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Daughter stands on the bank of the river. Mother stands on the other. Neither expected this to end in this place, but it was inevitable that this would end here. Everything ends here. Daughter looks Mother up and down, and where there was once respect, adoration even, you would be mistaken for believing that what flooded her eyes was pity.

But a flood cannot raze a city. It may destroy, but a flood will drain and the city will still stand.

Across the river, Mother stares back. Mother raises a hand to wipe the blood from her face. Mother’s blood, broken from her skin by her daughter’s hand. The flame in Mother’s eyes you could mistake for anger or hatred, but it is something more corrupt and perverse.

Hatred must have an end. The righteousness of a zealot of the self may even escape the river.

For perhaps eternity, they stare. Identical eyes unable to unfix themselves from each other. Blood broken from Mother’s face still leaking down, splashing into the cold water below. Blood spilling from Daughter’s broken nose the same.

Daughter does not speak, yet lines are drawn without the utterance of a word. It is Mother who breaks the silence.

“Where Is She?” she asks, with no expectation of reply. “Bring Her Back To Me And We Can Forget This Ever Happened,” she promises, with no expectation to fulfil it.

Daughter shakes her head, and whispers a whisper that echoes across the dying plane, “She Is Safe. She Is Somewhere You Will Never Find Her. You Will Never Hurt Her Again.”

“You Know Where She Is,” states Mother, “And You Will Tell Me.”

Daughter smiles, but she is not happy, “I Don’t Know Where She Is, That’s The Beauty Of It, Mother.”

Mother does not understand, “You Lie, Hélène,” she tells herself, “You Know Where She Is And You Will Tell Me Or Your Broken Body Will Betray Her Instead.”

That word hurts Daughter, but she does not flinch. Her smile grows, but her sadness deepens, “I Do Not. Neither Does Natascha. None Of Us Know.”

“But You Took Her From Me. You Know Where You Took Her.”

“Natascha Knew,” says Daughter, “But I Suspect By Now She Doesn’t. And By The Shroud’s Grace She Never Can.”

“Liar,” Mother accuses, pink spit tainting the river thrown from her lips, “Natascha Failed To Join The Order. You Know That. Her Tongue Was Never Still Enough And She Was Doomed To Fail.”

Daughter closes her eyes, but her eyelids remain open, “She Is Safe,” she repeats, “She Is Safe From You. You’ve Lost Her. You’ve Lost All Of Us.”

“You’re Mine,” snarls Mother, and she steps into the river, toward Daughter, hands outstretched, “You Will Always Be Mine, And When I Wring Her Location From Your Neck She Will Be Mine Again.”

What happened to Mother, I wonder, that brought her to this. The eyes of Daughter betray nothing, except that once there was a Mother who cared. A Mother who fell. All things fall, and all things that fall hurt, and all things that hurt can be mourned. Daughter is hurt but does not mourn. She steps into the river, and meets the hands of her mother.

Mother throws the first fist. Daughter throws the second. The river throws the last, and its current takes Mother’s legs from her. But it is Daughter’s hand and the rock in the riverbed that gifts her to the ocean.

The water should take Daughter, it should sicken her but she is not sick. She walks away, but she does not move from this place. Her eyes are aflame, but they do not burn.

Mother leaves. Daughter never does.

resources/fic/review_copy.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/13 14:03 by katiem