June 8, 2008

In the Hands of Others (5 of 20)

Thread: Alpha and Omega

Fay grabbed Ariadne’s hair down to the floor and yelled, ‘We are Cloth! Belief is rock! Truth-’

And all was still.

The tugging on Ariadne’s roots relaxed, but too scared to look up, Ariadne continued to cower.

Fay knelt down to Ariadne and smiled. ‘Sorry, love. Old habits… they die very, very hard. I just can’t afford to lose you and this… it’s the only way I know how to teach someone to stay alive. Our training… you’d be sick if I told you.’

Ariadne shuddered and cried, unsure whether her so-called friend was about to lose it again. Fay crept around behind her and sat down with her legs encircling Ariadne, as if she were a child.

Fay said, ‘I don’t know what it is to be, real, y’know, a person. I never knew, right from the beginning. And after all this, can I be? Let’s be honest about this. Do I want to be?’

‘Why… why not?’

‘Look, you don’t know. Better you don’t, really. You can still have children. You have a beautiful little boy, Ariadne. I did see. But I see different to you. What I am trained to see is vulnerability; I got the instinct to meddle, damage, interfere. The Cloth knew that, it’s what they seek out. Rule breakers. It’s better to stay dead, really, to not feel and be okay with the whole expendable thing. When you start feeling, that’s when you go bad, and the fruit rots on the inside, but the skin still looks shiny and tasty…’

‘Okay.’ Ariadne was still shaking. She didn’t understand anything Fay was saying but wasn’t about to prod Fay back into another burst of insane rage.

‘Clothmen are golems fashioned from the darkest of hearts. Most have forgotten their designated purpose, but a few of the Saints still hope to trigger something wondrous. And they have, they have, Ariadne, but it will probably unmake us all. There is a book yet to be written, our final religious work. One of its lines will be: Know that we are terminal.

Fay slid a hand up Ariadne’s torso, and it came to rest on Ariadne’s left breast.

‘See, girl,’ Fay said. ‘I really am trying to re-learn. What… does this’ – the pressure from Fay’s hand on Ariadne’s breast increased slightly – ‘mean?’

Ariadne broke out of Fay’s grasp and moved around to face her, hunched over, tired. Fay was bemused at Ariadne’s reaction. Ariadne noticed something new: Fay was utterly exhausted with heavy bags dragging beneath the eyes.

Ariadne spoke seriously. ‘Fay, what is it you want from us?’

Fay smiled to herself and started looking all over the ceiling, as if following some imaginary fly on its trajectory. ‘I need you to repay me, girl.’

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1728

2 Responses to “In the Hands of Others (5 of 20)”

  1. Jennifer wrote on 10-Jun-2008 @ 2115:

    Blimey! The sea air has done you good!

    I’m really enjoying this story!

    Well done you!


  2. Jennifer wrote on 10-Jun-2008 @ 2115:

    Blimey! The sea air has done you good!

    I’m really enjoying this story!

    Well done you!


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