The stables were oddly empty of the usual staff, but it afforded me some much-desired privacy with the twins. I had time to introduce them to each of the horses, name by name, giving tidbits about their history and heroic deeds.
All three of us walked on in silence for a while. We were caught up in our thoughts, remembering these horrid things that I couldn’t fix or do over. I felt defeated, even more now that I saw all I could have prevented. It was a shame I would forever carry.
I imagined dragging this reticent round man by the scruff of his neck as he tried to physically find his footing just so he could keep up with me. Yet the best he could muster was a nonsensical toehold that provided a dubious dip and drag kind of experience. I could see sand spewing in every direction as if he was a wheel, feverishly churning and throwing mud all around.
How do you explain color to the blind? How do you tell a fish how it is to walk? If you were not there, if you did not experience the love they had for one another, then I could never explain it to you. It was an energy that filled the room. It was something that comforted and devoured you. And many times, I fell to tears after they left because I could no longer remember if I had ever felt that love for myself.
It was only a dream. I turned back to the sea and sat on the ground, bringing my knees to my chest. My wings opened, and I wrapped them around myself. It started to rain, which seemed fitting. I wiped at my face, trying to clear the hurt and sorrow I felt at the loss of something, no, someone so dear to me.
It is unfair. Why must I be the one to endure this? Why must I live in pain, alone, ugly, and unloved? Why do others get to enjoy existence? I am so tired, in every sense. So very tired. At last, I feel the pills take effect unless it is my imagination. The pain still seems to be there, but I find I care less. Perhaps I can sleep.
Adrestia jumped, whipping around and throwing a wild haymaker. I leaned back to avoid the lightning-fast punch, my hand coming up to catch the deceptively delicate fist as it came at my face. I studied Adrestia as images of her past deeds, good and bad, flashed through my mind at the skin-to-skin contact. It was all overshadowed by her panic and the jumbled memories that had sent her fleeing.
The doppelganger nods, moving behind me and merging with my shadow. I shake from the severe cold I feel, but it is only temporary. I look down at my shadow and see his wings flare behind me/us. I catch my reflection in a mirror behind the counter and blink. My right eye has gone pure black. I leave the store and step out into bright sunlight.
The water droplets fell free from my nose and chin, and I opened my eyes slowly to stare down at my reflection. I looked paler than usual. A black tear dripped from the corner of my eye. I blinked. Perhaps my eyes were blurry? I rubbed them, then continued to stare. But my reflection only worsened.
I stand and stretch my body, feeling my joints crack and connect. I reach for the gray sky and let out a howl to let the Underworld know I am alive. I expand my wings far and wide. They sting, and I flinch. Not yet, I am not able to fly just yet, but I already knew that. I am far too weak in both body and mind.
He smirked and tilted his head like he was trying to make a decision, so I threw a pillow at him, aiming for his head. His hand shot out, catching it before it could hit him. “You’re no fun.” He really was, and we both knew it.