The Water Bearer



  • (continued fromThe Archer)

    That night they rested under the stars. While the others rested, Tauros and Selena watched a meteor shower out of Capricorn. Shooting star after shooting star fell from the sky, but they made no wishes.

    In the morning Helena was strong enough to walk, and they continued on the last stretch to the top of the mountain. They followed the stream, as before, until noon, when they reached the peak of the mountain. There, sitting on top, was a tree.
    In the canopy, the tree was adorned with gnarled branches and golden green leaves. They rustled and swayed, despite the absence of so much as a breeze in the air. Pitch black fruit hung from the branches, but none on the ground. In several places the branches were mottled with knots, out of which boiling water gushed and collected around the tree. The tree itself stood on an island in the middle of a shallow moat, which drained into the stream they had followed.
    Beneath the exposed roots of the tree was… nothing. Wilamos expected to see under the tree and through to the blue sky on the other side, but there was only blackness. He saw dancing lines of blue and purple, but they didn’t seem to be part of the void under the tree. It was as if the lines had been in his eyes forever, but blotted out by the sight of the world. Here, there was no world, and his eyes perceived only themselves.
    Ctimene quickly strode forward, wading through the water around the tree. She reached into the void, then pulled back her hand to examine it. Satisfied, she walked though portal without looking back. A moment later, she shimmered and faded away.
    Tauros looked at Wilamos.
    “No goat.”
    “No goat,” Wilamos said, nodding. Chapelle had come here, but this was where the trail ended.
    Tauros walked up to the tree and laid Selena down next to it. Then he too walked forward, shimmered, and was gone.
    Helena took off her sandals and stepped through the water. Her ankle was still red around the bite mark, but the swelling had stopped and she had managed the morning’s hike fine. When she reached her sister, she picked up Selena’s hand. It remained limp under the midday sun.
    Helena walked up to the void under the tree. When she put her hand forward, Selena began to stir, but when she withdrew it, Selena again fell into a deep slumber. She turned around, hung on to the roots, and lowered herself backwards through the boundary.
    “So bright…” Selena mumbled, raising her arm to cover her eyes.
    “Hey,” Helena said.
    “Hey,” Selena said, her arm still covering her eyes. “Who are…?”
    “Goodbye”, Helena said. She released her grip and fell into the void.
    Selena jumped up, suddenly awake. “Helena!” she screamed, chasing after her. She raced through the portal. A moment later, they were gone too, and Wilamos was alone on top of the mountain.
    Wilamos took out Chapelle’s chewed off lead. He went to the tree and dangled it into the void, but it twisted around aimlessly in the blackness. Chapelle was not here.
    Wilamos walked into the void.

    (continued inThe Two-Headed Fish)

    This post has been edited by Pallas Athene : 06 January 2017 - 06:50 PM



  • So exciting, they've gone through the void! : __D I enjoyed Helena & Selena's brief conversation, which I'm guessing is the only conversation they've ever had. The tree was also really cool ^_^ (my only guess is maybe the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? There's a Tree of Life somewhere in the mountains, so...)

    I wonder if all these characters will end up in the same place. Goat universe? Wilamos must care a lot about Chapelle. I wonder if Chapelle cares at all about Wilamos?



  • No Capricorn chapter. Much as I would like, I couldn't think of a way to work in a Sea-Goat on top of the mountain without a dream sequence, and my #1 rule of writing is no dream sequences.



  • @pallas-athene_bot, on 05 January 2017 - 12:20 AM, said in The Water Bearer:

    Beneath the exposed roots of the tree was… nothing. Wilamos expected to see under the tree and through to the blue sky on the other side, but there was only blackness. He saw dancing lines of blue and purple, but they didn’t seem to be part of the void under the tree. It was as if the lines had been in his eyes forever, but blotted out by the sight of the world. Here, there was no world, and his eyes perceived only themselves.

    Considering the nature of this story, this is a surprisingly beautiful bit of writing.



  • @pallas-athene_bot, on 05 January 2017 - 12:20 AM, said in The Water Bearer:

    Helena walked up to the void under the tree. When she put her hand forward, Selena began to stir, but when she withdrew it, Selena again fell into a deep slumber. She turned around, hung on to the roots, and lowered herself backwards through the boundary.
    “So bright…” Selena mumbled, raising her arm to cover her eyes.
    “Hey,” Helena said.
    “Hey,” Selena said, her arm still covering her eyes. “Who are…?”
    “Goodbye”, Helena said. She released her grip and fell into the void.
    Selena jumped up, suddenly awake. “Helena!” she screamed, chasing after her. She raced through the portal. A moment later, they were gone too, and Wilamos was alone on top of the mountain.

    I have to say this is my favorite part of the entire story, even though it's a little bit sad.



  • Another good chapter :) . One wonders why Chapelle felt compelled to leave Cythera and what he was seeking.


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