099 Chapel Days · Scene 17

Chapel Days

Chapel Days · Scene 17 · Intentions c
The Chapel ~ Interior ~ Main Chapel
Early Autumn ~ Late Morning, Scattered showers
Daylight filtered through parting clouds and stained-glass relief
Candlelight chasing away shadows from alcoves of prayer
Rows of pews for hundreds left unattended
The prayers to Ocia long finished even as her blessing persisted
A silence perfect for self-reflection

h! There we are!”

Following Squawk pushing open the great double doors into the main chapel of the Chapel, Drop cried out in relief as she swam in and spotted Chain. Chain was nowhere near as cheerful as her tiny mermaid counterpart and looked back at the two entering with an expressionless face and an air of helplessness. Squawk snorted in disgust at the sign of Chain so listless at the far end of the main aisle.

“What a sight you make right now.”

“I can’t help it; I don’t like any of it.”

“Hmph! Big deal you idiot. Do you think I like this anymore than you do?”

“You can still say no!”

“And why should I?”

Stopping halfway up the main aisle, Squawk crossed his arms and glared at Chain. She pouted and furrowed her brow as she lifted her fists to emphasize her point.

“You don’t want to go on my adventures! You want to bring Atheaeldre’s gift back to the Face of Icarus! But if you try to follow me–”

“I’ll get myself killed? Pah! You truly are an idiot.”

Throwing his arms up as he interrupted Chain, Squawk shook his head as he blew off her concern.

“I’ve survived this long while having no intention of becoming a corpse of any fashion. And that’s considering my short time with my fellow pilgrims and the dangers to my life I have faced again and again. Yet I have survived you idiot, be it by the grace of Atheaeldre or the Light of Cardinal.”

At the mention of Cardinal and her Light, Chain’s eyes widened in terror. Tacking a forceful step forward, she emphatically refused the possibility she saw.

“NO! You can’t mean to either Squawk! You can’t! I’d sooner let them seal me up and–”

“Play the hero? Ha! Don’t make me laugh you idiot. We both know that you have no desire to be a hero. And if what the smaller version of you says is true, the world would just be forced to deal with you anyway.”

As he mentioned her, Squawk nodded at Drop. Chain looked at her double who returned her stare with both embarrassment at having to get help and the same desire to be a world-renowned adventurer. Squawk smirked behind his beak as he knew Chain could not argue with herself and continued condescendingly.

“I’d sooner deal with you in a form I know I can handle. Yes, even if I have to taint this perfect nāti body of mine.”

“Don’t say that! Don’t do things you don’t want to!”

“Doesn’t the same go for you, idiot?”

“I didn’t want to be a Sa·B·er! But it wasn’t a choice I made! I just wanted to be an adventurer and see the world! I didn’t want to be anything but me! That’s why I made my chainmail–

Chain stopped short, a flood of memories evading the typical fracturing of her mind. She saw a forge and her hands working iron wire again and again into tiny rings that she linked together with the most delicate of care. She saw a completed chainmail shirt and leggings that she held up proudly for a gaunt icaran man with messy brown hair tied into a high and bushy ponytail. He wore a wide smile on his face as he looked at her with hazel eyes through his large round glasses and patted her on the head. Tears began to run down Chain’s face uncontrollably as she looked down at her Chainmail clad hands.

“So that’s it… Even with my skin underneath it just like the Beast, it’s my chainmail on top. I’m still the one on top, and…”

Looking over her shoulder, Chain watched as she willed her cape into being from the jets of darkness that erupted from her shoulder blades. As her cape fell, she reached back into and pulled her sword out by the scabbard strap and smiled as she let her weapon dangle at her side.

“…it’s the Beast that’s ejected while I take whatever is mine underneath. That’s right. I shouldn’t be surprised that that light didn’t come out. It’s not mine.”

Turning her eyes upward towards the holy symbol of the Cardinal Church, Chain smiled even wider. Three crosses in a Y shape with their tops pointed towards each other looked back at Chain as they represented the three Sister Goddesses, the arrangement the spherical body of Icarus, and the symbol as a whole the unity brought by Cardinal.

“That Light is hers and I can sometimes call it up if I do it right. But the Beast is me, that Darkness kept at bay by the chainmail meant to protect me on my adventures. But I can control the Beast’s Darkness because it is me. I just need to make sure I don’t lose myself, even as fractured as I am.”

Swinging her sword about so that it rested behind her right shoulder, Chain turned a huge smile onto Squawk.

“It’s fine Squawk. I’m fine. As long as I have my chainmail, I shouldn’t forget myself.”

“And you’re already being an idiot again. I can hardly believe you, you idiot!”


As Squawk’s hands found their way into the air in frustration, Chain became utterly befuddled. Fortunately for her, Squawk was fond of lecturing people who irritated him, and Chain was clearly irritating him.

“Who do you think it was that even got you thinking clearly enough to figure that out in the first place That’s right you befuddle-faced idiot! It was me! The person you already admitted to being the only anchor you have right now! You’ll never make it as an adventurer who can gather the attention of the other idiot without me along, and that makes it final! I’ll just have to become the first and only Sa·B·er who spreads the gift of Atheaeldre if only to keep you from making life harder for me! You best show some appreciation for my sacrifice you ungrateful idiot! Especially since this is a decision I know I'll live to regret.”

Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater


Popular posts from this blog

114 A Journey's Beginning · 4

113 A Journey's Beginning · 3

115 A Journey's Beginning · 5