Mar. 14th, 2010

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She stumbled a bit, and though she had only woken an hour before she felt very tired. She knew that her face was streaked with ash, and she wondered what color her eyes were now. She knew the watcher was there, and knew that he did not know that if he tried to stop her, it was one of the only ways that she could harm him.

Cradled in her arms was a tattered cowl. Her father's.

She dropped to her knees in the spot where Elauwit had spilled his blood years before to make this an Elysium. The watcher sat beside her and tentatively put his arm over her shoulders. She leaned against him and spoke the words from a place of more comfort than she could have imagined possible with all her childer dead and gone.

She spoke in the Old Language, a supplication to the Great Spirit. She knew that he knew that tongue, and she felt that the presence of this one was a blessing and a privilege. She faced East.

"Great Spirit, Great Spirit, My Grandfather,
All over the earth the faces of living things are all alike. . .
Look upon these faces of children without number
And with children in their arms,
That they may face the winds and
Walk the good road to the day of quiet. . .

There is no death. . .
Only a change of worlds. . .
Only a change of worlds."

She reached across her body to the shoulder of her outer dress and
pulled sharply downward, tearing it. She faced South.

"There is no death. . .
Only a change of worlds. . .
Only a change of worlds."

She repeated the previous motion on the other side. She wouldn't have been concerned about modesty in front of this man anyway, but thought perhaps that he would be glad of the gauzy under-dress at a time like this. She faced West.

"There is no death. . .
Only a change of worlds. . .
Only a change of worlds."

This time, she reached back with one claw and cut her braid. The
claw retracted as soon as the hair was cut. She faced North.

"There is no death. . .
Only a change of worlds. . .
Only a change of worlds."

She rose, and began to dance the Farewell.

Once finished, she sat back down again, next to her watcher
and repeated,

"There is no death. . .
Only a change of worlds. . .
Only a change of worlds."

She folded the cowl that had so long covered the shoulders she'd leaned on for most of her existence, and held it in her lap. Then, she leaned on his shoulder again weeping silently. Her body warms, and she started to feel the cool of the air and the fine mist of drizzle on her skin. She wanted to feel everything she could about being here on this night after doing the one thing in all the world she had hoped never to have to do.

And he held her in his arms in silence. And she could feel time passing too slow, too fast.

"I don't know how you knew or why you're here...but thank you."

She twined her hand into one of his, and he nodded and held her closer. He placed one hand on the ground and closed his eyes. The faintest traces of ash danced away from his turned face. After the ash left his face, she kissed him chastely but lovingly on the cheek.

Seconds into minutes into hours they sat that way, the only words he spoke were that she should go into the ground, and she knew that he had thought she might have stayed out on purpose, and that this was the closest he would likely ever come to saying the only thing that the razors told her which was worth the pain.

"I shall sleep. Thank you; I love you. He knew that." And she let the most peaceful earth she had ever known take her under where she would not have to feel pain nor love nor loss for another 8 hours at least.

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kaoniki

August 2012

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