This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part 2 of 5)

tswos

Part Two of Five

WATER & WIND

“The Old Ways are lost,” she said, raising the athame above her head in reverence. She was skyclad, overlooking the tumultuous waters of the Mississinewa from the limestone cliff, her raven’s perch.

“Not lost,” a voice replied from the unnatural mist, “merely obscured, young one.”

“There’s little room for romanticism here, Dr. Connors,” she said. She turned to see the approaching figure. He was slightly above average height, with long reddish blond locks spilling over his bare shoulders. He was leaning heavily on his cane, more heavily than usual. He was in pain. She could see it etched on his face.

“Landon,” he said, adding, “If not here, then where?”

Connors stood before her, the wind whipping his hair back as the gods took notice of the couple’s proximity. He reached out and clasped his free hand over both of hers, sliding the ceremonial blade from her grip. He raised it up, eyes lifted, gazing into the swirl of black clouds that undulated above them.

connorssorrow

“Bòidhchead,” he called into the swirling storm, “na diathan a ‘fàs!” He brought the blade down and touched it to his throat. “Leanabh gaoithe.” Connors then lowered the sacred knife and rested the blade’s edge on his left breast. “Banrigh uisge.” He allowed the knife to glide across his flesh, a trickle of blood slowly cascading down his chest and stomach. “Comharra airson amàireach agus amàireach às deidh sin!”

Lightning flashed overhead, arcing through the tempestuous clouds. Tears swelled in Tracy Larson’s eyes. She touched her stomach, that place where her child had once been. Now barren, today and all the days to come. Her daughter had seen to that, when she crawled out of her womb and spread her dark wings, an ancient thing born again.

Despite the sorrow that welled up inside her, she had nothing but love for the child, and for the man that stood with her now. Even knowing his role in the path ahead, she could not fault this magician. The stakes were unimaginable.

She laid her hand on his right, that which clutched the silver skull handle of the antiquated cane that he clung to for support. She hoped that some of that support, in a spiritual sense, would be transferred from it to her.

When the lights of a car fell upon them, the pair turned, raising hands to shield against the wretched glare. The rain came then, in a torrent, as wind and water took horrific form, lashing out as if a harbinger of the news to come.

Alethea Hill stepped out of the mid-seventies Skylark wrapped in a long raincoat, her umbrella doing little to protect her from the storm’s wrath.

“Thea?” Connors called out over the thundering torrent. “What is it?” He staggered toward her, against the wind, his naked flesh stinging from the pelting rain.

“A call from Guy,” she said, shouting above the roar. “He said, Es tut mir leid.” The wind knocked her against the car and ripped the umbrella from her hands. It rose up into the sky, twirling like some sort of black caped ballerina. “Damn it,” she shouted.

“You’re sure,” Connors said coming to her side. He looked back toward Tracy. “Es tut mir leid?”

“Yes,” she replied. “What does that mean? My German’s rather rusty.”

I am sorry,” Connors muttered. He touched his assistant’s cheek and feigned a grin. “Have Rhodes prep Icarus,” he said, “transfer my outstanding cases to Selina and Martin, and let Michelle know I’ll need a raincheck for this weekend.”

“Right,” Thea said. “And Tracy?” she added, looking toward to windswept teen standing naked on the cliff-edge. She had turned away from them and was embracing the wicked storm’s assault. Her arms were outstretched, like she was conjuring the maelstrom itself.

“Tracy,” Connors replied, “will be coming with me.”

to be continued

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