Vidvan knew who Tavesh was long before he met him. His Master had taken in the soldiers who had returned victorious from their protection of the borderland. A large feast was put on for their celebration, along with the honor of being allowed within their Master’s walls.
The soldiers all knew what honor they had been given. Their captain was given such a seat of honor, next to the Master. Vidvan sat near enough to listen as the captain gave the story of their defence.
“I recommend to you Tavesh,” the captain said to Vidvan’s Master, gesturing with his glass at a soldier halfway down the table. “His technique and quick wits is equal to giving me a company twice as large.”
“Is that so?” The Master sounded amused.
Vidvan looked. Average height and weight, Tavesh’s body must have belied the muscle that the captain’s praise suggested. His auburn hair was shoulder length, but barely kept from being mussed by a piece of leather keeping it back. His brow was broad, skin olive and marked a few obvious places, with clear blue eyes.
“He requires a bit more experience, but I promise to you he will become one of your most staunch defenders, my lord. On that you have my word.”
Vidvan returned his gaze to his plate, trying to ignore the lump in his throat.
Tavesh never looked up.
It came to be that his favourite part of the day was going down to the orphanage. Or when some of the kids came up to see him. It made him feel a little bad, because his favourite part of the day used to be the time he spent with Fletcher. And he used to feel guilty when that had superseded how much he liked spending time with his mother.
Unlike with his mother though, he could tell Fletcher this without feeling too bad about being honest.
Fletcher laughed. “Don’t feel bad about that. It is good that you have found other children your age to spend time with.”
“But that means I’m spending less time with you.”
“I still see you every day.” Fletcher spread out an arm, gesturing at the map covering the table. “We still discuss. You still learn. One must balance what they do. You still do enjoy our time together?”
“Then what is the problem?” He laughed again. “Though next time you invite them to one of our lessons, let me know beforehand. Preparing for more than just you requires a bit more thought on my part.”
In that moment, he couldn’t be more content with life. “Okay, Fletcher. Thank you.”
He went to go see Winter.
Some places looked the same as others. This city was one of them. It was as if Zamir hadn’t left home at all.
With time to wait until his meeting with the police chief, Zamir decided to wait outside rather than stand around in the station. Not too far away from that building was a playground, full of children. Not too far from that was a field, with many young adults kicking around a ball.
Well, back home the police station he frequented was not near so much activity. Maybe this called for a better city. Or maybe it called for the necessity of such places to be nearby so much authority. He considered the possibility.
When he turned back, he saw someone being taken into the station.
It was not who he was looking for. But he was someone he knew. Straightening his collar, Zamir returned to the station.
“I’m not scared of ghosts,” she told him.
He didn’t say anything, just flashed the light around erratically.
She felt her stomach clench each time something she could once see suddenly disappeared into shadow. “Don’t do that!”
“M-Move the light like that. I can’t see anything when you do that.”
He steadied the light. The cave lit up, allowing her to see more than before. She relaxed. Then she realized she had been gripping his arm tightly. Mouth shut, yet twitching, she pried her fingers loose and returned them to her side.
“Let’s get going.”
Taking a deep breath, she nodded. Side by side, they entered the tunnel.
With a light thud, the bottle hit the table.
“Nooooooooo…” she crooned, quickly scooping up the bottle using only her fingertips. It was too late though, as the sticky brown substance began to march onward across the desk.
Erratic, she tried to find a place to put the bottle down so as to begin to move other things out of the way in time. She proceeded to place the sticky bottle on a magazine to get her action figures out of the way.
“Noooooooo…” Having moved them out of the way, she flailed over to grab some paper towels, tissues, napkins. Whatever it was she had around her desk that could help ebb the outgoing tide. She had to reach a little further from her chair and her coat sleeve knocked the bottle right over again.
She shrieked. When her father knocked on her door to ask what was wrong, she could only continue to dab up spilled soda.
The wall had been there forever. That was what the two of them assumed, considering how old it looked and that it had been there for both of their collective memories.
They had never met before though. Not until that day when the wall was going to be torn down. They stood there as the demolition crew began to take it down. Not brick by brick, as it had to have gone up. In large swatches, knocking the bricks apart, swirling up the dust from particles and the ground once the bricks had fallen.
The group was still tearing down the wall when enough of the dust cleared. She saw those green eyes on the other side of the wall. Eyes that had been just as interested in the destruction until also being able to see beyond the barrier.
She waved at the girl with the green eyes.
The girl waved back.
Hidden within the most apparent
sight, clouding out the mind from
veracity that all wish to become-
hidden for good. This abhorrent
disguise is not enough transparent.
While hurting all who come,
insistent upon the painful thrum
of distorted words vital to hunt inherent.
Yet then, at the end of all days
there comes the moment when
stripping off the skin is air
and truth comes forth like a blaze.
The moment has passed and then
Reality blooms forth from everywhere.