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.

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78. The Letter and The Loss

This is the letter that Gomez wrote for Chene.

 

    This is a story that you have no business hearing, but I will tell you anyway.

 

My sister grabs the strings with one hand.

 

“Chene, if you are reading this, which I am sure that you will be not long from now - I have to thank you.  But moreover, I need to explain something to you.  A confession of sorts, and I’m sure that you’ve already pieced together a bit of it.

The truth is, I lied to you.  I wasn’t told about the spell from a fortune teller, my father was commissioning people to find that for him anyway.  I did go, and for no good reason, but she cried when she say me, and screamed that a dead man had walked up to her and smiled in his after life.

I knew I was going to die, before we met, I knew that my end was soon.  

But she told me that my death would lead to a path carved in my bone for a great hero.  That’s you, Chene.  When I saw the monster within you, I knew it had to be.

I was afraid, of course, but before long I knew that the fortune teller was right, and that you were going to do great things, I just wouldn’t be there to see it.  I lead you as close as I could to the spell, and although I know nothing of it’s power, I believe that you will, and you’ll use it well.

As I write this you’re sleeping beside me, and the wasps from your souls eat at the skin of my knuckles.  It’s okay, I’ve gotten used to it, I think.  Either way, I’ll miss it when I’m gone.”

 

“Don’t,” Nona said.  Usually, she never begged Morta, but this was different.

She held so many strings in her hand, it was as thick as wool, and so interconnected, that if even one tore, the entire net around it would come loose.

“Morta,” I said, and I was not one to plead either.

“It’s what has to be done,” she snarled at us, “How many times do I have to tell you both that?”

 

“When I watched you run that night, I became so afraid.  I think that’s why I found myself so gravely ill, because I was afraid that I’d die without you.  It was the days of starvation and torture that lead me insane, and no one had even seen you since.

And I wasn’t afraid in the war, because I knew that you’d live, and I knew that I would die.  And I knew that this was how things would always be.

But you came back, and you kept me alive for some cruel, futile reason that the Gods only knew, and now as I write we have somewhere to be, don’t we?  And we can spend the rest of my life eating well, and sleeping in, and I can watch how you look at the sky, and even though you say that no one’s listening, I see how you pray for our days to go on this way.  Again, cruel, futile - but it made me love you in a way I never understood.  I always took home to be something that could be burned to the ground, or ripped from the walls.  But I was naïve.  You were a home that I didn’t need to leave, one that promises to stay when I’m slow, that will wait with me.

I know that you’ll never tell me who you were, but that’s okay, because I know you, don’t I?

    You’re a hero, Chene, I can see it.”


 

She pulled her razor from her lap, and aimed it at the strings.  I think that Nona was crying.  I might have been too, and I am not ashamed of it.

We see tragedy, gore.  But what the fates had planned was something that unraveled in new ways.  I watched as Chene read the letter, his tears splashing into the ink.  But I watched the palace, and Meliae come home, and her call it that.  She hugged her siblings, and they told her what she had missed, and she promised she’d tell them all later about Gomez’s love, his wizard, and the sun was already low, and their stories turned in their bones and they looked so young there.  Just as they had sitting in the twins’ rooms all those years ago, watching the vines move in time with their markings, together, as a family.

You know where this is going.

 

“We’ll meet again.  I have too much faith in the Gods to not let us find our way back home, like sparrows, right?

We can meet on a day, the one we loved, and we won’t remember all the time we’d been apart for.  I’ll tell you about the realms and the war and the angels and how much I remember about you.  I’ll tell you your stories back, how you hated fortune tellers, and loved fish, and how you rocked me back and forth when you weren’t strong enough yourself to go on.  I’ll let myself go home, and until then, I can wait for you.

Just do the same, won’t you?

You’ll do so well, Chene.  You were born to be this hero, and even though I can’t be there with you, I know that you’ll be amazing.  I know you, and all you were meant to be.”

 

Nona covered her mouth, and the razor pulled across the threads until they snapped, and one by one, tied their ends to others.  That was it.  No blood we could see, no guilt.  Nona and I stopped crying, and picked up our tools.  Morta was the one who stilled, and swallowed her pride.

There is pride in death.  But not now, not with what she had just done.

 

    Meliae pulled a body from under stone, but it ripped in two.  She grabbed at those who reached for her, but there were just so many.  So, so many. Their screams filled the open air and the smoke lifted to reveal their grand hall and its rubble.

    She screamed, and didn’t stop.  She finally collapsed, kneeling at the base of the stairs and holding as many hands as she could reach.  The pulled her skin, wanting her close, wanting to breathe, wanting to just not die, anything else but that.

    She cried out for the guards, but they were at war, and no one heard but the rest of the children, only a few, who sat by their brothers and sisters and held their heads in their laps, and pulled what was left from under stone.

    The sun set, and the tattoos did, and the screams turned to loose grips and limp heads and eyes rolled back, and more blood than could cover her skin.

    She stood, and walked over the debris, avoiding hands reaching for the Heavens from their heavy tombs.  She walked  the length of the hall, in the silence of so many dead, and found him there.

    Dyrad’s head was above the wreckage, his mouth cracked open, his head bloodied.

    She threw herself at his body, scratching into his eyes, kicking at his skull.

    “Meliae, Meliae!” the final children called, grabbing her, pulling her back.

    She fell to her knees, grabbing her heart as it broke in her chest.  A new pain she never had, losing everything she once loved.  She screamed, and screamed, and she was the only voice left, so it meant nothing now.

    No one stirred , but one child reached into the remains, and pulled Dyrad’s crown from his head without speaking a word.

 

    “You will be great,” the letter finished, “And thank you, for everything you gave me - a home, love, a family.  And now, I’ll wait.  Until we meet again.”

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