The Plans Of Others
by Pablo

Pellaz only very rarely remembers his other life, his life before he died.

Flashes of memory. Like glitter that catch at the corners of his mind and remind him of the way Rue paints his eyes. Thick outline that fades in a sparkle of colour. He can never see those images very clearly and he wonders whether or not that lends them a false charm? Whether that makes his previous life so much more attractive now that he's no longer forced to live it.

He remembers Mima less and less these days.

When he first left with Cal, the first tremulous footsteps towards his new life, he managed to forget her so quickly and that fact eats away at his insides, usually when he sleeps. The fact that he can't remember very much about her at all but mostly the fact that it was so easy to forget.

How they once shared so much and how little that must have meant to him.

When Pellaz pictures her in his mind's eye Mima looks very much like he himself does. Although he's sure they no longer look very similar at all. Her once lustrous raven hair must be bedraggled and peppered with grey now. Too much work and time spent in the open field would have darkened her skin, split the supple texture he remembers tracing with his fingers when they lay between the row of cable crops at night as they watched the sun fade. When night took over and the sky began to bleed so many shades of red.

Her skin would now be the colour of the nutmeg his mother kept in her kitchen. Rows of big earthenware pots that she'd open and use to spice their otherwise bland and frugal evening meals.

He hopes that she's happy, despite whatever has happened.

He tries not to wonder if she's dead. If she was caught up in the unrest and suffered the fate of so many others. Even Pellaz has heard the tales. The Hegemony can't keep him that sheltered, no matter how hard they try to keep him apart from the real world. They can't stop him from being able to hear the gossip. The way the servants talk of the extermination of man. The last dying vestiges of a decaying society before it is finally exterminated by nature.

Pellaz doesn't want to imagine that's the way it ended for her, a slow fading death compared to the expediency of his own.

So many whispered conversations, a ghoulish fascination with Man's final death throes. Pellaz never thought he would be so intimately involved, that he could be the one to kill his sister, albeit indirectly.

Instead he hopes that she's alive. His fractured and dim memories are the price he has to pay for living in ignorance. It may make him a coward but Pellaz thinks it better not to know.

Sometimes when he least expects it he recalls a moment, a flash that leaves a glittery trail on the inside of his mind.

When he was young Mima would make him sit at her feet while she brushed his hair. She would use a heavy brush that had belonged to their father's mother, a once white pearl handle that was now faded almost yellow. Age deteriorating the surface like it did with everything. The way that living made them all look so much older.

She'd start at the base of his hair and with long slow strokes she'd make his hair shine. And with each stroke she'd whisper words into his ear in a voice that was almost silent. Like the wind the words would brush against him, surround him and fill his mind with everything he needed to know.

Once she was finished he would ask her if she wanted him to brush her hair but her answer was always the same. No, it was up to her to look after him, it was her responsibility and she did it because she loved him.

He would smile and kiss her on the cheek, his lips brushing against the soft warmth of her skin. She would tell him that seeing him happy was all the thanks that she needed.

There's a reason Pellaz can't quite glimpse those memories. They no longer belong to him. They now belong to somebody else, the other person that he used to be. Before.

Before he died and was able to live for the first time.

He wouldn't ever wish his old life back but that doesn't stop Pellaz from hoping that his sister is well.


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