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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50. Time, and Time Again

Gods can kill Gods, when mortals can’t.  Gods can hurt Gods, and mortals never feel it the same.

    Samhain had a few nightmares of his own, but always with his eyes opened, awake.  His breathing would stutter, his own teeth closing and trembling and shutting off his lips that longed to swallow air.  His hands would ball into the sheets to keep from taking off his skin, his eyes water, crying.

    Jinmi woke up, rubbing his eyes, and finally saw him like this, and he sat up rigid deciding what he could do.  He touched Samhain’s hand gently before it launched into the air and made its home digging through     his thighs.  Jinmi pulled away, and let him sit and shake from whatever he saw.

    What he saw was this - his mother glad to see his corpse in his bed, his father leaving her afterward for the young girl the next town over whose mother had died not long ago.  They were alive, although not for long.  It took his mother’s unnatural jealousy of his once loving father and used it to grab a kitchen knife and dig it through his back.  The neighbors, those who had helped Samhain in his last few days, rejoiced at the fire in which the young couple were put to rest.  Finally, the family who had spent so long with their little son whose lungs never worked and drained each resource they had in their lives had died, and so well at that, everything they had taken from their friends given back to the land in their ashes.

    His breathing evened out for a moment, gulping and gasping and hungry for oxygen.

    “Samhain, what was that?” Jinmi gingerly brushed his shoulder, and to prove that he was back, Samhain pushed against his touch until he was lying on his chest with his broken nailed hands clawing at Jinmi’s shirt instead.

    “I don’t know…” he panted, “But-”

    He sat back up, standing this time and running to the edge.  There was nothing to see in their unnatural night but the heavy rain storms that rimmed their tower.  No light cracked through the sky, no moon showed its flawed features that night.

    “Samhain, talk to me,” Jinmi had found that this worked, bring Samhain back home to him, but not now when the young God was on his hands and knees peering into the abyss below.

    He knew what he was looking for.  When Jinmi ran to pull him back from the ledge he grabbed his wrist and whispered, as if someone could hear them, “Look, there,”

    There was something through their illusion of night.  Lanterns, like rich, fat severed heads floating through the night.  There were two, partners perhaps, and while watching them, Jinmi was struck with the strangest sense of sadness.

    “Jinmi?” Samhain said in a very low voice.

    “Yes?”

    “Put them out.  I don’t care what you have to do, just get rid of them.”

    “But they’re-”

    The lanterns seemed to float towards the two, matching them, a shining ghostly mirror.  They were faster now, caught in a draft that Jinmi couldn’t feel.

    “Jinmi, now.”

    He dropped a storm spell, the bottle smashing off of one of the flames and a small explosion knocking the lights out.  The lanterns floated for a moment, unsure what to do, before the gust of wind erupted from the land below and blew the papers to them, both Jinmi and Samhain pulling back and shielding their eyes from the rain the reversed and hit against the tower like bullets.

    Samhain lowered his hands once the storm had subsided, “Do you think that’s it-”

    But they both covered their eyes once the sun appeared from nowhere, directly above their heads like a magnifying glass before the sun.  They cried out when it burned their eyes and the tips of their noses, a sudden summer in the middle of the night, but Jinmi squinted and look to Samhain, “What was that?”

    Samhain stood up, grabbing the lanterns that had been blown onto their bed, “This place is hexed.  And angel’s hex, of course, but a hex all the same.  You using black magic in here will lead to the environment to be reset.”

    “And what are these?” he said, blinking, “Did they come from the first realm?”

    “No, they’re grieving lanterns, but are either a warning or a lure.”

    Jinmi had learned to find out how to act before learning whys,“From who?”

    “I don’t know,” Samhain collected them in his arms.  It was if they were knitted, incredibly detailed and delicate.  Samhain had learned to figure out why before reacting.  Old souls tend to be wise like that, not fault to Jinmi himself.  He crumpled up the paper and turned around, opening a hatch and throwing them down.  When he looked back the door had vanished just as suddenly as it had come into existence.

    “Why would they be lures?” Jinmi asked.

    “Did you feel a sort of sadness while watching them glow?”

    “They’re funeral lights, of course.”

    “But something new?  A sort of grievance that you haven’t often felt.”

    A sick sense in his stomach, sending shoots of placebo pain through his skull and pooling in his back, making him want to thrash and kick and fight his way out, like a child.  He remembered Daphne, almost, how he had felt the night she had left him.

    “I suppose I know what you mean,” he said, “What about it?”

    “That’s a hex too, and hexes - as well as ruining each other if they contrast - lure each other.”

    “So the lights came to the tower.”

    Samhain nodded, sitting back on the bed, and pulling Jinmi to his side.  They were both soaked wet, steaming in the sun that felt more like burning than anything else.

    “So it’s a warning to us, but again, how could it be a lure?”

    “They can see where it leads, and follow us.  I wonder if they know that they’re looking for you yet, but I can only imagine one more thing that it might be.”

    “Which is?”

    Samhain remembered his dream.  Everyone he had once loved had been dead and set ablaze.  He pulled his knees closer to himself, his mother’s laughter that he had thought he had missed now riddling his mind.

    “I think,” he said slowly, “That a God has died.”

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