From the Depths

It was nothing, this shower. The water ran in little rivulets from the ends of her hair, down her arms, to drip in a steady rhythm down onto the mud beneath her feet. Every stitch of clothing she wore was soaked as she stood at the edge of the cliff overlooking the valley of giant mushrooms that created a forest below. The rain was pouring down, not hard enough to be painful, though it would have chased most others inside. But Niqi’s mind was far away. In a time long lost to memory. 

Her mother had protected her every choice. Every move, save learning embroidery, that is. Her Uncle Jaetos has seen to her education in that area. But there was no true choices for her as she grew. She was to behave as a lady, though they were barely considered Upper Class. Proper ways to dress. To walk, to speak. Even how to hold a tea cup, for Light’s sake. But standing in the rain, beneath the grand trees? No, that never would have been permitted. 

The raindrops battered at the leaves, at once soft and muffled as well at loud and slapping. She smiled faintly at the way the sounds shifted and cascaded through the blue and violet above her head. Turning her face up, she let it splash onto her cheeks and run down onto her shoulders. Such a simple thing, and yet any time she did this, it felt like an act of quiet rebellion. You see me, Minn’da?  The rain won’t wash me away.

Her tendrils wrapped around the straps of her shirt, holding it in place as the weight of the water dragged it downward. The twisted curls of corruption that marked her abdomen could be seen for a breath of a moment, disappearing again beneath the sopping wet silk.

Back on the path stood her husband, watching her silently. He held a large umbrella, and bore a blanket over his arm. He wasn’t sure how long she’d been out there, but he knew she would grow cold eventually. It was a quiet, happy respite from the anger that had been festering in his wife of late. And so he smiled. He knew all too well how deep she was falling. No, not the Void. But the deep, dark place that the soul goes, when the world spirals out of control. This was a glimmer of light, though he laughed at the irony of it coming during a rainy afternoon. His Tiny was still in there. If he could just hold onto her hand.