Darklaw – Episode 85

KAMI WOKE TO find herself in a large bed with many soft blankets. She had fallen asleep after leaving Avesha to rest.

She left the bed and walked to the shuttered windows. Three large, peaked panels covered the wall, and she managed to unlatch one shutter, but she couldn’t pry it open without hands. She grew herself into a bear but chose a black bear and felt suddenly the pain of a cut paw and wounded thigh that she had suffered and not healed. She nearly tore the middle shutter from its hinges. When the shutter swung in, frigid air followed.

The dark sky held the nearly-full face of Mon, white as the mountainside. Adonja’s voluptuous body was purple-black and held the sparkling stars, as well as a few wispy strands of clouds. The world was alive when she could look at it without the intrusion of the ambitious souls of the Architect’s generation.

Back in her own body, Kami began to get cold. She pulled a blanket from the bed and wrapped it around herself as she went to the window. She leaned against the wall and looked out over the cascading peaks. Everything but the moon and stars was beneath her, even the clouds. She was in the highest room of the temple.

“I heard the shutter, Wild One,” said a voice.

Despite the surprise, Kami didn’t turn around. “I don’t need anything.”

“I will wait.”

Kami looked back to see her guest was the woman who had caught the feather. “What’s your name?”

“Leta.” She dropped her robe and crawled into Kami’s bed. “Let me serve you. I’m also a maiden. That’s why I came to the temple.”

Kami left the window open and returned to her bed. She slid under the blanket with Leta and added her own blanket on top of them both. The fresh air intoxicated Kami. The warmth of skin and smell of female desire soothed her sore heart.

She kissed Leta, whose small mouth remained hesitant. Kami stared into the gentle green eyes that dilated with desire though the body remained reticent.

“I’m not pleasing you,” guessed Leta. She took Kami’s arm, as if to place Kami’s hand on her breast, but stopped in surprise when she found the stump of a wrist. “Your hand! Why don’t you have a hand?”

“They were taken from me, like all Essanti.”

“You can make yourself into a beast. Why can’t you make hands?”

“If you want hands, I can become a bear or maybe a monkey, but I’m not sure how much you’ll enjoy that.” When Leta grimaced at the thought, Kami kissed her again, and Leta lost her caution. “That’s nice,” said Kami as she swiped her tongue across Leta’s teeth. Her breath was warm and stale but not bitter, and the taste of life filled Kami’s mouth.

Kami kissed, bit, tugged, and licked until Leta finally lost all reticence. Her hands began to caress Kami’s hips. After a few tentative touches, Leta finally squeezed Kami’s breasts and pinched her nipples. Kami relaxed and let Leta pleasure her.

Intimacy with Leta was relaxing in a way it wasn’t with Avestine. No fight. No maneuvering. No calculation or prediction necessary. She sat up, pushing Leta back. “No more.”

“Have I done something wrong?” asked Leta.

“I was thinking of someone.”

“I’m glad you’re here. You make me feel safe.”

“What are you afraid of?”

“The demons, of course.”

“What demons?”

“Now that you’ve returned, the demons will come. Isn’t that the prophecy? The Avatars. The Demons.”

Kami looked back at the window where snow was piling on the sill, having blown in with the wind. Crystal trails struck out in rays on the floor. Kami pulled a blanket around her shoulders but left her feet in the cold. She remembered all she knew about the prophecy and couldn’t find the names. “Do you know the names of the demons?”

“Shouldn’t you know?”

Kami tried to rebuild a truth inherited from the Architect. The powers she had didn’t explain what he had written, nor what Avestine had told her. “Born of the sea,” muttered Kami. “Bala was born of the Sea. The Architect tried to destroy the truth by calling it a ‘shadow,’ by claiming Arujan was the Father of all, when he was merely one of six.”

“Here at the temple, we’re well-versed in the lives of the gods, Wild One. We serve the spirit of Adonja, as expressed through her son, Arujan. The six emanations as set forth by the Architect after he meditated on the ancient texts.”

“Your guest believes she will be the Darklord.”

“She’s ill.”

“I’ve seen the ancient texts. I know what was changed and why. Sahrot was a servant, a sprite. The Architect changed the myth. Recast it to serve his purpose. Bala became a demon and Sahrot became a god. It seems the Architect tried to remake the world with more than just his legions.”

And Kami realized Avestine was also trying to remake it. She would finish her father’s work by unifying the world under one flag, one law, one god: Arujan. Everything in Kami rebelled against that. “So the question I can’t answer is what happens to the Emissary after the Avatars arrive. There won’t be a need for her, will there? Maybe there never was.” Kami wondered how Avestine fit into the ancient chart. It made no mention of an Emissary or even the Essanti, only the emanations and their gods.

Kami rose and walked to the window. Anxiety broke a sweat on her neck despite the cold. The abilities she had discovered were like magic, yet familiar and effortless. She had never thought of the prophecy in a literal way. She had accused Avestine of not believing in the gods, but in truth, she had never truly believed—not in anything but the Great Mother.

Now, she experienced the will of two minds, not so different, yet not the same. Maybe that’s why Chaos resided in her, because she was of a similar will. And then it came to her.

If Avestine were the Emissary of Arujan, then perhaps all the gods had their own emissaries. Maybe that’s what the Essanti originally were: emissaries of their respective gods. The Emissary of Arujan gained some sort of power over the rest. Maybe that’s what the Avatars were, a rectification. They were coming into the world to end the tyranny of Arujan.

If so, maybe the Darklord was the enemy not of the world but only of the Emissary.

Published in Darklaw |
Copyright © 2017 Teresa Wymore. All Rights Reserved. |