Beginning of an Aftermath
This is a scene from the Book I’ve been writing, mentioned in previous posts. This is not a fan-fiction. These are original characters in an original story from the mind of myself. Please do not recreate or distribute without permission.
Permission is easily attainable by messaging me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The human species often retains the remnants of an infantile object permanence; particularly upon visiting a member of a family unit or a space of significance. We expect that when we leave that place or those people, they will enter a pocket of existence undeterred by the axial rotations of a carbon stone orbiting a dying star, unfractured by the endless replication of chromosomes. We expect that when they open their doors to us even years later, they will be just standing from that chair they had just rested in upon telling you goodbye. Often this is characterized by your grandmother marveling at your growth, her house still smelling of the sugar cookies she baked with you five years ago as if they were baked just hours prior. But the pocket of existence is always in our minds: the telomeres shrink, the soccer field is levelled on behalf of enterprise. The sun ceases to rise.
The significant injury of loss is caused by the shattering of this object permanence: you realize all along that those people, that place was never in that bubble of existence. It was all a self-comforting illusion your neurons created to maintain the semblance of reality. A combination of neurotransmitters and stress hormones release; constricting the muscles in your chest and building that ball of sorrow in your throat. The tears flow.
And yet the moment Hazel saw him standing in the door, it was as if he’d never entered the pocket of existence that throttled his body into the lightless abyss between the stars. His hair had never turned to that ashy brown, his eyes never faded, his breathing had never faltered. He stood as certain as any of the universe’s foundational laws: that a body with significant mass will attract objects to it, that oxygen bumping into volatile elements will certainly ignite.
The embers of his hair flickered light against the door frame, his large arms crossed over his chest. Hazel’s breath hitched, and the sensation of an oncoming train roared through her chest, rattling her ribcage as she stared openly at him, jaw sliding ajar.
Within a moment, the illusion was shattered. The initial grief of his passing collapsed around her, and she could clearly hear the crack as reality splintered like glass around her. The sharp edges sliced through her proverbial armor, leaving her spiraling through space like the pod they’d shuttled his body with.
He didn’t smile, and his red eyes didn’t dance in pleasant humor. His eyebrows were drawn in a serious countenance and creases at the corner of his eyes displayed a weariness she’d never seen him wear. The endless nights of tears filtered through her mind’s eye; the dead appetite, the screaming, the labor pains of a birth she should have never experienced alone, the painful gift that burned through her veins and left her without breath if she hadn’t a cautious grip on her own abilities.
“I don’t think I need to introduce you two,” Niv’adde murmured beneath his breath, leaning back against the counter.
Hazel swallowed, leveling her steely gaze at the man. He met her gaze as he always had, with a strength of a thousand horses. “Merrikh.”