In the night she asks, “Why did you make me your champion?” and all the answers that come to mind are dissimulation. But she knows me too well to deceive her and so I answer honestly. “Because you are nothing,” I say. “You are no one. You have no name; Mage isn’t your real name, and even the first name I had for you is no longer yours. You are nameless, homeless, ageless. That makes you freer than us. Tanim and Daren are bound by who, by what, they are; the Sun and Moon, brothers and lovers. I am bound by who I am and always will be; my name is not so easily cast aside as yours was. Yet you cannot be bound by anything now. You’re free. That’s why it must be you. That’s why I need you.” I lay in the dark for a while, then add, “I’m sorry. I don’t think I meant it to be this way. It’s just, we all have roles to play. This is yours.” She doesn’t reply. I don’t think she minds, though. She’s walked so many roads for me, and this is just another. Really, I chose her because she has always been my champion. That is who she is.
That’s what I thought.
I keep cutting off my hair and picking at my skin and pulling at my eyebrows and it’s not because I’m mourning because I’m not and it’s not because you’re gone because you’re not so it must just be that sometimes you have to rend your clothes and smear your face with ashes you just have to wail and beat your breast you know?
There are no books in which I could find answers for this, no key to be found in church or mosque or synagogue, no past pilgrims or prophets whose footsteps I might follow. Should I walk until my feet are bruised and bled? Should I withhold food and water? Should I cast stones or light candles or burn offerings? I do not know. I would cleanse myself in holy water, if you cared for purity. I would confess my sins, if you cared for goodness. But you are fickle, cruel gods and I do not know to what state of grace or disgrace I should strive to earn your love anew. There have never been ones like you in all the pantheons of history, and thus I am alone in worship and ministry both.
it is a loss like religion and nowhere to go on Sunday mornings, a book gathering dust on the bedside table, all meaning wrung out of the old songs until the chords are dry and wrinkled but I’m still so thirsty, a vessel waiting to be filled, and the voice that was once clear as a bell has fallen so silent I can hear the seconds ticking by which I shall never regain, the heartbeats I can’t spare, and nothing feels immortal now, not even gods
It’s ironic, now that I think about it; in a way, you are my fairy godmother.You revealed yourself to me when I was young and awkward and in need of a guiding hand. You gave me a cloak with which I transformed into the better version of myself: confident, brave, powerful. A little mysterious, too; the character in the shadows whose alliances are suspect, whose past is as unreadable as their gaze. I needed that. I needed to become strong by feigning strength, even if my bravery turned back to rags at midnight. I still do sometimes, actually. I still settle your cloak over my shoulders when the world is too harsh, too bleak, too much to face as myself. I wear your electricity and fearless madness like armor, your confidence my shield and your unrelenting ego my sword. You’re a nontraditional fairy godmother, but then again, I’m a nontraditional heroine.