Chapter 59: Another, Part III

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 454


Lance had dozens of questions bouncing off his brain, but he kept them quiet enough for Zidane not to hear. Only for him to sense that they were there. Lance picked one, delivering it carefully. Cautiously, like he was already apologizing for breaching privacy.

"Why don't you want her to know?"

Words caught in Zidane's throat, even though they weren't speaking aloud.

I can't handle her finding out, he replied, and the response was the best he could do. There were many ways he could've answered that. He'd made a habit of hiding, lying to her; he'd become too weak to turn back and reverse the clone's presence, take its place instead. But really... he was scared.

Lance stayed quiet, and Zidane felt him withdrawing from the connection. Zidane released the bridge he had built, letting it go until he felt the familiar, faint presence of barely being connected. Almost like there was a ghost traveling beside him.

Zidane looked up, casting his stare to the other side of the street, noticing the Razaleks there paying no attention to them. Adelah must have cast something to conceal them both. He was almost grateful, if he wasn't horribly fascinated with having absolutely no eyes on him.

This is what it feels like.

And yet, more than ever, he felt entirely exposed.

This feeling stayed with him, sown into his skin, his mind, and soon the exposure crawled into a new form. It moved like a metal liquid, appearance cold and hard, slowly crawling and concealing his idea of Adelah. Tainting it, rotting it further. She was embarrassed, hiding them both. This wasn't a protection for them. They'd been through enough of the town; everyone knew they were here by now.

Zidane relaxed his jaw, forcing himself from getting angry. He couldn't let her under his skin like this...

He picked up a change in Adelah's movements—something subtle, but evident considering how she hadn't changed anything in the past few minutes. She slowed her steps slightly, and Zidane sensed a change in her aura. The emotion was muddled, but a muddied, darker pink came to mind. He thought of a slight, unexpressed fear. One small enough for Adelah herself not to realize.

Zidane looked to where her head was turning, where her footsteps were pivoting to. On their left was a home, floating half a foot off the ground with two steps leading from the ground to a small porch.

A memory triggered—an incredibly small house, one with no flooring and only enough room for a few mats, a low table, and a running water system. Golden eyes filled with nothing but love.

Zidane shut the memory out, refusing to give a name to those eyes, a location to that home. He looked towards the house again as they moved onto the small path leading to the steps. A cobblestone walkway with stones were made of energy, ones that acted as mirrors. Zidane didn't look down, opting to stare at the colorful garden to their left. Flowers were blooming, some stems twisting and twirling around other plants. Most he didn't recognize, but as Adelah led them up the steps, one in particular caught his eye.

He recognized the flower immediately. A deep part of Razalek culture, something that'd lasted since the early conception of the species, the Kisht was a famous "truth" flower. Truth flowers, also known as energy piercers, could sense and respond to the deepest levels of whoever's holding it. Each flower could reveal something specific about the holder, though the Kisht had always been popular for good reason. They would remain unbloomed, their petals sealed tight, and only when the flower would be touched with enough tenderness, when the stroke of the petal is identical to a stroke against the cheek of a lover, would the flower bloom. It is a truth flower, only in the sense that it could see how deep the holder's love truly is.

He got one for Zooka, every time he visited Yittek.

The Kisht in Adelah's front yard had been opened, but like everything in both the Spiro and Razalek world, its life depended on the energy around it. Kishts in particular fed off of love, and though Adelah's petals had bloomed, they were rotting at the edges, slowly eating away towards the flower's center.

Adelah passed through the open doorway, holding a hand out and prolonging the faint ripples created by her movement through. They nearly looked like spider webs, and as Zidane passed through, feeling nothing, but a shift in his surrounding's energy, he tapped a thought into Lance's mind.

Something of a doorway, he began, explaining the ripples. If there's no ripples, the home is empty. More people in the home create different patterns. Adelah's making it so it only shows there's two inside instead of four.

He sensed his explanation click, Lance understanding it. "Two?" the human repeated.

Zidane continued on into the front room, seeing the standard empty space. Something meant to be welcoming, free of secrets or harm.

Probably her husband, Zidane thought, answering Lance's question.

He heard Lance walk through, the human stopping a small step or two inside the home. The energy of this place was different for sure, feeling almost cold. Compressed. There was a trail, a buildup of a certain type of energy. Zidane followed it, seeing the aura in his mind's eye. Again, the color was pink. The line dragged into the room to their left, crossing into the next room, going slightly into the hallway before stopping at the entrance to what Zidane assumed to be a bedroom.

He couldn't see inside; there was an arrow pattern, two sharp points that started at the center and parted away from each other. Their movement was rapid, and it created a constant ripple to the top and bottom-half of the doorway. The pattern could only mean there was one person occupying the room, but whoever it was prevented him from seeing inside.

He withdrew from the trail, coming back to the small room. Adelah had moved into the kitchen area, the contents of the bags floating in front of her as if they'd been set on an invisible shelf. She reached up, taking a small onion-shaped fruit with a curling stem. Beginning to cut this into strips with a stroke of her thumb, she began humming quietly. Zidane stared, not believing what he was hearing. His stomach snarled, thoughts vanishing.

She used to sing this to us. Those golden eyes appeared in his mind again.

A horrible taste came to his mouth, an ache came to his head. He closed his eyes, trying to block out the memory.

A footstep brought him back. Lance knew he couldn't talk; speaking in a human language would blow his cover faster than anything. So he'd stepped forward, bringing Zidane's eyes open and his focus towards the human. Lance was scared, a little worried and confused, but mostly scared.

He's already in place he doesn't know, with people that want to kill him, Zidane thought, calming himself. Seeing me like this isn't helping.

He gave a slight smile, and though he was sure his eyes were still dark, the gesture was enough to calm Lance. The human relaxed, and in the next moment Zidane felt a question on his mind. He re-opened the bridge.

"Am I supposed to be silent this whole time?"

No. Zidane glanced towards his half-sister, making sure she wasn't listening in. She'd stopped humming. It'd be too suspicious if you were quiet.

He turned back to Lance, reaching out a hand. Lean forward.

Lance did so, more than a little confused, and quickly Zidane tapped against his temple twice. One thought resounded against his mind, with it a forceful intent.


Zidane pulled away, half-watching Lance's eyes glaze over, slight discomfort on his face as parts of an entire language was downloaded into his brain. With his stare on Adelah, Zidane moved his hand up, guiding Lance's body upright until he wasn't visible from the room Adelah was in.

"Ko'keela." Thanks.

Zidane turned back, surprised to hear the language again. Lance looked just as surprised as he did, glancing down for a moment as if he could somehow see the word that had just come out of his mouth. Without giving any more pause, Zidane replied, the words slipping from his tongue like an old friend.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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