Have I Found a Watcher?
It was several hours past sunset. Acharius was fascinated by firelight from the Main Room around the corner, tossing a gold glow over lush red apples and rich purple plums. Washing over flowers. Now in full bloom. He stood over one and stared down into the yellow center. Gleaming in firelight.
It was astonishing to take in all the colors. His blue eyes roved everything in the garden. Amazed it was even possible to see things so brilliantly.
He plucked a fat plum. Examining its dark color and the light patch on the bottom. This is how others always see. He realized for the first time, awestruck.
I hadn’t known what I was missing…
“You’re back!” She was leaned out the shutters to shout.
He turned quietly, eyeing her through his fall of blonde hair. Not particularly surprised she’d catch him out here. Perhaps I’m getting careless.
Perhaps I let her. His image blurred as a cloying fog rose, surrounding him in a gray halo.
“Come closer so I may hear you.” She urged, pointing at the ground at the Northeast corner of the house.Where I sat before.
When he didn’t move, she added. “I’ll close the shutters. So, I can’t see you.” She quickly fastened them.
Rocks crunched under Acharius’ heavy frame and his back rasped down the stone wall as he settled in. Mags and Agatha wouldn’t approve of me putting her in danger. He chided himself, even as he sat.
His stomach dropped at the thought of their disapproval. How did they go from my pseudo-children to ladies I wish not to disappoint?
He toyed with a thread of grass. They’ve been my greatest friends. He admitted. They’d saved each other’s lives countless times over the decades.
“Why is it foggy when you’re around?” She broke into his thoughts.
“It comes with me.”
“But why?” He heard her cross the room above him.
“Are you cold?” He asked. “If you sit near this wall, it’ll warm you.”
“No.” She said. “There’s a picture of a sunny day in here. It warms me.” Her voice was smiling.
“I’ve no pictures in my room.”
With no color they’re just shadows on canvas.
I loved art once. He remembered, twirling the grass again. Working it between nimble fingers. Even in black and white. But that pleasure has faded.
“It’s a little girl plucking flowers on a summer day. It’s lovely.” She blurted. “There were no pictures in the hut in Battling.” She sighed. “Udora took us there. She said she loved us. But…She hated us.”
“She once told me we were little falling stars and that made us her enemy.”
Acharius reared up. Brows lowering. Deragan told us the falling stars were the Watchers coming to rejoin the Fallen. The night after the Captain buried her. His wedding night. Acharius winced at the dreadful memory.
“How old are you?” He leaned forward. Twisting to see the shutters.
“Ten and four, I think.”
“And your sisters…Younger?”
“Yes.” She said. “Udora said every second their star fell behind mine, was years in this world.” She paused. “I still don’t understand…Maybe she was mad…Or possessed.”
Possessed by Radix. He gritted his teeth.
Are you a Watcher? It’d explain his need to protect her.
It was what Forever Knights did. Defend the innocent.
She may be both. Fear climbed his spine. If she escaped Radix’s reach, he’ll come for her.
Steely determination settled through Acharius. Not while I stand.