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Writer Lunassandra Hughes
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  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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6. “What would you do for Love?”
Lunassandra Hughes
Oct 26, 2017
10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!MPnAl5YgVQC7b9Jr27Ymposted on PENANA

This question began to haunt me about a decade after Noyliia’s death. I knew the same question had haunted my sister, but in a different way- Sverila had craved love like no one I had ever come across- indeed, she seemed to crave it even more than the most lovesick of mortals.copyright protection27PENANArOeF7j3bQh

But she found that she could not love mortals in the way that she desired- she wanted to be ensnared in love- it had been her dream since we were children. copyright protection27PENANAeD7BdsHcJC

She grew desperate and soon enough a century had passed and she came to me on a blue moon with a spur of the moment idea. copyright protection27PENANA2lJeutGxAE

She wanted to summon the Creatrix- the Mother of the gods, the Mother of our people- she wanted to summon her to plead for a wish.copyright protection27PENANAU2s8IArLMi

“Brother, do you not also have a wish for love? I know you do not wish to speak of her- but do you not also desire love? Think of it- a lover who would never stray from your side- who would love you equally as you deserve. You cannot wish to go on this way- all you have done for a century is brood in your temple and drive nomadic tribes into war. Anryien, big brother, please help me to grant not just my wish but one of yours as well.”copyright protection27PENANA30VaB8Djlm

I had thought hard on her desire and over the year I began to think hard on my desires as well. Her words had lured me to her side as she knew they would- my sister has always known me better than I know myself at times-I may be laughing as I say this but even as children she would suck me into her plans and we would be caught up in grand adventures that though dangerous, were exceedingly fun. copyright protection27PENANAVoHFCc9iJK

I had reservations of course, but who wouldn’t? One does not make a bargain expecting to only win, and certainly not with the Mother- the Mother loves her games almost as much as Sverila does. copyright protection27PENANAXDMqLu0dgM

And so when the next blue moon appeared in the sky I decided to help my sister in her quest. copyright protection27PENANAvjMruoA7HV

We waited until the middle of the night when all except for the criminals were asleep in our individual cities and we each opened a gate to the Veil Hall- a place separate from time and earth where we could summon the Mother to us. copyright protection27PENANAtDjajWnsf6

We each entered the Veil Hall from different doors- my sister’s a brilliant silver and mine an oppressive black- we met in the center upon a raised dais where a hidden stairwell was revealed when we both touched the bare stone. copyright protection27PENANAcdKZDwuEKK

Sverila wore a cunning grin on her face and I knew I matched hers easily. copyright protection27PENANAqf4dHyChFj

“Come.” copyright protection27PENANAd8WxjguHIK

A voice called from the bottom and we each bolted down the stairs in excitement. copyright protection27PENANAOVXyVB5pfP

The stairs could have been miles long, but we still would not have noticed as we laughed and lept from step to step.copyright protection27PENANAaG5eUMNw4s

It had been refreshing- to be so free from bonds, but also to feel so incredibly limited as we called on a being that was far older, far more powerful than either of us. copyright protection27PENANAPhBMPV2jCL

We were both so certain our wishes would be granted. copyright protection27PENANA3qG1ZCC51R

I do not know why, even in hindsight, why we were so certain- but we were.copyright protection27PENANAUbyZqsMdYR

When we finally reached the bottom of the steps we came across a mirrored octagon and for a moment everything was still and silent. copyright protection27PENANAFO9hAYcDiP

Then, in the span of a single breath, I saw something in the first mirror- Kamia’s silhouette gleaming back at me- her hair running free in a breeze, her thin patchwork dress dancing slowly in the wind. For a moment, I thought it was really her- that I could reach out and she would be there with a teasing frown and her chestnut eyes. copyright protection27PENANAolg5mfHZlJ

The very next moment her image dispersed and I was left feeling alone.copyright protection27PENANAQfUpflR2yP

In the second mirror I glimpsed a boy and girl made of sheer light- a light so brilliant and golden I thought that I was staring at the sun. copyright protection27PENANATdD2ve1IRj

They were my sister and I’s opposites in almost every way and I knew that boy- I had seen him only a dozen times by then. copyright protection27PENANAxgFNl2331o

It was Yiaren and he was narrowing his eyes on me in judgement as he was likely to do to anyone. The girl was not so clear to me- no, a mist obscured her and my sister must have seen the mist as well because she hissed beside me with a pitying look in her eyes. copyright protection27PENANAMSEHhT28WB

“She is his younger sister- was. Kren stole and killed her.” copyright protection27PENANAXPOBSkQT2H

Kren- Yiaren’s bitter enemy, my mind had supplied then. He had been a malevolent war spirit- yes, there had been talk for centuries when the young would-be sun goddess was killed. copyright protection27PENANAczYRnkTrnV

That image too flickered and dispersed. copyright protection27PENANAQaNuS4oVck

The third image was that of Noyllia when their early days, radiant from a hunt, but her eyes glazed as if her mind was far from her as well. copyright protection27PENANAwaalM2FCWI

The fourth image was of a field, flush with the burgeoning life of spring- animals grazing in the trees and grasses, but something lay beyond it- I could see through the glittering perfection of the scene and could spot the broken glamour entrance where a spire reached proudly into the heavens. It was a castle from an era long into the future, though the importance of the scene has always evaded me.copyright protection27PENANAk8hi0FCU60

The fifth image shifted to my sister and I found myself unable to see anything in those mirrors that followed, but I could see the hope flicker over Sverila’s features, then excitement, irritation, and then I could see it all click with something within her and I knew my twin was dead set on completing her quest at all costs.copyright protection27PENANAPXbCr3HQZU

It was a bad sign, but I did not recognize it as such at the time. copyright protection27PENANAbv4lRRoxtk

The mirrors themselves shattered and dispersed into mist and we found ourselves in a grand room that though large, was simple in its elegance. My darkness was at home here, but so was light and the power that swept through the room was so cloying I felt I might choke on it. copyright protection27PENANAfOtx6ucJoj

In the center of the room lay an enthroned statue of a woman- the Mother, her hand teasing into the marble curls of a little girl who was curled against her, the girl’s head braced against the Mother’s heart. copyright protection27PENANAJegURIYyyY

I knew that it was supposed to be Yiaren’s younger sister as soon as I set eyes on her stone form- the mist from the mirror also obscuring the statue’s features as well. copyright protection27PENANAsKux5lpuST

“Mother,” Sverila began, stepping forward to approach the statue. copyright protection27PENANAP8HiFOMRxb

I have never seen my sister do as she did then since- she fell to her knees in prayer. copyright protection27PENANAbhpsbhaaPJ

Her- a goddess herself! copyright protection27PENANA8itDQzYf3R

It astonished me then and it still does. copyright protection27PENANA8SZQbFEYxb

“Children.” The voice called back and I recoiled. copyright protection27PENANA9IszaEQlPG

“You would both ask of me a boon.” The Mother’s voice breathed and her power released a pulse of air. copyright protection27PENANA4YZyBP7A4a

“Yes.” We replied, Sverila from her kneel and me from my astonished stance.copyright protection27PENANAsd3s3f7IdE

“Daughter, what would you have of me?”copyright protection27PENANAUnmnXx1OSR

Sverila gaped for a moment, awe gazing out from her eyes. copyright protection27PENANAuXQtvrjC2o

“I.. I wish to know what true love feels like.”copyright protection27PENANANuBRWF63ok

I felt the Mother turn her glance upon me then. copyright protection27PENANAIiH4FECHsu

“And you, my son?”copyright protection27PENANAzXsprXRKAT

“I wish for equal, requited love.”copyright protection27PENANA9onLgkrmoP

She hummed and her power danced in the room like a patient, musing caress. copyright protection27PENANAG68obN3Nvw

“What would you pay for your wish? Daughter, you have granted the wishes of mortals before- you know the wishes held dearest hold the dearest prices.”copyright protection27PENANAi4tLtVIkGj

“Anything!” Sverila cried out, desperation weighing her voice down. copyright protection27PENANAePICAYW2ll

I was struck with the ever-renewing desire to see her happy- my younger sister had always deserved the world to me and so I replied with the same word.copyright protection27PENANAR2rZqDNuqi

“Anything.”copyright protection27PENANA0JnuuRpdc6

I did not know the price was to be as steep as it was. copyright protection27PENANAxqWf2xeZzz

We were forced to give up our people- the ones we had loved, that had loved us in return. copyright protection27PENANAkqBMq2pdwQ

For a time all we had was one another and we travelled far and wide across our lands and unknown territories. copyright protection27PENANAwxzT14LrhX

Until we ran into a familiar face.copyright protection27PENANAxOnu4p1ioA

Yiaren. copyright protection27PENANASJ1uvsxUG3

He took us into his hidden temple within a mountain and gave us a home for a time. He had left his people close to a thousand years before to mourn for his sister he told us then. copyright protection27PENANAKcAk6CoR3G

“You made a pact with Her.” He stated and I had nodded when he pulled me aside after Sverila had departed to hunt in the forests surrounding,copyright protection27PENANAPBvc5zC6S0

“Do you think it was worth it?” He later asked and I had told him then that I didn’t know. copyright protection27PENANAHLKJffbMaR

I asked him if he regretted leaving his people behind. copyright protection27PENANAQV4rfb3E37

“No, I could not have protected or cared for them properly after Lenina was killed.”copyright protection27PENANAlSIQ4OqGUj

We never spoke of Noyllia- it was a bridge neither of us would cross, not even when Sverila took to mothering him.copyright protection27PENANAHC4rlkHx6R

Or at least I thought it had been mothering. I was wrong as it would turn out.copyright protection27PENANAoXMso2EsHH

Sverila fell in love with him. copyright protection27PENANAA2zjTD7kk2

We were happy for some time. copyright protection27PENANAD1EIt02ax9

Sverila was blissfully happy and Yiaren was… well Yiaren was Yiaren. copyright protection27PENANA1W6OovQ3Yy

I had never been able to measure the god of light, but I was still quite sure he cared for her. Even despite her propensity for fits of rage and cursing and hexing and other fits of emotion when she felt slighted. copyright protection27PENANAKyAjRuXYOh

It was almost comedic how Yiaren would shrug it all off and just go about everything as if her rages were the norm. (I had once caught him painting the floor when all the walls had been blown to pieces. Another instance he would simply light his form aglow when all the torches had been eradicated).copyright protection27PENANA1siFbMGdWd

No, the most he ever reacted to her tantrums was to sing a soft melody to himself. 31Please respect copyright.PENANAXmvAUrrvx5
copyright protection27PENANAnY9uMyZDBY

“Down where the water chestnuts grow, the blessed calm of nature shown. Grant me peace, leave my brows without crease, for I am where I need to be. I am home.”copyright protection27PENANAbmwMFogCn5

It used to infuriate Sverila when he didn’t respond but by nightfall she was back to being at peace and they often left me to my own devices to wander the woods together. copyright protection27PENANAToyc4JYKXV

It went on for decades and I thought for sure that they would marry one day. It seemed only natural then.copyright protection27PENANAYkT8OFHOjj

On the next century’s eve I found Yiaren wandering the temple’s halls alone. He was muttering to himself in soft words, his eyes glazed as something weighed him deeply. copyright protection27PENANAMuFjhkIxX5

The next day I found my sister a mess and Yiaren gone. copyright protection27PENANADRub4yV3jS

We were alone there for a thousand years almost before any mortals wandered close enough for my sister to find them but when she did they were left utterly destroyed. copyright protection27PENANAYicRq1x7QQ

I do not recall how exactly, but one winter solstice I discovered her trapped within an idol- the body of a hag collapsed beside her. copyright protection27PENANArDl6WCrEao

She was a witch of some sort, but I had not cared when I found my sister trapped- I turned the hag into a dark spirit in my anger.copyright protection27PENANAKOgeZkNVn6

When I had cooled down I was left only with my sister’s idol- a perfectly carved statuette of her in my hand. copyright protection27PENANANlo0dP2LXS

I could sense her within the idol, but she was asleep and I… I decided it was for the best. I hid her below the temple’s hearth and I became a slave to my domains. copyright protection27PENANABovXusAW7K

I was utterly alone in the world without her and so I found myself swept up in my darkness. copyright protection27PENANAkRyB6yVTtj

I was a spectre, the shadow that haunted the world, the war that corrupted the minds of youthful warriors. I did not notice time pass. It was only a year before you arrived that I felt compelled to take form- why, I did not know.copyright protection27PENANA0hFohSejDb

I only knew that I had to and so I did. In that year I learned that my people had been lost to time and that near six thousand years had passed since my sister was trapped. copyright protection27PENANAcfzHd4aN0h

I wandered aimlessly until I sensed my sister alive once more- I followed the trails of her power to you as you began as her host. copyright protection27PENANAyl96WfFS99

I distanced myself, created an idol and gave it over to a wayward archaeologist. copyright protection27PENANAb9qQxIJM1n

When I came back I found my sister toying with you and your mortal, but as my sister got caught up in her own schemes she barely noticed my presence if at all. copyright protection27PENANAXeDxVQB6EC

In that time I watched you as I kept an eye on her and something draws me to you- something I cannot fully name. copyright protection27PENANAncYxiVMYNW

I am enthralled by you and I know not if my wish led me to you or if it was something else, but I do not think I could last longer than my sister should you not survive what comes next.copyright protection27PENANA7Z5xQDfAph

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