“Even though that was by far the best sex I ever had, I fear this needs to stop now.” I said and jumped off the bed shortly afterwards.
“Is it time?” Tom asked slowly and unhappily.
“Yup, yup.” I said, grabbed a cloth and dipped it into a bucket full of water. As fast as I could, I started to clean myself of all the strains on my body.
“Lucinda, we will wait for you together, as long as it takes.” Tom commented, which made my heart warm somewhat.
“Oh … the whore doesn’t age as well?” I asked the whore.
“Aye!” Fuck. Well, at least she helped me to retrieve all these crippling memories, which was something.
“And I really wished this was the last time I would see her…” I muttered and picked up a black dress from the pile. I quickly pulled it over my head and wore a pair of panties as well. “Hey, watch out for my things, will you? Especially my weapons … I kind of like them.” I commented and strolled towards the door.
“Lucinda?” Tom asked slowly.
“Yeah.” I said, the handle of the door already in my hand.
“I love you.” He stated, conjuring quite a few conflicting emotions up in me.
“… I …” What was I feeling towards him? The bond between us was stronger than ever before and I truly felt some sort of connection between us. I wanted to be together with him … which felt kind of weird. He was my kin, my child, my son. But all these slight feelings I had for him paled in comparison to what I felt in regards Mary. “… you are my extended family, Tom. That’s all I can give you right now.”
“I see.” He said, not in the slightest bit dejected though.
“And what do I get?” The whore asked, which made me flinch a little until I remembered I really had something for her. Maybe she would shut up about being paid afterwards as well.
“Oh, wait.” I walked back to my pile, soon found a little casket and opened it. I picked up the sole silver coin in there and flung it over to the whore who miraculously even caught it. “That’s for you.”
“A silver coin? Wait … that silver coin?” So he did hear about the story where Tom betted his life on a coin flip. And unbeknownst to him, I retrieved that coin later. Smiling wryly, I nodded towards her and strolled back to the door.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Tom asked dumbly.
“Oh my gosh, Tom. You will never understand the heart of a woman like this. You betted your life on this coin … this coin is a metaphor for your life.” She explained and Tom opened his eyes as he noticed that I just sold him away.
“Take care of him, will you?” I asked towards the whore.
“I will.” She said and nodded happily.
“And make sure he doesn’t go overboard with his evil plans.” I told her sternly, the handle of the door already in my hand again.
“Kay.” She said, still happy about the coin.
“And Pauline?” I asked slowly and carefully.
“What´s up, Lucinda?” She asked as carefully as well.
“Thank you.” I said, and I truly meant it like it. She somehow managed to help me push these bitter memories about my rape by Aska into the back of my head time and time again, and she showed me that having fun with my body without any other goal in mind was indeed possible. “See ya!” I said, opened the door happily and strolled out of it.
As soon as the door fell back into the frame, I turned my head towards the goddess to my side.
“And, did you watch?” I asked while smiling wryly.
“I have over two hundred children. I have no need for that … but I shielded you from being watched by Aska.” And I really hoped he would watch us in envy. But maybe, it was better this way.
“Hmm … how much time do I have left?” I asked.
“Minutes.” She admitted immediately. “They are waiting outside.”
They? Whatever they were, I immediately kicked the ground and ran as fast as I could with my pitiful strength while Irminsul guided me the way. Dashing out from the open front door and jumping as I was at the edge of the first step, I indeed noticed two persons there.
“Mum!” I shouted, sailed through the air and only stopped as I was in her open arms.
“Honey!” She said while looking at me full of worry.
“Mum … we don’t have much time left.”
“I know. But I am glad to spend it with you.” She said soothingly.
“Me too … Hannah, come here.” I said and reached out to Hannah to pull her into our embrace. “Hannah … why are you here?”
“My family … they were living a happy life without me. They have a three-year-old son and … it didn´t feel right to meet them. I … I knew I wouldn’t fit in anymore.”
“Hannah … you are an elf in human lands, drawn between darkness and light … and you are my friend, no matter what.” If she wouldn’t fit in there, I was more than happy to provide her a place where she could be … in the future that is.
“Your friend?” Now that I didn´t care anymore about what Aska would do to me, I could call her by what I felt for her.
“Yes. If there is one thing I wish for you, then it is to stay who you are. I … really don’t have much to say to you, other than that I feel really lucky to have met you.”
“Thanks.” She said and made me smile.
“… will you help me again?” I asked her.
“Whatever it is, my queen.” She said happily.
“Be the missing link between mum and Tom. They need to work together somewhat, but I know they cannot stand each other. Be the grey area all sides can work with.” I whispered into her ear. “And you mum, be the beacon of light you couldn’t be because of me. Help all those … people in need, in and outside …of … of your domain … and find happiness along the … way.” I muttered, my eyelids feeling incredibly heavy and slowly wriggled myself free out of their embrace. Right above me, I could see a freakishly huge magical circle turning slowly around the vertical axis.
“I … I …” I couldn’t think straight anymore. It felt like my brain was slowing down considerably and a sharp pain shot through it. I never thought that falling into a coma would be so painful. “You … you need …” I whispered as I failed to speak any louder. A bright, blinding light appeared in the middle of the circle and shot downwards, forming a pillar of light with me at the very centre and pressing onto my shoulders, forcing me to go on my knees.
For a second, I could see how Mary and Hannah were shielded by a green bulb forming around them, and then … nothing. Just pure, white light. For minutes, I screamed as something entered my head along with tons of knowledge I failed to handle fast enough. I was simply overwhelmed by everything, but I didn´t black out. Something was keeping me awake for several minutes until one last thought shot through my head.
Nobody else would have survived that.
It felt like someone was torturing my soul, making me possibly the only person on Solaris who would survive this. No wonder they took me as their saint. They had no other choice but to take me.
At last though, I could hear Mary´s screams again as my head slowly sank onto the ground. One last time, I blinked, saw their shoes approaching and then, I closed my eyes for two hundred years.
At least I heard one last sentence from Mary that warmed my heart.
“I love you!”