Sunday, July 10, 2016
Chapter 42: Healer
There are two of them, and neither is any older than Izalee.
"Who are you and what do you want!" the girl has hair like Layla's and a nose like Izalee's. Obviously terrified, she snarls at them and moves to shield the boy with her arms.
Her eyes dart to the child bleeding to death in the sand. "Whatever you mean to do to us, you'd best re-think it right now..."
Izalee holds up her witch's wand. The strangers in front of her look human, but they have considerable supernatural energy. She can feel it creeping at the edges of her consciousness, pressing down on her mind, threatening to confuse and overwhelm her...
The boy moves forward, out of the girl's grasp. "Rain," he says. "You're alive."
Rain steps closer to them. She has never seen them before, but she feels as if she knows them. As if she has always known them. "P-please," she stammers. "My magic... I can barely control it, I didn't mean to hurt anything, but I needed someone to save my sister... that must be you."
"You're a healer," the boy reminds the girl.
She lowers her defenses. Allows herself to breathe. She senses no deception in these folk, only fear. It's a familiar feeling. She's felt little but numbing fear for too long now. It is time to feel something else.
"You're a healer," he says again.
"That I am," she responds.
Izalee has never seen magic quite like this. It's true, her frame of reference is limited, but to see such a grievous injury repaired so quickly... it is breathtaking. And mystifying.
Layla blinks awake. A few words with her cousins confirms she's no worse for wear. Just a little confused. Wasn't she in school?
Rain was startled when the boy hugged her, but she didn't protest. She's more startled to feel warm tears dripping down on her shoulder.
"I'm glad you're alive," he whines.
"W-why wouldn't I be?" she stammers.
He pulls away, embarrassed, puzzled... "Of course you're alive," he chides himself. "We're still young. The odds are in your favor. That changes now you've met me. I should leave."
"Wait!" Rain pleads. "How do you know my name?"
He turns away. "I don't know your name."
"And you aren't going to tell anyone about us?" Izalee's mumbled apologies about Rain's barely controlled teleportation power turn into fear again. "I don't know you, you don't know me..."
"That is right," the girl confirms wearily. "We're both fugitives. All witches are. Running, or already dead, or one of the enemy. Our fate until long after I'm gone. Someone is supposed to change it. I'm called Cayenne."
Izalee shakes her head. What was all that? A recitation of some kind of prophecy? "How can we repay you for saving Layla?"
Cayenne blushes. "Some food and a shower would be nice."
Rain's arguing with the stranger is of no avail. He has turned his attention to the ocean and is murmuring incomprehensibly.
"He knows you from another life," Cayenne interrupts, stopping Rain's interrogation. "Possibly more than one. He sees the past of our timeline with psychometric abilities. He derives that from his surroundings. Physical locations and objects."
Cayenne watches Rain closely for any sign of understanding. Surely one day Cayenne will meet someone who knows what she's talking about. Someday she will find someone who can help her brother. "But... sometimes, from other people, he sees erased timelines. Ones that are dead now. Your spirit remembers what your mind doesn't. Maybe you helped us before. Maybe we repaid a debt just now? I don't know how it balances out. I used to think my brother was crazy. Knowing things he couldn't know, knowing people we've never met. But I've... seen things, since then."
Rain only stares.
Cayenne continues, seeming sad, resigned, "We are searching for Lethe. Do you know where it is?"
Rain shakes her head no. She has never heard of such a place, or entity, or thing. She only has the nagging suspicion that she should know. "What's Lethe?"
"A weapon against our enemy. The only one that ever worked. My brother knows where to look... sort of... but getting there... well... it's safer if I don't say more."
"He knows my name. I don't know his." The thought troubles Rain, unreasonably so.
"Luis," he lies, predictably.
Cayenne sighs. She shares a metaphysical bond with her twin; she knows both too many and yet not enough details of what he's thinking. Whoever Rain is, or was, he's afraid to see her too involved. So afraid he won't even tell her his name, for fear it would resurrect some lost inclination. He messed up in the first place, hugging Rain and causing a scene, but he's back to normal now. Back to the present. Thinking about the future.
Etc.: The guy hates his name, so he keeps changing it!
This chapter and its "new" characters are dedicated to ReyaD / Cece. I don't know if she still lurks around legacies or not, but if she does... HI! If anyone recognizes Cayenne and Luis, from their other lives, it'd be her.
I remember when I wrote this, a plotline involving alternate realities was important to me, since it would tie into my Hidden Springs random legacy, which was/is on hiatus. I was hoping to use this blog as an intro to what was going to happen in the other one, without getting massively involved with the concept here. It's still possible I will finish the Archer legacy sometime, so I went ahead and left all this in. Because why erase it now? I'd been setting it up since Eris appeared in Chapter 1.
There are a lot of continuity references... Cayenne as a mage healer here, for example, when back in my completed Barnacle Bay legacy she was a medical doctor. The waters of the Lethe have appeared in my legacies before, several times, but were only once referred to by the actual name. I do not expect anyone to remember, just kinda letting you know where these next few chapters are coming from.