Tuesday, April 21, 2015

108 - What in Halya Happened?

Lixand Vitlakovich was dreaming. He knew he was dreaming because he was dreaming of the manrauq.  His mother had always been supportive that he had none, being an Arkan half-breed Zak.  It had made life actually a bit easier between his brother and him, since Ardas would never have had manrauq at all.

Other Zak in F'talezon had made it clear that no matter how much money the family had, they weren't going to accept a half Zak, naZak, blond kid with an Arkan accent. It was why they were in Brahvniki now.

But he hadn't dreamed of having manrauq for years and thought he'd reconciled himself to merely being like the most of the human race. He'd ached to feel what mata described and what Zak children played with. He'd stared at piles of salt and feathers, willing them to move, even one grain of salt, even one down feather to quiver with something other than his breath. He'd mediated and stared into his mother's scrying mirrors, secretly, until his eyes ached, but had never seen so much as a quiver. Except when his eyes watered.

He'd quit trying. He'd quit hurting over it. He'd put it all aside as childish yearning. He'd quit dreaming of it. Until now.

I am in a sea... an ocean... the river flows through me from the crown of my head, down my arms, down my body to the crux of my legs, then down and out my fingers and toes dripping, then streaming, then pouring through me till you cannot see me any longer. What is this? I would weep for my naZak deafness, my naZak dumbness, my naZak blindness, but I burned those tears out years ago. What is this? It tingles. It makes me clear as glass, scrubbing at dark knots and scars and pain.

Silverwings, fangs drawn so they could not bite. Covering. Covering mata. Her eyes were closed and there was this gigantic, booming voice that she was listening to.  He was dreaming in Arkan. The voice was speaking Arkan. “That one’s code is limited, see?” Lightning bolts shot out of nowhere to touch inside every part of her body, lighting up something he couldn’t see.

His own body was twitching, outlined in silver. “What’s happening?” He asked in Arkan, though he hated speaking it while awake.

“Hmmm?” Another voice. “You are child of that one. Also blocked. But you are child of Arko. I can hear that one, even from here.”

“What are you talking about? Who are you? You’re not Oas. I’m not a humble slave boy anymore. I’m son of the house. I’m free.”

“Indeed that one is. And I can see you, child. A dancer. A fighter. An acrobat. Knife wielder like your mother. Strong man like your father. Your code from him has blocked hers, but now We see you.”

“She killed him.  He raped her.  I don’t care that I carry his shape or his code as you say, in me.”

“It gives Us access to you, the combination. Anywhere where there are Arkan temples. Here!”

Lixand tumbled over and over and over as if caught in a wave of light. Sunlight, shimmering lights of all colours against a night sky. “Here is magic that you can use!  Through both your parents!”

He could see his mother leaping straight up, leg pointed down as she reached toward the lights in the sky, ribbons of some kind of colour he had no name for trailing from her to him and to other mother and… no… he was wound in them, wrapped in them.

He thrust his arms wide and landed on his back with a crash -- “We will see you again.” Laughter as the wind was knocked out of him and he stared around, confused, panting, on the floor of his bedroom, tangled in his sheets and blankets.

He was in his bedroom. In his apartment in the family manor. In his Brahvnikian bed because he could never bear the enclosed box-bed common to most Zak. Or rather, on the floor, with only his feet still up on the mattress.

His brother’s apartments were just down the hall, his sister’s – mostly empty but kept for whenever she came home – around the corner the other way. The kids's rooms all down another floor across the atrium. “Mother what in Halya happened to you in Arko?” he said to himself, untwisting his nightshirt.

Miniature seagulls cried outside in the darkness. The faint 'tonk' from the night bells of the Abby of the Bear across the river. Humming songs of the ferrymen, the quiet, night songs. The rhythmic tinkling, banging, wooden xylophone sounds of the boats in harbour. Brahvniki sounded nothing like Arko.  He thrashed his way free of his sheets and ran a hand through his hair, clambered up onto his bare feet.  “I need some light,” he muttered to himself, reaching for the striker and the candle on the table next his bed.

He froze in shock, hand outstretched, turned his hand palm up, staring at the tiny silver lights dancing from his fingertips in the darkness.

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