On June 8, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving beans, a gate falling of its hinges and a star.
This Tale of the Navel, Tale of Omphalos, a freebie story for The Hand and the Eye of the Tower was the result…
The beans had climed over a gate falling off its hinges.
As long as I’d been in Omphalos, that gate had been in a state in disrepair. Never more so now.
“Does anyone ever harvest those beans?” I didn’t look at my companion. Instead I stared at the star in the sky.
It shone with a reproachful brightness which reminded me of Tayel’s eyes. How aggrieved he’d be if he knew I was sneaking around with his precious twin. Even if it was just in a dream.
“Map gathers them. She makes a soup or a stew with these beans.” I could hear the slight hitch in Danyel’s breath, feel his shy gaze. “She doesn’t like to use meat.”
“No, she doesn’t.” I let out a sigh, imagining Map’s furrowed brow at the notion of any living creature having to die to feed another. “She will, though.”
Just because she didn’t like to eat meat didn’t mean she wouldn’t eat it. Or try to feed it to others.
“Christopher.” Danyel’s small hand tugged at mine. “I’m dreaming of you, aren’t I? Why do I always dream of you, but I can never remember you when I wake up?”
I turned, allowing myself to look at his upturned button nose, the curl of silvery golden hair falling over his forehead. Luminous violet-blue eyes too big for his face gleamed with reflected starlight, mixing with the heartfelt question shining back at me.
In an unguard moment, I told him the truth.
“Because I’m selfish. I shouldn’t be talking to you, but I can’t stay away.” I tried to smile. “I’m lonely. I’m only like my former self when I’m with you in a dream.”
“Why?” He tugged at my hand again. “Why can’t you come see me…us…when you’re awake? Why do you hide in a dream?”
“Your brother doesn’t want me anywhere near you.” I pressed his hand with my fingers, delighting in being a physical person again. The price, however, was too high to do this anywhere than in a dream. “He’s right to be protective of you. He’s right to be worried.”
“Why?” He repeated his favorite word, the one he pestered all of his loved ones with in the manner of determined innocents. “Why should he worry about you? You wouldn’t hurt me. Would you?”
I turned away, allowing myself to dissolve into the mists, leaving him to gaze at a damaged gate covered with beans.
Soon Danyel would be waking up. Soon he’d find himself lying next to Tayel, wondering what happened.
Tayel would guess exactly what happened. He’d be hurt, worried, and upset with me. Sensing the danger, the truth of me, yet unwilling to name it.
I was always with them, watching over them, even if it wasn’t as a living person. I was waiting for Danyel and Tayel, even though I hoped they’d keep away.
I was getting too hungry and lonely to be careful. I’d given up too much of myself to bring Danyel and Tayel into the existence. To let them go, beyond the Door, to find a life as real as the one Damian had given me.
Part of me would always want them back. Part of me counted on them returning to me.
The other part of me dreaded that reunion. Dreaded what might happen, what I might do when I met the twins in the waking world.
Danyel was getting more and more persistent about seeking me out in his dreams. He seemed to want to find me as much as I wanted to be found.
Tayel was afraid of me. Afraid of what I’d do to him, to both of the twins, but particularly to Danyel. Afraid I could take away everything he held dear.
Alas, I could. This was part of the reason I dreaded meeting the twins in the flesh. Why I contented myself with glimpses in dreams and visions. Watching them through walls of stone.
They were curious. They couldn’t help but wonder. Not even Tayel, no matter how hard he tried not to.
Peter had once accused me of being entirely too irresistible. Of invoking a passion to get closer to me which bordered on madness.
I hadn’t believed him. To accept such a thing was both vanity and undeserved.
Seeing Danyel’s eyes shine at me made me worry. Just what had I kindled in this innocent life I’d created?
I feared we were both going to find out.
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