Wax And Wane Pt 5

From the Story Arc: Coming Home

Previous Story in the Arc: Wax And Wane Pt 4 by Victoria Victrix (Monday, January 12, 2009)

Next Story in the Arc: Wax And Wane Pt 6 by Victoria Victrix (Monday, January 12, 2009)

(posted Monday, January 12, 2009)

((written by Red Djinni))

They parted ways, with firm handshakes and hugs.

Red Djinni, still easing back into his abilities, opted to stroll towards the Atlas Park Gate.

Titian Paladin, still encased in his armor, disappeared into the trees.

Shuma waited until they were out of sight, then knelt in the grass by the banks of Everett Lake. She should have walked with Red. He had always been like a brother to her - the older brother who looked out for the young ones, who would teach and watch and laugh with them. The type of brother she should have had from the start. She would have walked with Red, but she had been forced to be around others, to fight and had barely a moment to think since…

Since…

This was her first real moment alone.

Family. She had so many families now, such different families. The Hand of the Goddess, the Murdocks, the CCCP, and scattered amongst them, members of the Restore Paragon Congress. The Hand of the Goddess had barely looked at her, much less spoken to her, since the time her powers first manifested. The Murdocks, bless them all, had taken her in without question. She was the Big Sister there, and a Murdock now, through and through. The CCCP, as crazed a group as any could be, was still a place of love and trust and responsibility. She had always carried her membership with pride. And the Congress, again, a strange and motley assembly, could still be counted upon in any emergency. There were true heroes in this city. Such as the time the CCCP came under fire from the Council. Did not the Congress rally to defend the Row and the surrounding gates? And that crisis with Gaia’s Soldier. Did not the Congress rise to the occasion, aiding in a near impossible battle on the isles of Talos?

Shuma frowned. How had that ended again? Ah well, no matter. They had won, obviously.

Family. And if she ever lost any of them, she would mourn. She would wail and scream damnation against all the gods that be. She would tear down the walls of heaven itself in her rage. But she knew, in her heart, that she could go on. With time her wounds would close, her soul would mend, and she would stand. Tall. She would find herself again.

Red Djinni had summed it up fairly well. “What doesn’t kill ya, darlin’, makes ya stronger.”

But this time? No. She didn’t think so. It was one thing to lose those close to you, even those who felt as if they were a part of you. Rip them away, like losing an arm, and after the pain, the denial, the grief… you would find a new balance. In time, you might even find a new strength in yourself, because you had survived. If you lost an appendage there would always be a ghostly pain, remnants and longing for something no longer there. But what if the wound went deeper?

What if they had cut out your heart?

“What doesn’t kill me,” Shuma sniffed. Finally, she pulled the doll away and held it up. Its happy smile and mismatched button eyes beamed back at her.

“Oh my sister… Shuma is sorry, so sorry! Sorry-”

Her eyes welled with tears, and she began to shake, to shudder and wail. She collapsed onto the soft earth, her chest heaving uncontrollably, and screamed her pain.

The doll fell from her hands and came to rest on the ground, relaxed and seated, its smiling head tilted to one side. It watched her.