Thursday, March 3, 2011

443 - You Lost

AN:  Graphic Warning.  A description of Hayel. This is gross, even for me.

The Lock.  I’m in the Lock.  I see my hands pressed hard against the thick glass, see the water.  Not rising... draining away, pulling the air with it.  I can feel my chest straining, my lungs beginning to bubble up my throat... I can’t see for the blood bursting out of my eyes. There is only blood to breathe, nothing else.

The water comes up again.  This time when it drains there is air.  My lungs are so damaged I can barely breathe... blood pouring out of my mouth and nose and eyes and ears.  I see.  Second Amitzas has been promoted to a minor Hayel demon, naked, castrate, all his burns showing, bleeding down his legs, with all his death-injuries carefully preserved, crushed limbs, broken fingers that somehow now work.  He controls the Lock, his cut throat gaping in a bloody smile that is not reflected on his eternally bruised stone face.
I am in Hayel.  My father's bloated corpse, flesh dripping from his skull stands watching, laughing.  "I warned you, boy.  I told you you would be here.  I told you, you were part of me."

Behind him, captive in red-hot chains, are the shades of my family.  My older brother, lungs foamed out of his mouth, my mother holding her head in her hands, my grandfather, skin greenish from poison.  Ili, lying dismembered upon the floor. Joras and the last of my Mahid relatives, guts coiled on the floor around their feet. Their mouths and noses are covered with smothering skin. They stare at me in the Lock.  I should not be able to hear them but I can.
"You lost. You lost. You lost. You lost. We died and are now in Hayel with you because you LOST.”
The water, at my chest, begins to rise, closing over my head. It is foggy pink, getting thicker, like my father died, in blood. I float up hitting the stone above my head. No airspace to put my seeking mouth. All I can see is my red-outlined hands pounding the solid stone next to my face, slow in the water. Pounding, pounding, blood pounding in my head.  No air. Flat bloody fingers against smeared, water-boiling stone. Drowning now.
On the Earthsphere I can hear Kyriala’s screams and prayers, for Adamas Kallen has married her, because she was the Mirror of the Sun once... he is brutal and she prays to the Ten to let her die.  The Ten punish me and I can hear.  Kallen figured out that I love her and punishes her for it.  He owns her.
I can hear the wails of anquish from the Empire. Their Son of the Sun is both stupid and brutal. The pain rings through me, murderer, father-hater, friend rapist, forzak, forzak, forzak.  I didn’t live long enough, work hard enough, to escape Hayel. 

There was no mercy for me, only justice. My skin is burned raw from Muunas’s judgment. I am forzak. My tears add to the water drowning me. Mercy. Mercy, High Ones. Please. Mercy for the suffering ones. Mercy for me too.
The water drops but no air comes with it.  Hands sliding down the heavy glass door that will not open, that will never open again. Smothering now. All is darkness, filled with the screams and cries and pleas of my suffering people.
“You lost. You lost. You lost...”
I floundered up out of my dream gasping, coughing, hands flailing the bedsheets.  I managed not to make enough noise to wake my loves in the other room.
There is nothing to do but half-fall out of bed and stand, arms spread, chest heaving, shaking and sweating, convincing myself that I was no longer dreaming.  “Gods.  Ten.  My High God.  Mercy.” I manage to whisper and then stagger over to the jug and pour a drink of water.
Kall was probably sleeping the sleep of the just or was worried about Chevenga, in Yeola-e.  “Mercy, Gods and Goddesses.  Mercy on us, poor suffering souls that we are.”
The Ten were not letting me know Their minds.  Chevenga had given me permission to use the Imperial Chapel but I hadn’t dared. Though the writers had asked I hadn’t remembered what Muunas had said to me in the Chapel the last time.  I just remembered that I had agreed to run.  Muunas wanted me to run.  He had not promised me I would win.  He wanted me to make the attempt. That was all I remembered.
I sat down and ran my hands through my hair, careful of the extensions.  I couldn’t bear the thought of getting into a cascade cubicle right now.  It was too much like the Lock.
The white cat came up and stepped up on my back, settled across the back of my neck and started purring.  I tensed up, frightened it would be another nightmare within a nightmare, but all that happened was him purring louder.
I managed to gather him in my arms and slid down to sit, on the floor of the bedroom and rocked while the big old white cat purred and licked my cheeks clean of silent tears.
I managed to crawl back into bed with the white cat.  JiaKlem showed up around then and the two of them jostled me for attention and their comfort, so I had to put the cat behind me wrapped around my head and the domoctopus under my chin.
It was the oddest thing.  It was somehow comforting to feel his beak pressed up against my windpipe.  It should have felt threatening but was not.  Jia made the whistling, peeping noise he made when content and it merged with the purr in my sleep.
They got me back to sleep and I slept, dreaming of a mattress made of their various noises.  When I woke up in the morning I had Farasha draped over my front and Gannara holding me on his chest.
“Oh... oh... um... I ... I need to get free... I need...” I finally managed to choke out... ‘to relieve myself.”
“All right then.  But come straight back to bed love.”
That was Farasha... and she was saying it firmly.  I... didn’t want to offend her.
I went off to the garderobe and when I came back I could only focus on her.  She held out her hand, imperiously.  “You aren’t going to try and squirm out of this, this time, are you Minis?”
“Squirm out of what?”
“You’re healer has been telling you to play with yourself.  We know.  You told us.  He told us. And you haven't been.”
“Y... y...yesss.”
“So.  Lay yourself down here and show us what you’ve been doing.”
Gannara was no help.  He was just grinning.  And I couldn’t see but I bet he was hard.  “Umm.”
They were both in my bed, the animals had fled the bigger bodies... Jia cheeped from the light fixture while the white cat growled from under the chair next the bed.  I could almost hear them saying ‘Monkeys.  Always in heat.  Bloody monkeys.”
“I... um...”
I looked at the floor.  Dug my toe into the rug.  “I had a nightmare last night.  A bad one.”
“Minis... come to bed and tell us.  We’re alive and warm and we’ll not be driven away by your nightmares.”
It was close.  I could feel them quiver with wanting to let go when I told them.  “Eww.”  Farash’as nose was pinched as if she could keep the stink of my nightmare out of it with sheer will.  “That is just gross.  But that’s your fear.  Obviously.”
Gannara didn’t say anything.  He just laid his hand on me and I jumped and yelped as though he’d laid a red-hot rod across my vile organs.
“It’s all right, Minis.”
“Could I... could I...”  It was too much to ask.  I shouldn’t ask.
“Could you what?”
I gulped.  “Watch the two of you?”
She laughed.  “Oh, I thought it was much worse than that.  Of course you can watch, Minis!”
He chuckled too.  “At least until you cannot stand it and need to join in.  I’m me, Minis, Not some broken off bit of Chevenga you know.”
“I... um... I know.”
“So... watch,” he said.
“And join in when you can,” she said, and turned to kiss him, running her tongue over his lips slowly top and bottom.
I trembled where I sat and watched him dip his head to take hold of one of her nipples between his lips.  I hadn’t realized I’d been dreaming of doing just that for eight-day upon eight-day. I found myself holding myself... while they made love slowly, gently.  I tried to be quiet scrambling for my oil and Gan raised his head and grinned at me.
“You need to relax more, heart’sbrother.”
“Y...Y...” I couldn’t finish the word.  He was just going to slide into her and I caught my lower lip in my teeth.  She put her hand down to help him and he threw his head back.
“Oh, Fara... please... yes.”
My loves made love... and it felt good.  I smoothed oil on my not-so-vile organ and wiped the stinking nightmare off me.  I could see why we called it ‘singing’.  The sounds they made were beautiful.  And as I watched them... they watched me.
The smiles on their faces when they came... were enough to let me overcome my fear and I had my towel and it wasn’t gross or disgusting or scary at all.  I could see what Surya and my loves and even Kallijas in his way... the way he could just show such intimacy with Chevenga... what they were all showing me.
I tucked the dirty towel into the laundry basket in the closet and crawled back in with Gannara and Farasha, where they were basking.  They opened their arms to me.  “There now,” Farasha said.  “We’re all feeling a little better, hmmm?”
I could feel myself blushing but I nodded and laid my head on Gan’s shoulder. I’d have to get up soon but I had a little time to bask myself, feeling as if my joints and everything were all warm and loosened and smooth.  My guts were unknotted too.  I felt as if someone had smoothed every sharp edge off my insides.

1 comment:

  1. The end makes me cry because it is beautiful.

    I feel sick with myself for thinking that Hayel could have been worse.