Winter in Hieron 10: Fire and Blood

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It's been four days since His sun left us, Tutor.

On the first morning without it, I woke early--before its light would have graced us on a normal day--and, when I found sleep too hard to return to, I put on my sandals and took to the empty streets of Velas. The soft shuffle of my steps echoed with the other pre-dawn murmurs of my seaside city.

The gulls called, and they called for me, so I followed past the lingering smells of a rowdy night before. And they called for me, so I stepped through the sand blown threw the gardens. And they called for me, and so I walked, and as I walked, my mind drifted, and I tried to recall if we ever listened to the gulls together, and I wondered if you had ever called for me.

I found an old stairwell hidden, etched into the wall by time or ancient ambitions or both. It led from the plaza to the shore, and the shore brought water, and the water brought wind, and the sound of gulls was caught in a swell, and the sound of the gulls was breezed away.

I sat and waited for His sun. And when it didn't come, I felt my most selfish thought--that this was your work, and that I had failed to stop you. That somehow I could have been He Who'd Saved The Sun, if only...

The stars lit, bright the way they are only in memory, never in sight. And I looked, for just a moment, to see if I could see you there, in their light perhaps, or in their configuration.

Instead, I saw a second darkness. Drifting, sputtering, smoke clouding on the western horizon, covering the stars there. The softest cliff face. Progress coming for our throats.

In the face of that soot-stuff, I let you go with a wish, Lion's Tooth on the wind.

Do not write me. Do not study the sound of my name or the curves of my hand. Do not grieve--we are too busy for grief now.

Gather yours, and I will gather mine.

This week on Friends at the Table: Fire and Blood



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