“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl
Gentil ran. Gentil ran and stumbled and tripped and followed his feet as if they were on autopilot. If his story truly began here, that’s what the first lines would be. But his story really did begin here; just not now. Sometime in his past, in this place - the seed germinated inside of his black heart and took root with the hope that he’d never return. But somehow he did.
Lamb… what have you done...
He slid against the door, his head felt heavier than the rest of his entire body combined. The heavy breathing revealed the dust and years gone, all in the faint odor of burnt paper and old books. The dark of the deepening afternoon was forgiving on his eyesight, his head still throbbing from the multiple head contusions and his chin was on his chest as he sat down.
He couldn’t respond to Gabe. He only gave the faintest of whimpers when he realized that even his own voice hurt his sensitive ears. His feet throbbed from all the running, still bare from when he gave up his boots. His belly itched where the piercing had been gone for nearly half a day and a dried film of sweat was making him feel uncomfortable in his own skin.
That was strange… his hand was up in front of his face and his sight was trying to focus. Those were definitely his dirty fingers, moving in that little stream of dusty sunlight that was piercing the drapes. Did he raise that hand? He looked beyond it to the window and then looked around the room. He knew this place. This was Gabriel Sunwing’s apartment.
Tipping forward on his hands and knees he crawled through the debris and made his way to the fireplace. There were half burned books, hand-written and otherwise in a penmanship he didn’t quite recognize. Was it his?
Don’t read it. Please…
'… because if they only knew who they were dealing with they would not do such. Anger boils inside of me and there are so many things I could do to crush them under my heels…'
Gentil leaned against the hearth and looked to the desk. Carefully he dragged himself to the chair and into it, nearly vomiting as his stomach flipped. He caught his breath although and pulled open the drawer.
Pictures of things he’d drawn. A key. A brittle scroll with the faint scent of thistle. A book that was bound with leather. He started to realize that it was Gabe that was sickened with what he saw and he was panting in a panic that didn’t show on his face.
When Gentil looked across the room he committed it to eye and realized that he could already guess where everything was. The spare candles. The hookah. The leather straps disguised as decoration on the bed. The cabinet of hallucinogens and the laundry chute. The dents in the wall where he’d punched it. And the mirror he used to admire himself in for hours…
Carefully he approached, more intrigued than afraid. It was tarnished; his reflection was blurred but he could still see the face reflected back at him. Images flashed through his mind of so many things that the mirror had seen. Violence, sex, drug induced stupors and spells… so many spells. Gentil reached to hold the frame and tilt it to face him. The face on the other side was looking away from him, struggling to breath between the sobs.
"They can’t hurt you anymore…" Gentil whispered.
The buzzing in his skull became a scream. He watched as the Shivarra raised the demon glassed dagger, her other arms shredding the cloth off his body and driving the blade into his spine as he watched his own horrid, twisted scream of torment.
The world went dark. It felt like a dream when Darnath’s strong hands lifted him into his arms and whispered assurances.