Ky’Elli has been subdued all evening, her mood affecting my own. I had hoped that eating would help. Food always seemed to cheer her up, but after dinner, both of us wander aimlessly about the apartment, sadness pouring off of her and into me. She reaches through the bond almost unconsciously, sharing her upset to ease her own burden of sorrow.

Today has been tough. Filled with emotion for both of us. From our breakfast with Dion to our trip into the forest.  We have both been faced with harsh realities today. She with what she had given up and me with guilt, fear, and that shock of…I do not even know what to name it, at the sight of that warrior.

Unable to stand the quiet and the feeling of being trapped indoors, I grab my violin and we make our way to the roof. Ky’Elli follows me to the edge of the Olympus building and then settles a few feet away. Her body glows with lines of blue as she watches me intently.  Her voice quiet in my mind, where I have begun to become accustomed to her constant chatter. She now sits, quiescent and waiting. We watch the sunset, and then the moonrise, the light of it energizing me and soothing me all at once. I lift my face to the silver beams, the wind tugs and plays through my hair, the ends caressing my cheeks.  The sky is studded with stars, the sight always one that comforts me. Their brilliance in the night sky and the beauty of the galaxies that they form reminiscent of Nyx’s eyes. I feel her all around me tonight, can nearly scent her on the wind. 

I brace my bare feet wide and cradle the violin in my hands, its weight familiar and comforting. Lifting it to my shoulder, I pull the bow across the strings. Ky’Elli’s body tenses and her eyes go wide, the ghostly blue of her irises swirling in response to the first lamenting notes that flow into the dark. I take the emotions, both my own and hers, and pour them out through the music, allowing the night to absorb the loss, sadness, and fear. It is all I can think to do to help the small creature. She listens intently, pawing experimentally at the magic of the music that colors the night breeze. 

The voice of the instrument carries over the city and into the woods. It settles over the land and in the touch of it, there is a remnant of the power that Demeter’s brew had opened in me. I adjust to temper and control those foreign bits, careful to not allow the power to affect the darker magic of the woods. It was acquiescent after its adventures last night, easy to control after having been allowed to feed and play.

My knees dip and the tempo of my song changes, taking on a harder, edgier sound. I dance a few steps along the raised ledge of the tower, my bare feet sure along the small space, the stone still holding a bit of warmth from the day. Ky’Elli jumps up behind me, her wings outstretched for balance and pads lightly in my wake. I keep a close eye on her as she attempts to copy some of my hops. Her wings flutter as I shift my hips from side to side in a sensual echo of the hard rhythm. My laughter plays out over the city as she wiggles her backend in imitation.

I lift the violin and do a small pirouette there on the corner of the building, the music drifting from the harder notes to ones that are light and sparkling. The sound reminiscent of youth, innocence, and brand new beginnings. In the voice of the strings is the promise of hope, laughter and of the dreams of the young. The notes luminescent sparks that dance around both of us in the night.  I spin again and again, Ky’Elli gaining a little bit of air as she uses her wings to spin next to me. I feel her begin to lighten as I siphon off more of her emotions and turn them loose.

The memory of Dion’s expression as her wings smacked against his ears forces a laugh from my lips, the sound twining with the call of the music, the color of it gold fireflies in the night air.  Tiny sparking stars that bond with the voice of the violin, creating an arcane spell formed from chaos and primal power. Newborn galaxies spill from the rooftop and find resting places in the world. I wonder at it and contemplate the beginning of this world. Was this how it all began? With the coalescence of music and laughter and sorrow and hate and hope? Are the Gods made up of that first collision of sound and magic? The immortals the pieces that just glow a bit brighter?  Mortals and other life just how the elements came together to create and evolve into what we have now? Is this how all life begins? Just one being after another, creating endless possibilities of life, unaware of what they have created?

I close my eyes moving along the rooftop, Ky’Elli frolicking between my feet, my fingers flowing over the strings as they give voice to my power. The darkness of it playing and dancing around me in sharp swoops and smoky swirls. The touch of it reminding me of my walk through the woods the night before.

I let the music pour from me, trail off into the night. My toes at the edge of the abyss and the wind pushing against us both, teasing and cajoling as if it had enjoyed our small concert and wants an encore. Ky’Elli twines about my legs, coming to rest between my feet.  I bend and set the violin carefully aside and pluck Ky’Elli up into my arms, holding her close, inhaling the unique scent of her, like the smell of hot cinnamon and smoke. My body shudders with fear as I imagine the doorways I could have opened. There are chaotic and horrible realms that exist alongside earth.  Doorways that have been closed for eons and for good reasons.

I stare at Ky’Elli, my gaze meeting the otherworldly glow of hers. The soft voice in my head as fearful as my own thoughts, “Kiri…are you afraid of me?  Kiri, why are you so afraid?”  

I shake my head. “No, mikros, I am not afraid of you. I am afraid of what I might have let into the world.”   

Lowering, I sit cross-legged at the edge of the night, gathering Ky’Elli onto my lap, my hand stroking over her with a soothing touch as I watch the universe spin out before me. “Ky’Elli, what does Kiri mean?”  

She turns her eyes to me, her expression still solemn. “It means we are bonded. It is you and I.  It means that we will be together always. It means that I cannot be without you and you cannot be without me. Kiri is you.  Kirir is us.”

“Why do you do this?  Why do you bond?” I ask gently, tipping my head down to look into eyes so unique and otherworldly.

“It is what we are.  We bond and we help to make our Kirir stronger.  We are warriors and we are better with than without.  Those that do not bond go feral, but I bonded early. We are not supposed to bond until we are bigger.  But I found you because you were lost.” Her expression takes on an almost exasperated cast. “I do not know why you were so far away!  You should have stayed close, Kiri.”

My gaze focuses on the forest, searching the darkness between the trees. Confronting the memory of what I had seen there.  What I had encountered. Remembering the realm she had shown me, the creatures that lived there and that one…that man. Who was he?  It was as if he sensed me, but that should not have been possible. It was not even my casting. The rhythmic slide of fur beneath my palm calms me and I anchor myself in the sensation.  Feeling the tingle of Ky’Elli’s magic as it twines about my fingers, foreign and familiar all at once. It plays over my skin in blue vaporous tendrils before returning to her. 

I watch as Ky’Elli’s eyes drift closed and her small body relaxes beneath my touch. I reach along our bond and find her mind going quiet and the bright blue flame of her calming from the riotous emotions that had held us both in their grip.

Nemesis (Aisling MacKay)
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