Two of the most recent incarnations of the avatars have an important discussion.
|The sound was like a gunshot going off in a silent room. Even with the traffic and the rain falling around him, that sound was still as plain as day. Everything around him slowed so much that even the rain ceased to fall. He swiped away the few drops that were in his direct line of vision, and suddenly she appeared. Tall, with dark blond hair that twisted in corkscrew ringlets, she was wrapped in a coat though it looked as if the rain had never even touched her. It had been raining for some time, but he knew her. She was different. A snap of her fingers could make the entire world stand still.
"Why are you here?" her voice was calm but stern as she pushed several large ringlets out of her eyes.
He took a step toward her, and she held up her hand as if she was going to snap her fingers again. He froze. If there was anything he knew for sure, it was that she liked to be in control of the situation. "We need to talk." Again, he swatted droplets away from his face. Man, he hated when she did this. It was all show though.
Her blue eyes watched him carefully, and she waited a bit before shaking her head. "There's nothing to discuss. You know that."
Normally, when faced with something she didn't want to deal with, she'd turn and run. This time, as he watched her, he noticed something different in her. There was a strength inside her that he'd never seen before. He could only assume that the power she'd been given had stirred something inside of her; though, he wasn't entirely sure that was a good thing. "There's a lot to discuss." Cautiously, he took a small step away from the curb and into the street that separated them. Everything was so perfectly still and beautiful. The drops of rain that lingered in the air as if floating in outer space bounced off his body and slowed to a stop some distance away.
"Like?" She was still watching his every move with those cool blue eyes. They were always the most striking part of her face, and you could see them watching you from across a crowded room when she wasn't hiding them behind glasses or that hair of hers.
He hesitated. Should he take another step closer or just speak to her from there? He tried both at once, "Like why you won't come back to us?" He gave her a concerned glance as he made himself look very non-threatening and took another step into the street. "We need you. How are we supposed to continue if we aren't all together?"
"You need me?" An angry smile crossed her face and she laughed a little. "You--" she dropped her hands and tucked them into her coat pockets as she shook her head. "You definitely do not need me. Isn't that what was said?" Again, she laughed. It would have been beautiful had it not been followed such an angry stare. "You all said you didn't need someone that couldn't hold herself together under pressure. You didn't need someone that couldn't make a decision. You didn't need someone that thought mercy was something for fools and false prophets."
"I never said that--"
"It was implied!" she screamed, and thunder rolled across the dead silence of the moment. Her hands were out of her pockets, fingers balled up into tight fists. Another quick fit of rage. This was what had changed inside her. Rage had taken her over. He had always thought it would have been him, but it seemed that the unbridled powers she possessed proved to be too much for someone so sweet and giving. She gave so much of herself to it that it consumed her very soul, leaving nothing but bitterness. They were neither human nor divine, caught between the worlds like so many others before them. Humans feared them as devils. The divinities looked down their noses at them like some sort of bastard children that they chose not to speak about ever again.
"Look at yourself." His steps toward her were still slow but steady. He stopped at the halfway point, his feet planted firmly on the lines that divided the street. "You're letting him control you. Even if you can't feel it, he is." So close. He needed to get closer, but patience did happen to be his virtue. "By going off on your own, you're feeding his ego. We all know they're using us, but you were always the one that bucked the hardest. So why are you giving in now?"
The feelings deep inside stirred. She had always felt a kinship with him. They were like family. He was her brother, even if they weren't truly related. They watched each other's backs and kept each other safe in these bad times. Who was she without him and the rest of her little adopted family?
"I just can't do it anymore." The rage that had been there was gone. Now all he could sense was her despair at the thought that she'd lost herself. "I can't fight it all anymore. I just want it all to go away." There weren't any tears falling just yet, but he knew there would be soon.
"Why? What changed?" He started his steps again. Slow and careful steps that would close the gap between them. He just wanted to get close enough to remind her that this wasn't something she had to do alone. They were all fighting their demons. What made her fight so different?
"I'm just so tired." Those blue eyes closed as her voice became a whisper. She wrapped her arms around herself as if she were cold and began to turn away.
"Please!" He tried not to sound desperate as he neared the very edge of the curb. "Don't leave, Sophia, please."
She hesitated, opening her eyes again to look at her dear friend. She could see him as he was before these times. Desperate for that connection. Hoping for the best, but knowing he'll be disappointed. "There's nothing I can do, Alex. I can't help you. He has me wrapped around his finger, and I can't get free anymore."
"Then come with me! He can't touch you when you're with us. We'll keep you safe!" He did not dare step up to her for fear she'd bolt. Instead, he stood his ground where he was.
"You would protect me from a god? He'd kill you in a heartbeat if it wasn't--"
"If it wasn't for the fact that he'd start a feud he isn't at all prepared for." It wasn't quite what she was thinking, but it was close. That pompous water god wouldn't dare strike down the avatar of another god. He feared retribution even if he wouldn't admit it. Finally, he found the strength to step up even with her and look into her eyes. "Come back with me. We need you. We miss you."
She watched his face and saw the sincerity. It covered his features. She should have known he wouldn’t lie to her, but she still couldn't trust it all. She smiled softly and raised a hand to touch his face in a friendly way. "There's no turning back from my path," her voice was like a whisper as she gave him that smile.
He tried to stop her, but her movement was swift. He needed to catch her hand, but his fingers missed. Again, the sound of Sophia snapping her fingers was like the roar of a cannon in the dead of night. It echoed once, like a rolling thunder clap, and he felt himself being battered by the heavy rainfall. People shuffled around him as if they had known he was there all along but could not be seen. He'd failed her, and now they were still stuck trying to figure out how to do this without her.
Word Count: 1335
Written: Spring 2012