by Scy

Sometimes Connor woke up with blood in his mouth. The flavor was like the dreams that flaked away with open eyes. Those mornings he could only move slowly, as though held back by what he couldn't remember.

He thought about sunlight and shortcuts to a safety that he had taken as right for as long as he could recall.

But there was something slithery out there. Curled up on the edge of busy lives where nobody wanted to look over their shoulder because what followed was unavoidable.

Like a woman with a knife.

It took too long for him to shake off the memory of her face. Not at its most joyful but the last, gone from him forever. Somehow his fault.

"It's not true," he begged. As if that whisper had the power of a wish.


In dreams that felt like drawn-out hints of remember.. he saw the faces of the dead, and knew them for kin. They watched from a distance that he couldn't cross.

Wanted because of what, not who he was.

She, that unnamed melding of purity and absolutes, would understand that. Or at least she would tell him she did. Whether or not there was a difference was beyond him and he awoke feeling that he had missed something repeatedly.

He walked outside upon waking, still too confused to let the familiar soothe him. The feel of his bitten lip made him think that something about life was too simple. As though other lessons had been taught that he cannot recall, and others awaited.

Nighttime was bigger then he'd realized, as though he could step into it and get lost. Open spaces were never so large as when they'd been missed. It took no effort to see beyond the limits of a life 'good enough' for anyone who didn't fall into the mud and find cover, or think of 'family' and 'wounded' as one thing.

Aware was a state he'd only had the barest understanding of prior to realizing he wasn't. Now he stepped off his doorstep looking for what would fit images together in some greater picture of life and was unsurprised to see a young man small but not weak, hair like a shock of color for the first time too carefully positioned to be anything other than waiting to see what he would do next.


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