A Lesser Man

“I’m a coward and I don’t know how I’m still the last one left of my family.” He hung his head, looking down at his daughter’s grave. The last of his family finally gone for no other reason than because a madman decided it would be ‘fun’.

“It’s likely because you are a coward that you’re still alive.”

The grieving father snaps his head up to stare with wide eyes at the boy next to him, “W-what?”

“Cowards are the people that are always left behind by those that hate them because being left with the shame of your own action is far more painful than dying would have ever been.”

The man just continues to stare at him.

“You knew that there were shady things going on in your family, but you didn’t want to look too closely because that would change everything you’d ever believed, because then you’d have to change and do something about it and you didn’t want to do that, did you, Mister? You just wanted to keep going forward and never look back no matter how important it is to actually process the things that happen in our lives. Oh no, you just wanted it to be someone else’s fault, never mind that-“

“Sh-shut up!”

“Why? Am I making you uncomfortable?” the boy smiled cruelly, “Did I hurt your feelings on the day that you buried your daughter? The daughter that you –“

“Shut up!” the man cried, “SHUT UP!”

The thing that looked like a boy laughed, but didn’t stop talking. “Is there something wrong with realizing that the only reason your daughter is dead is because you couldn’t stand up for what was right early enough to actually make a difference? I mean, you’d think you would have learned after your wife died right in front of you by her own hand that this path that you’ve chosen is the wrong one, but did it? What about when you discovered that your sister and your father were-“

“I SAID SHUT UP!”

The boy was no longer laughing, “That’s the thing, Chris, just because you want things to be a certain way doesn’t mean that you get your wish, not after all of the cowardly things you’ve done and allowed to happen in your life when you knew better!” the boy hissed. “You are a coward, Chris, as like many cowards, that means that you get to be the last man standing.”

Nothing More

I am my purpose, nothing more, nothing less. –unknown

 

There wasn’t anything left for Comet, it seemed. She was cast out, banished, never to return again to the place of her creation, the land where her sister even now likely stood in a daze.

Star trembled as she pictured her beloved sister, lost and so very far away and likely trembling with uncertainty.

“It was needed.” Her purpose spoke softly and gently, though the cruelty in the truth of her words was unintentional, it could not be avoided.

Star didn’t move, not even to blink.

The truth was cruel only if you could not accept it.

“She will have a chance now.”

Star still said nothing.

What was done was done.

And now all she had, all she’d ever had it seemed, was her duty.

Solaris said nothing more. Words were meaningless to one who had said them in her initial arguments anyway. Star had spoken for her sister and known what would be the price to pay in order for this to happen, but knowing and experiencing are two very different things. Of this fact Solaris was certain; Star would likely never be able to fully live ever again, so long as she was separate from her sister Comet.

It’s just that…

Solaris did not glance at her old friend, but she did lean towards her and rest a shoulder against the smaller woman’s shoulder.

Star often had trouble dealing with the aftermath of her decisions when they ended up affecting those she cared about in ways that weren’t easily shifted. It was likely that none of them would ever see Comet ever again and that was about as permanent as you could get for their kind. Even death wasn’t as permanent for their kind as being alive and completely out of reach.

“I will adjust, Your Majesty.”

Solaris sighed in resignation, “There is no need for formality, my friend.”

Star said nothing for a long moment before a light shiver ran down her spine. Solaris only noticed it because of how she was still leaning up against the smaller woman.

“Solaris,” the blonde whispered, “Right now, it is all I have.”

‘But you don’t, you still have the rest of us.’ Solaris didn’t speak those words, didn’t even broadcast them mentally. It was still too soon.

She wondered how long it would continue to be too soon.

The Most Sincerity

Some people are worth melting for. –Olaf, Frozen

 

He had never been very close to anyone before. It’s not like there were a lot of genuine people out there in the world anymore in the first place (unless they were very small children, but he figured that once they learned how to walk and talk they were a lost cause for any kind of sincerity. He hadn’t met anyone who was genuine since he had learned to walk and talk after all.) He wondered if maybe his mother had been the last genuine person that he had ever met, but she had died shortly after he’d spoken his first word and if he hadn’t had such an amazingly eidetic mind then he wouldn’t have remembered her at all.

His dad certainly wasn’t genuine about anything. Not even what he wanted in the world (“Everything, Alexander, you can’t settle for second best on anything and not having everything is certainly second best.”) Or what he wanted from his son (“Such a disappointment, I don’t know why I let you live.”)

His teachers and other peers (not that he had really considered them his own equals) either wanted something from him (money, things, influence) or had hated him due to his skipping several grades or coming from a rich family.

That isn’t to say that he didn’t take care of the people who worked under him. He made sure that they had good health care coverage and were paid fairly for the work that they put into the company that he had built from the ground up without help from his father. (In fact, his father had actively sabotaged him, trying to destroy everything Alex had worked for. He had never really understood the reasons behind his father’s actions and hadn’t really cared to ask the man. It’s not like he would have been honest with Alex anyway.)

So he had spent the entirety of his life closing himself off from others, building an impenetrable wall of the thickest ice around his heart and keeping everyone and everything at arms-length. No friends, no family, no one close to him. Not even the people who made sure that he was safe from all of his enemies were close to him for all that they spent the most time with him while guarding him.

“I like being alone, other people never turn out to be what they say they are.”

“That’s a lonely way to live.”

“But it is a way.”

“Sounds less like living and more like surviving if you ask me.”

“Sometimes they are the same.”

He hadn’t known any differently and rather than being all sad and mopey and depressed about it, Alex had just accepted that this was the way his life was going to be. Acceptance made things easier or at least less emotionally debilitating.

Alex had tried romantic relationships a time or two or ten and they went about as well as any kind of attempt at a relationship with his father had gone when he’d been younger and more naïve.

That is to say, they had failed when he’d realized that most of the women just wanted something, whether it was material things, influence or just bragging rights hadn’t mattered.

None of those things had been him and that was all that had mattered at the end of the day.

So he’d given up.

Not after the first ten times, he wasn’t one to give up so easily after all, but everyone has their breaking point.

The less said about his, the better.

He still did things for pleasure, watched movies and went to restaurants and concerts. He knew that working all the time was not healthy. Knew that being alone was not healthy, but what other choice did he have?

Sincerity was just a pretty word that meant nothing, much like the words “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t mean it.”

If you didn’t mean it, then why did you do it in the first place? Some part of you meant to do that, meant to take that action, whether it would hurt me or not. You wanted it more than you wanted to not hurt me.

That was the philosophy that he had spent so many years reminded himself for such a long time in the earlier years of his resolution to not get close to anyone or anything. It was hard to remember at first, which was why he had continued to try relationships for far longer than most people would have with all of the experiences he’d had with them.

It had gotten easier as the years had gone by, though. Practice makes progress and all that.

So why was he listening to this strange voice that had all but invaded his dreams like it was a real life person that really needed his help?

He’d given up on this kind of thing long before he’d even entered school.

But.

But the voice cam every night that he slept. Sometimes it came when he wasn’t sleeping, but not quite awake either.

Where was the voice coming from?

And why was he even still listening to it?

He was a pro at blocking out things, people, events that he didn’t care about, didn’t want to pay any attention to.

So why wasn’t he doing it this time?

‘Please,’ the voice would whisper and howl and cry out and murmur softly all at once, ‘Please, will you not aid me/us/her?’

‘She is most precious.’

‘She is most lost.’

‘You are just as lost.’

‘Will you not be found together?’

He didn’t know why, the words weren’t anything special, anything he hadn’t heard before, but there was something, some kind of emotion that accompanied them that found its way slowly through the ice and hoar frost that covered his heart.

Like a small and yet insistent breeze of spring-turned-summer.

It wasn’t even like it was weakening his protective ice to let others in, just loosening it enough to let the breeze carrying the voice inside and then sealing up the small fissure as it made its way in.

Maybe Alex had been looking too much into difference things involving ice, but he had just sent an expedition out to the Antarctic to follow up on some of the readings that they’d been picking up recently.

Either way, he didn’t know why he was letting this voice get to him, why he has started looking forward to the feelings of belonging and home that crept into his heart along with every whispered/howled/cried/murmured word that drifted across his dreams and through his daydreams.

‘Won’t you let me/her/us in?’

‘I/She/We won’t leave you alone.’

‘You don’t have to be alone anymore.’

His heart just wouldn’t listen to his mind.

How could a voice that he didn’t even recognize (and he had tried to find it, but hadn’t been able to pinpoint the strange/familiar voice) sound more sincere than anything he had ever heard in his entire life?

(How could it sound anything but?)

My Path – Day Four

Sitting here alone,
I wonder where I’ll go.
I’m forever lost.
 
I don’t know
What I’m suppose to do.
I chose this.
 
My dark path
Will take me far into
Darkness, always alone.
 
Black space envelops
And yet I feel safe
Here, without distractions.
 
I thought wrong.
I wasn’t always alone here.
You where there.
 
You were with
Me, holding my shaking hand
Giving me hope.
 
My loving Lord.
My eternal Friend, within and
Without my heart.

Written for today’s NaPoWriMo post (http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-four-2/) but also for FreeWriteFriday (http://kellieelmore.com/2014/04/04/fwf-free-write-friday/) which is a prompt that is dear to my heart.

Yesterday afternoon was very trying and though for a moment I felt alone, I knew in my heart that I was simply being carried.

Safety in Death?

The ritual had worked, Comet was far from here and safe. Safe for the first time since long before the War had started. Their enemies would never find Star’s sister, not without Star or the Queen actively helping them and even then it was a long shot.

“Star, she is safe.”

Star nodded and bowed her head as her queen smiled tiredly at her before leaving the room.

She did not respond to anyone else as they spoke quietly both to her and around her before they, too, left for a well-deserved rest. The ritual they had used to both heal her sister and to send her away (because in order to heal her, they’d had to block her connections to those still here, and the only way to do that had been to send her away) had been a success.

Soon, Star was the only one left in the room. She didn’t bother looking around the room, just walked slowly towards the center where a cot had been placed. The cot was still warm from when her sister had been under the blankets and Star knelt by the cot and placed her hands in the blankets. She clutched them to her face and bowed her head. Silent tears began to soak into the fabric as her slender shoulders shook with the weight of her sobs.

She couldn’t feel her sister in her mind, in her very soul, anymore.

It was like she was dead in the worst possible way.

After all, even when their Queen had been dead, before she’d been brought back by the power of the Lunar Healing Crystal, they had still felt her presence within their hearts.

There wasn’t even that to indicate that Comet had ever existed. No torn threads, no aching apology for leaving them behind. Just…nothing…


Written for this week’s Dungeon Prompt: http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/02/20/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-8-when-did-death-become-real-for-you/

Next to me?

At night I sit and
Look out the window.
On and on the 
Night sky stretches.
Endless are the possibilities of life!
Where are you?
Two seats taken up,
Only at this moment do they feel like one.
Getting ready for this night and
Even more excited for this day!
Two becoming one is not
How this goes.
Enter together and work side by side
‘Round the day, because that is why we are here.
Right here next to me.

I’m not entirely sure where this comes from… I was going to write about a prompt, but this came out instead. shrugs

Forever Cold

She looked into the reflection before her.

Her eyes were hazy and yet there was a sharpness within them, though there were almost no defined boundaries around them.

Her hair was a streak of pale starlight that looked like it should be flowing down her back and cascading over her shoulders. Instead it was choppy around her face in uneven clumps. It wasn’t a very flattering hairstyle for her, but she didn’t care.

Her clothing was tarnished and torn, but it covered her and kept her from having too many people looking at her strangely. They had just assumed that she was another homeless person or a drug addict. They didn’t know who she was and as long as she didn’t brush up against them, they didn’t care where she was going.

Her shoes had holes in them and her gloves were missing their fingertips. She had no hat, scarf and no coat, but she didn’t mind. She wasn’t cold.

No, that wasn’t completely true.

She was cold. She was always cold, but having any kind of warmer gear or garments would change that. She would always be cold.

She glanced down at the blurry reflection in the puddle below her.

Her other half was gone, she would never be warm again.

But that was all right, she told herself desperately. It was the only way. It had to be.

She wasn’t sure she could live with herself if she ever discovered that she had made things worse by sending the other half of her soul away.


Written for today’s Daily Post: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/daily-prompt-mirrored/