It is Dark Outside

by Peter

It is dark outside, for the sky is black with clouds. It is wet outside, for the sky is filled with rain. It is turbulent outside, for a storm rages.

Inside, a single candle lights the dark. It burns weakly and looks close to going out. On the floor I can see poor little Bairoth, floorboards prised up next to him and leaden box open.

Arashi is out somewhere. Did he believe she will be gone for long, was he serious, or did he think she would be back soon? It is so difficult to tell, for his mind is full of holes. Memories stacked upon memories given willingly to the cold, black waters far, far away. What is left is patchy and damaged and so, when I ask, does he really intend it or not, I cannot tell you. I don’t know.

He is a little fool though. To think that he can use that… it is inconceivable. The thumb snapped off the hand. Smooth and translucent, sharp as only broken glass can be. And bloody.

Of course his resolve has been tested. Nightly he screams the death of Gods. Nightly he dreams their murder, of choking the life out of their holy forms, of extinguishing the divine spark, of blood and ash and chains. It wore him down you see. So, when he heard that voice, when he realised what it meant, well it pushed him further, closer to the edge. When he realised what that whisper meant, when he heard the very essence of Secrets in it, it pushed him hard against the lies, against the deception. Secrets and lies.

The candle is nearly out, though the blood is still flowing from the glass-and-ash-encrusted gash.

Weakness. It is written all over that wound. What life this poor little Bairoth had before the priesthood is gone, given up in the name of Secrets, given up in the name of a lie. What life this poor little Bairoth had before now is gone, given up in an oath, an oath swearing vengeance and murder. What must it have been like, to have nothing, to have given everything up? Weakness in the face of the future. But is it weakness when he has no past to support him, no memories of a mother’s love and no purpose given to him from on high? Perhaps not. But what of his oath? What of the promise of murder? Is it not a betrayal of these?

A betrayal to answer a betrayal. Perhaps it is fitting, though I do not think so.

I can hear her returning. Arashi approaches her new home. In memory of his past I pick up the thumb and place it in the palm of that vitrified hand. In memory of what Bairoth once was I lay it back in its leaden box. In memory of his dedication I hide the box away under the loose floorboards.

As Arashi opens the door, a wind, blown in from the storm outside, extinguishes the guttering candle flame. As she steps in to the room and finds Bairoth I watch her unseen. As the drunken Vine Child steps forward blood erasing the past just as surely as Bairoth himself has done so with his whispered devotions by a dark and cold lake, I smile to myself and leave. I was wrong. He is not without support. He is not alone with his betrayal and his oath and nothing more. His past is lost to him, but not his present and not those around him. So perhaps he is just weak.

The wound he has left himself will never heal, not fully.

misc/fiction/dout.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/05 19:24 by osj01
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