The pain was fully gone, carried off in the swirls of cloying mist and ripples of dark water all about. It still lapped up against him, head to toe, like the intimate warmth and touch of a body, but the water had finally loosened its hold and allowed him to come awake. Stars glittered in the nighttime shroud overhead, but their light offered little to see by. At the edge of vision, where darkness reigned, mist stirred and came alive with the movement of furtive shadows.
“Who’s there?” Barr called out and rolled into a crouch, straining to see through the gloom. Mist roiled about and clung to his skin, sent a shiver down his back that conquered all warmth. “Hello?”
He saw them scatter and fade, as a whisper of magic touched his ears. His mother appeared from nowhere, stepping through the mists as if she too were a shadow given substance. Seeing her again brought back all the uncertainty he had tried to deal with the first time they met. He wasn’t sure how to react, how he was supposed to feel. All those years before his father Daroth was killed, then with Tuvrin and the elves, Barr had no idea what it was like to have a mother of his own.
At least not in this lifetime.
She stepped closer, looked up at him with pale blue eyes. She was iridescence itself, a shining light come to life. Her eyes, especially, gave Barr pause. They seemed far away, somehow, living in the other realm even as they gazed up at him. She spoke: “Like, kid, uh . . . Barr . . . bummer, dude. I mean, like, heavy, what am I supposed to do with you, huh?”
She cut him off, slicing her hand impatiently through the swirling night mist. “Drag, man. You should split, go back on the road with Tuvrin and the Elves. Bein’ a roadie is far out, dig?” She swirled her gowns, tye-dyed and strung with beads, and smiled up at him dreamily.
“Listen,” she went on, “I told that dude Daroth years ago, almost sixteen years, I wasn’t into his earth mother bag. But no, we had to do it naturally, we had to be one with the freakin’ universe, which was Daroth-speak for, ‘Oh Mary Beth, please don’t make me wear a condom.’”
Opening: Joe.....Continuation: Robin S.