The Firebird Prince

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Araysh

Araysh had lost any control of himself.

It was like he was aware and in his body, but there was another mind-controlling his body. His mind gave on order, his body obeyed another. If he wanted to sit and the other entity wanted him to walk, no matter how hard he fought for control, his body would obey the other...thing.

And now his body was walking of its own accord; Araysh didn’t even know where it planned on taking him. He was exhausted from trying to fight and, and idly wondered if his body would collapse from lack of energy or if he would just...pass out, and the entity would keep moving him.

It was almost funny.

The panic had long since turned into resignation. Araysh was somewhere he didn’t recognize, but he could see faint outlines of mountains ahead. But from the position of the sun, he had figured he was moving south, so those had to be the peaks of Hora.

Why he was being dragged there, he had no idea. And reasoning seemed beyond him; he was exhausted enough to die. And hungry enough.

Araysh was used to being homeless, but he was not used to being this alone. It had only happened once when he’d been eleven and a fresh runaway, but even then, he had had some money to provide for himself. Then he had made do with theft and shoplifting until he had been pulled into the terrible world of killing.

He remembered how innocent he had been, how unsuspecting, and hated that kid for making such an awful mistake. If only he hadn’t been forced to run away, if only someone had taken him in, if only he had been loved--

If only. A burning question, but a useless one.

Araysh made to close his eyes, but realised that he couldn’t. It filled him with wordless, overwhelming frustration and anger--he wanted to scream and throw things and--

Stop it, Araysh. He was not a child--he never had been. As much as he wanted to think of himself as assertive and in control, his life had always strung him along, and he had had no choice but to go with it, trying to deal with it as best he could before another problem came along, before he had to react again and lose all control.

And now, it was happening again. Araysh could do absolutely nothing as his feet walked on, aching and heavy, and as he began to lose himself, bit by bit, to the darkness.

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