais had that she was still there in the vast landscape of white, and over the dull thumping of her head..

    It felt as though they had only fallen for a moment, when it very well could have been hours, swimming and gripping at the ghosts that tucked them down under the sea.  It was cold, the spray of water still stinging their eyes and the salt making their wounds weep open.  Estha was shaking from fear, adrenaline, not just the cold, although it didn’t help.

    Ichais turned, blinking hard in the light to adjust her eyes what she could, and gripping at Estha to keep her still, “Why is it so bright?”

    “Where are we?” her voice was shaking too, words jumping over themselves, but Ichais could hear more curiosity than fear.

    “The second realm, I’d imagine.”

    She sat up too, rubbing the dark circles of her eyes.  Ichais could see her now, a pencil smudge on a blank page.

    “Or maybe,” Ichais said, “The fall killed us and this is the third realm.”

    Estha mouth hung open, her hands grabbing at Ichais’ face, “Are you an angel?”

    “Shush,” she pushed her off, looking at the world around them.  Nothing came into view, and she wondered if this was their afterlife, a great infinite nothing, and the two of them together.

    “Do you think-”

    She heard a scratching behind her, scuffing boots that stopped in their tracks.  Both girls spun around, meeting the hazy figure in the distance.  Wings sprouted from its back as large as those of birds of prey, white like snow and draped in red velvet ribbons.  Unlike Ichais’, their wings were very much alive, and twitched nervously when the angel met the girl’s eyes.

    “You’re so… Dark.” he said.

    “Thanks, I suppose this is the third realm?” Ichais shouted over to him.

    The angel skipped forward, the wings keeping him an inch from the ground as he silently swept over them and pressed his hand against her mouth, “Hush, and no, second.”

    She mumbled, and pushed his hand off, spitting away the sweet taste of his skin on her lips, “Second?  I’ve heard many stories of this place, and usually it’s…”

    “As you said,” Estha provided, “Darker.”

    The angel shifted on his feet, “You ask many questions, and not there are not many answers I am willing to part with.”

    “We won’t waste our time making this comfortable then, come on, Estha.”

    “Wait!” he held Estha’s wrist, and she froze up.  She was not used to sudden contact, especially not when she looked as she did.  She hadn’t even realised that her hood blew off in the fall, “You cannot go that way.”

    “Why not?”

    “Because - look, come with me, and I’ll explain it all.”

    “And we trust you?”

    His wings beat, as angry as an angel was allowed to become, “Do you want to be entrusted into  Appalla’s care instead?”

    “Who’s Appalla?”

    “You don’t know who Appalla?” he shook his head, “Mortals are so... “


    He narrowed his eyes, “Ignorant.  Now come on, if you don’t want to be dropped into the third realm.”

    The angel didn’t give a name, but scurried on into the light until it turned into a walkway of arches, greyed posts that were coated in a thin layer of chalk, much like the flowers from before.  The arches lead them into what looked to be grand hall, with no roof and windows as large as doors.  Everything was bathed in the same blinding light, far purer than the sun, and it left their eyes adjusting to the room and the creatures that took attention in its walls.  They sat by coffee tables, drinking champagne and wine, and whispering about the two mortals.  One, they said, was beautiful.  The other sucked in light like a vacuum.

    “What are your names?” the man ordered.

    “Now, now,” another woman, without wings this time, crept up behind them and placed her hands on their shoulders, “They’ve worked hard to come so far, most don’t survive the trip, and if they have there is no reason to be so bossy.”


    She rolled her eyes, “If they have come for Appalla, let her have them, and let them be the worse fool.”

    He bit his tongue, and sourly took his place with the rest gawking at the mortals who had come so far.

    “Now, ladies,” she said, ushering them forward to an empty table in the middle of the room, “Tell us, who are you?”

The air was alive, and it made your chest rise until your heart was a force in itself.  The second realm was beyond comprehension to most, so white it made skin flicker a millions shades, and made your hair stand on end.  There was no heat, no smell, no time, and souls found themselves lost, slipping away into the bliss of a minimalistic afterlife.  The room, although on edge, was calm, food and drinks in each hand, and how could anyone be hurt in a place such as this?

“My name is Estha,” she said.

“Mine is Ichais.”

The woman nodded, “Why do you glow so dark?”

“Me?  I-”

“No,” she pointed to Ichais, “You.”

Ichais looked to Estha, and back at the woman, “Do I?”

“You swallow light, like a trout and a firefly, it’s the strangest thing.  Can’t you see it?”

Estha tilted her head back, “A little.”

Ichais looked over herself, at the streams of white that was pouring into her, the holes she bore with her being, and yet although her skin was pale, she seemed dull, washed away.

“I don’t understand.”

“What are you?  A siren, a witch?”

“A baobhan sith,” she said.

“And before?”

“A… A fae.”

“What specialty?”

“Fire, maybe?  I don’t know, I don’t remember.” she shifted, the eyes of the entire room coming down upon her.

The Goddess took her hand, “It’s okay, love, it’s not your fault.  And you, darling?”

“A troll,” the words going down like straight vinegar, and yet as heavy as a stone.

    “A troll!” the woman squealed and clapped her hands together.  Others around her hummed and nodded, greeting this fact with such grace, “We were wondering.  My dear, you are so beautiful, you glow like the summer air, do you know that?”

    Estha blushed so heavily it reached down her chest and across her neck, like a rash, and the woman only cooed and patted her hands.

    “Your world is so small, so insecure about itself, I’m sure the times that you’ve heard the word beautiful in accordance to you is little and few.”

    Ichais stared at her as she said, “Yes, that’s true.”

    “But you’re here now, and tell us what we can do you for and we will help all we can.”

    “We are looking for a spell,” Estha’s voice was so strong and caring, it made Ichais - who usually spoke for them - snap her jaw closed so hard her teeth rattled.

    “And what would this spell be?”

    Estha blushed again, “We don’t know, but we were told that it would be a war spell.”

    The woman eyed Ichais, “War?”

    “We were asked to retrieve it, both of us,” she said.

    “What do you know about it?” the woman addressed everything other than accusations to Estha.

    “They told us that the key to the second realm would be in the mountains, that it was the most powerful spell known to the Gods and that it would only reveal itself to those worthy.  I’m afraid that that’s it.”

    The woman clapped again, “It is less of a riddle than you think.  There are mountains, a while from here but manageable, and if you scale them, I think that you’ll find a spell fitting that description.  War is not tied to it, I’m afraid, but this news is better than being lost in our world, no?”

    She always answered questions with another question for Estha at the end, and it drove Ichais insane.

    “Thank you so much,” she said, smiling, light bursting from her pores like sprouting buds, “But can I ask, why do people seem so afraid?”

    The Goddess sat back in her stool, which groaned under her weight.  She dropped the red wine which she held in one hand, and looked to her audience, who became quiet once again.

    “There is a Goddess, Appalla, do you know her?”

    “She’s been mentioned,” Ichais quipped.

    “Yes, well, she is a very powerful Goddess, one who controls a very large part of the first realm, and has managed to capture the hearts of several other Gods who now ow to her.  She has fallen in love, or perhaps out, I cannot be sure.  In this, she wants to take the second realm as her own for her love and is willing to kill to do so.”

    “Gods can kill?” Estha said.

    “Yes, and as gruesomely as mortals do.”

    “But why?”

    The woman writhed her hands, “Have you noticed yourself falling out of love?  Your family, lover, you hate them or almost forget them completely?”

    “Yes.” Ichais said.

    “That’s why I left my home, I turned against my aunts,” Estha added.

    Ichais looked at her, her puppy eyes, her pouting lips, and she remembered the anger that she once felt towards each one of those features as well as the girl behind it.

    “She killed the two Gods of love, and now won’t stop, she is desperate to rule us.”

    “She can’t.” Estha said.

    “And she won’t,” another God said, “We would never let her.”

    The Goddess shook her head, “And yet, she’s killed any number of Gods, angels and muses since that day.”

    “We’ve raised our defences, Selene,” a Goddess rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands, “The realm is so bright that even we struggle to see a yard away outside.”

    “And yet, she hasn’t stopped.”

    “But she’s not in here, that’s enough.”

    The first Goddess - Selene, they presumed - sighed and smiled wearily, “You’ll have to excuse us, we’ve been drained, but we are glad to help what mortals we can.  That is our job, after all?”

    “Well, we’ll let ourselves go unless there’s anything we can do to help?” Estha offered.

    She shook her hand at them, “Nonsense, we have been so well behaved for Appalla so far, and if Gods aren’t known to celebrate then we are known for very little other than smiting and rendezvousing with mortals such as yourselves.  Please, you must be tired from the fall.  Stay the night, and we will celebrate.”

    Life goes in circles, and they seemed to be tied with events such as these.  Although I have never taken to them, celebrations tend to speed up the fall in lives, and letting yourself go becomes letting those around you down.  Either way, neither girl seemed to take to this idea.

    “I insist,” Selene said, waving over a Goddess from a table behind them, “Pandia?  Come here will you?”

    Selene was her mother, and where she was wide, Pandia was tall.  She had hair as grey as lead, her eyes the dark side of the moon.  She smiled to Ichais first, and then looked to Estha with something stirring in her lips.


    “Plan it will you?  We’ll celebrate in the waltzing house, and I want nice dresses, none of those horrid masks.  Bring out our best drinks, I want to feel as though Gods have power again.”

    “Of course,” she said before bowing her head to Estha and stalking away.

    “I really don’t know if we should stay for so long.” Estha said, but her voice was weak.

    “You must,”

    “We’ll stay,” Ichais said, flat, cold, “As long as it is our welcome, of course.  I think that you’re right, Estha has not seen many days where she has been treasured, and she deserves that much.”

    Estha smiled, and mouthed thank you.

    Selene hummed, “You’re not as bad as you seem, Ichais.  I think that I could take to you after all.”

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