095 Chapel Days · Scene 13

Chapel Days

Chapel Days · Scene 13 · Beacon a
The Chapel ~ Exterior ~ Crow’s Nest Office
Early Autumn ~ Evening, partly cloudy and cool
At the zenith of the Chapel a crow’s nest
Below a large office and command center
A panoramic view through clear windows and from a compass shaped balcony
The young maid with chainmail skin sitting upon the rail
The stars and setting sun held in her massive eyes

er back awash in the light that flooded out from the Crow’s Nest Office, Chain seemed almost a luminescent being against the evening sky. She was not so unearthly a creature however, and for as broken and fractured as her mind was, her thoughts were grounded in quiet contemplation. Had she a better grasp on her thoughts she might not have sat on the railing as long as she had, but the passage of time did not bother her.

“Excuse me, Lady Chainmaid?”

The voice of a nun called out to Chain from a door back into the office the balcony was apart of and she looked over her shoulder at the nun. She didn’t say a word as she did and let her confirmation of the nun’s presence be the invitation she needed to continue.

“We will be rotating shifts soon and the Chapel will be going dark. It might be best if you come inside before then.”

“I’m alright. A little darkness won’t bother me…”

Looking away as she spoke, Chain turned her eyes to the heavens as she mentioned darkness. Considering the Darkness that dwelled inside of her, an aspect of her that was her yet not her just like Drop, she truly had nothing to fear from the dark. The nun seemed pensive however and did not return inside immediately. Pouting, Chain looked back again to shoo away the concerned nun but paled at the sight of Squawk emerging from the spiral staircase that led into the Crow’s Nest Office.

“Is something the matter Lady Chainmail?”

An answer was forthcoming from Chain, but Squawk’s voice suddenly erupted behind the nun washing away the need for her to speak.

“There you are… *huff* *huff* …you idiot!”

Just as Chain had hoped, a day of searching for her had worn out Squawk and he lacked the strength to weaponize his voice. His voice still struck fear in the hearts of the nuns who had barely survived a day of him yelling unannounced for Chain to reveal herself and the nun who held the door jumped out of the nāti youth’s way in hurried terror. Chain smiled awkwardly at the sight, but her amused smile soon softened into something more wistful. Squawk saw the change in her expression and grew even more irritable.

“Honestly… *huff* *huff* …you avoid me for an entire day… *huff* *huff* …and then you show me that look. I swear… *huff* *huff* …it’s like you’re all trying to twist my arm.”

“Heh heh. Sorry Squawk, I have no ide what you’re talking about.”

“Of course, you don’t, you idiot!”

Throwing up his arms in frustration as Chain scratched at her cheek in confusion, Squawk had to lower them again nearly just as quickly as he had to grab on to the balcony railing to support himself. Chain watched him gasping for breath and stayed quiet while he recovered. Behind them in the Crow’s Nest Office all but the most integral of lights went out as the last traces of daylight gave way for the stars.

“You know Squawk, I really am glad I found you out here…”

As Squawk neared recovering, Chain began both to express her thoughts and hopefully dissuade him from yelling at her. He suspected as much and earned a nervous smile from Chain as he glared up at her from where he leaned against the railing. As before her smile fell, though as she continued she looked out at the horizon while gripping the railing tightly with both hands.

“Since I don’t know even… Everything has been jumbled and my thoughts and memories don’t fit back together again like they’re supposed to. Even my emotions feel distant sometimes, like they’re far away from me or too deep inside of me. I can’t keep it all together at all and wonder if I’ll ever be able to reconcile who I was and who I am now. But when I heard your voice… when I saw that irritable look you always wear, when you yelled at me like you always do… It was the first time in what felt like forever that I was just me again. I keep trying not to let everything that happened bug me, but just trying to think is more of a reminder than even my body.”

“So, I’ve become your anchor then, idiot?”

“Something like that, maybe…”

“Hmph a fine joke if ever I heard one.”

“EH~~‼ How could you say that Squawk

“How could I say that you ask? Hmph, how couldn’t I say that? NOT AFTER YOU LEFT ME SPENDING THE WHOLE DAY LOOKING FOR YOU, YOU UNGRATEFUL IDIOT‼”

Chain did not catch the sharp intake of breath Squawk squeezed in after his irritable harrumph and she was completely defenseless as he suddenly exploded in arm flailing rage. She could not defend herself from his verbal barrage lest she release the balcony railing and risk plummeting below while defenseless from recoiling from Squawk’s voice. As loud as he was though she could barely make out what he was saying beside him and could only surmise that he was criticizing her for how she cast magic, becoming a Sa·B·er, opening Maye’s Ambrosial Gate, sleeping for half a tenday, not seeing him when she woke up, worrying him half to death after something happened in the past before all she could hear was a ringing in her ears as her eyes watered over. Holding the most strained of smiles Chain waited it out and when his beak moved without her whole body vibrating in horrible pain, she replied with the only response she could.

“I’m sorry Squawk, I can’t hear you right now. My ears are ringing so go ahead and give me a moment, please."

Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater


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