Souls' Rebellion: Part 4

After what seemed forever, their lips parted and Petrik looked into her face. “Please...a name...anything.” He was shaking and could barely breathe; there was something wrong with his throat, and the words came out thickly.

          “I am Kaya Mu’Lezir. I am a wanderer.”

          Petrik’s eyes followed her lithe form as she stepped away.

          “My people are the Drow - Barrow Elves. Yes, I am Elven.” She pulled back her hair briefly to reveal sharply pointed ears, each pierced with gleaming silver loops, in more places than one. “I ran away from my people two years ago when I realized I would never get to see the world if I did not. You see, my Aunt is my guardian and kept me...controlled.” She grimaced slightly, but continued. “My people do not have many laws, and they will not interfere with a guardian’s rule. And, although my people would not keep any from freely coming and going, they also would not smile on a disobedient ward. I chose to escape, and will never return until I am strong enough to go where I will, unchallenged.

          “I have been alone for two years. When I saw you, I knew I would be alone no more.”

          “What do you mean?” Petrik felt as though he was walking a dangerous line. She was Drow? They were barbaric! Well, she had attacked him. But, she had been vulnerable, too. And soft...very soft. She did not seem evil. But how could he know? Was she playing him? What did he really know about the Drow? Rumors and hearsay. He had not paid much attention to the other races. They simply were, and he’d had no reason to worry overmuch about them when his life had seemed so perfect. “How can you...know?”

          She cocked her head at him. “I am Drow.” She looked as though she thought this was explanation enough. “You have secrets.” She stepped closer again. “Your thoughts are your own. But...perhaps you are not so alone anymore, either.”

          Sulin...the memories came flooding back. Suddenly, Petrik found himself on his knees, arms wrapped across his chest, his body wracked with the uncontrollable wave of tears that streamed unbidden down his face. Visions of Sulin, like bright fireworks in his mind, flashed across his memory. Sulin as he had first seen her in the village with her mother...Sulin in the meadow, barefoot and smiling...Sulin on their wedding day...Sulin by the fire in the great room with her stitching...Sulin with her children, laughing and playing together...Sulin gazing coyly up at him from their bed...Sulin cradling their firstborn son...he would never see her could this be?...why should this have happened to her?... why?

          Slowly, Petrik became aware that he was lying on his side, his head pillowed on Kaya’s thigh as she shushed softly and smoothed his hair back.

          “My...” He cleared his throat, and tried again. “My wife, Sulin, d-died giving birth a few months ago. I’ve not been home since the memorial. I haven’t even seen my newborn child. I can’t allow myself to go back...” he choked, “until I’m sure I wouldn’t hate the child.” He took another shuddering breath. “That is all there’s to tell.”

          There was a long pause. Then she breathed “That is much.”


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