A Fantasy Short Story by Ana Govindasamy
Trigger Warnings/Disclaimers: Violence, Injury Detail
Running isn’t the answer. Quitting is. Revenge isn’t a solution. Overcoming is better.
They said it was my downfall. If I hadn’t done it I’d be alive. Though, they said the same thing about all those wasted seconds. The spent minutes that costed me years.
I needed to run. I needed to leave. But as I flick my head back, I see a figure. A crying, vulnerable figure.
Crying, leg mauled, bloody and gaping. I swear I can see bone beneath layers of pulsing muscle.
And beneath the repulsion, an overwhelming sense of pity overtook me.
Tomorrow I was in the future.
Today I’ll be here. Wherever here is.
The casing of time and the ribbons of reality weave everything together. Unstitching them, I’m walking the realms of the universe. Cutting myself on all sides and facets of the crystalline mirrors of time. Self contained in a single galaxy, where I see thousands more.
I don’t control where, or why. I control myself, the myself that’s at the mercy of fate itself. Ink on parchment, a new bound Bible. Blood on a battlefield, a long gone life.
I get lost sometimes, I get confused more times that I’ll admit. But I knew in that moment, I have to help her.
I don’t knew where we are running from, or to. I’ve been here before. Many times. Running. A bomb, wolf pack, falling buildings.
My legs never will have failed me. I just ran, until I find a safe place in the folds of time. But I didn’t see one here. No crease, no rip. I can’t rupture it now. Not while I run.
Need to get to the Millenia; the void of midnight. No time. No space. Just void. Just colour shifting and turning.
It’s a blanket of colour and sound. A blanket stitched with time and embroidered with reality, galaxies dancing across it like stars in the sky.
I had nothing better to do than turn around and help. I fall to her side, and she screamed. Her leg was bleeding more.
Fate was never hospitable to Millenniums.
Much less a Human Millennium.
It always spews me out in the worst place and time. Now is no difference. If Fate won’t give me an Entrance, I was going to make one.
The Entrance is the dreaded part, the front lines, the worst of it. Making one would be to pull apart the very fabric of reality, the roots of the universe.
But the Millenia is the only way to live.
I scan her name tag.
Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta.
“Zeta?” I say.
No response but a strangled sigh.
“Zeta. You’re ok. You’re going to be ok.” I say again.
She looks at me, eyes glossy with pain and terror, nodding slowly.
“I promise.” I say, with a smile, that probably didn’t meet my eyes.
She tightened her grip around my wrist. I feel her pulse quicken, and I wonder if she was going to try and stand up.
Humans are fragile. They change. They bend to the will of time, of Fate, and never have been able to outrun the inevitable.
Legacies and wills, they still try .
None have succeeded.
Pain overtook me, as I gently let her down. Her pulse is going everywhere. Sped up, slowing down. My mind was racing. This is where the universe splits again.
She’d stay alive, or she wouldn’t.
This one, the one I’m staying in, this is where my promise breaks.
I need to get to the Millenia. I need to get to the other reality. The one where she gets up, she survives, she ends up in hospital, at least. She needs to carry on.
Ink on parchment, blood on a battlefield.
Fate escapes no one.
Walls built, ships sailed.
All long forgotten.
Friendships forged, promises made.
Nothing ever keeps for more than a century.
Sometimes, the world is best left as it is.
She falls. She falls and she took me with her. Pain overtakes me, and I seized up.
I never did reach that last Millenia.
And I never will find that last Entrance.