|Aero: If Only
Author: SpazCali PM
In a world where sidewalks glide and people dissolve in water Aero must find her place. Torn by love and spurred on by war she is forced to forget, but deciet still dangles in the haze. He is forgotten and a new man enters. But can he forget?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Words: 1,577 - Published: 05-22-06 - id: 2178804
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Fog hung over the cemetary like a microscopic matrix of spider webs. Occassionally a gravestone poked its head out of the mist to bear a symbol of peace or religion, but to Aero these symbols meant as much as black did to yellow. How long had it been since she had had peace? How long since she had believed in religion? Much too long, like the dewy grass working with the breeze to chill her feet. Open sandels just did not suffice.
The first star had arisen and the second was due to follow anytime yet the fog still refused to lift or to thin. Even though this obscured the path to her mother's grave, she figured thirteen times practice would be enough to steer her feet.
Not three steps into her stride a susurrus stirred behind her, like the sound of a paper bag burning against cold cement. Her natural instincts jerked her to turn toward the sound. She resisted, and used her innate sense of logic to calmly, almost to the point of being casual, call out in greeting, "Didn't your mother ever tell you how rude it is to sneak up on others?"
Silence outweighed any response.
Aero sighed. "Hello?"
Silence again, had no voice in the matter.
With stiffened shoulders but a warrior's will she demanded one last time, "Speak up!"
After four counted heartbeats her "attacker" did just that.
"Heh," came a voice from the haze. A strong voice, one that Aero knew. "You must be joking. I don't have a mother."
He spoke as if his words had been ushered straight down the red carpet of a snake's tongue. She gasped. She had never heard him like this before; he surround her, he invaded her, he touched her, and all he had done was mock her. "Jason . . . where are you?"
His trademark chuckle sounded again. The mist only enhanced his presence, his laugh echoing softer and softer.
It was not long before Aero recovered from the initial violation. His arrogance made sure to sweep away any mystifying dreams. "You think you're such a Master," was her sneer. "I should have known it was only you."
"Only me?" he asked. "Only me? You do know this is the reason why they call me Haze, right?" Until she saw the impression of footprints weighting down on the grass, the only real sign that Jason was there at all was the hiss that extended so graciously from his lips. Another step, another step, and another. He was coming closer. Closer.
Invisible, but not untracable.
"And this is also the reason they call you an irkmer." It was odd to be talking to the fog around her like it was person, with her intended target scattered about in little droplets of water.
All she got out of him was a snicker.
"I know Liz, I'm ever-so vexing."
"Ugh, my the name is Aero!" she shouted at the spot (or at least the direction) she thought he was in. "Get it right!"
"Hmph," he scoffed, "maybe when you prove to me that Aero is a name you are suited to, Lizzy."
She scowled. If she could have looked him in the eyes at that very moment she would have shot him a glare stronger than her darkest dreams. "Do not call me that!"
"Well, I could have called you an . . . irkmer," came his retort. "Besides, you should show some respect to a member of The Elite."
Oh, so he had passed his little exam. Lovely. Pops would be absolutely thrilled with him. As always.
"Your status will never mean anything to me."
Her adrenaline incited her heart to beat like the hooves of a stampeding bull did in the dirt of Krain. She hated being laughed at. Absolutely hated it! And nothing else got her into more trouble. After steadying her feet on the ground and swallowing any second thought, she geared up for an attack. "An Elite? More like a nusance!" Grinding her teeth against the dread of what was to come of her next action she shot her arms up at the ready. Not a blink later two pillars of wind came blasting out of her palms like fire balls from a cannon.
Sound wavered, but only for a moment. The breeze placed itself back into the air, leaving two round gaps punched out of the fog. A series of chuckles drew her eyebrows into an even tighter knot above her nose. Her rival was still no where in sight.
"Oops," he said, "you missed." A playing yawn followed and Aero couldn't help but envision his smug face. "Not that I'm at all surprised."
A warning sound--almost a growl--reverberated from her throat. She stomped. "If I could see your sorry face I would have no problem!"
A smile hid behind the mist. "Really. . .?" he said, somehow inspired, "you really want to take me on?"
Resolve gave a sturdy grin in her eyes and she committed to her future, "Yeah, I'll take you on," and smirked, "it'll be a breeze."
There was an amount of silence to total what would be known as a minute as he was considering her proposal. Then, in a tempting whisper he said, "alright then."
With that it was set into eternity. Materializing out of the mist came two icy eyes and a smug grin. Aero was mesmerized. Jason came closer and closer until she could feel his breath brushing against her cheek, weaving a trail of embarrassment behind it.
Aero shivered. They'd never been this close. Not once, and she was scared for the lives of the butterflies so rapidly blooming in her heart. She didn't know what to expect. Her limbs were turning to rubber under his gaze and she was finding it hard to stand. He bent lower now, directing his whisper into her ear. If he had waited any longer to speak she was sure she would have collapsed onto the wet ground.
Aero sighed, returning from her memory. "Prove it."
She tucked a button into her pocket. He was dead, or at least that was the story. How was it possible for this lie to haunt as if it were true? Perhaps because it was delivered by a deceiver who's skill she still did not know. Yes, maybe that was it.
Yet, there was hope in the air. Aero stared down at a tombstone that was small compared to its neighbors. So much so that she thought that if gravestones could speak they would have teased it. The brief phrase grazing over its surface told infinite lies, but they were not deceptive enough to fool her. No, words this empty filled no truth.
A breeze planted a kiss on her cheek and she could tell it was proud of her. Yes, Mom was proud at how quickly she had tried to recover from the loss of her best friend. Though in truth, her recovery process was not based off of acceptance (as her guardian believed) but of denial (which her guardian denounced.) To her both were the same in likeness and she had no reason to flip-flop over to the side of acceptance. Proof of Jason's death was in order before she would truly believe that he was dead.
Nothing else would convince her otherwise.
"Jase," she said softly to herself, "I know you wouldn't do that. I know you wouldn't go off an leave me like they say. It's not who you are." She let her head drop. "I won't let you be remembed this way."
If Jason were to leave his fingerprints on the walls after an assignment it would not be on accident. This was certain.
"If I flee without leaving something of myself behind, then well, where's the hope in that?"
Even through the darkness that prevailed before the First Dawn Aero's hope of Jason's return still dashed the surface of the sky--way up there with the twinkling's of galaxies afar. She so wished that she could just turn around to his figure being outlined in the mist like she had way back then.
Her feet were wet with dew on this morning as well. The sandals again. A lesson once taught, now after a year, forgotten. They were sentimental to her after all. She couldn't very well walk through the cemetery gates without them. That was a bet she had lost, after all.
One lesson Jason taught her that she would forever live by was that beliefs should be supported by facts, not will. She smiled down at the grassy floor. So from that day on, she adopted his phrase and now she was using it to keep the hope alive. "Well Jase," she smiled, "they'll just have to prove it."