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This is Fantasy Boys XXX flash fiction entry for the 19th Drabble Cascade.
The theme this week is 'loss''. I wanted to explore loss as a new experience and this is the result.
Araan watched the boy die and something in his chest twisted. He did not know what it was. The boy had come from the woods, a scrawny scruffy thing of no more than ten summers and expired on Araan's doorstep. He still didn't know why he had picked the wretched creature up, or fed him and given him a place to sleep. It has simply been a whim.
How long ago had that been?
Time was not something Araan really paid attention to. He was ageless, changing a little with the seasons, but always the same cycle over and over again. Counting back he realised it had been ten years. His guest was not so much a boy anymore then, but he still did not understand the feeling in his core.
Mortals were transitory, they came and they went even as he walked among them. He could not understand why what he was seeing caused his chest to tighten and his ancient heart to beat faster. It simply did not make sense.
"Why?" he asked the world in general.
"Love," whispered back the wind.
"I still do not understand," he said.
"You care," the wind told him.
Could it be true?
He examined his mind and his heart, looking at these new sensations and thoughts.
Was this love?
He had been moved to anger before, had acted in anger in his past, but he had never connected himself to a specific thing. There was some anger there as well, but it was not prevailing and it was aimed at their attackers, not the boy. They had been walking in the woods surrounding his home when bandits had dropped from the trees. The boy had jumped in front of him as arrows flew through the air.
As he looked up, their attackers froze and he met their eyes ones by one. Man by man they dropped their weapons and turned and ran and Araan let the anger go with them. He was far more interested in the pain left behind.
"Is this loss?" he asked.
"Yes," whispered the wind.
Araan did not like the feeling as it twisted through him and he knelt down next to the blooded body of the boy. Of course he knew the pale features and the, now, open blue eyes, usually filled with the spark of life, and the curly blond hair. They had become familiar to him and they looked so wrong in death.
"No," he said and placed his hand on the still chest, "I will not allow this."
"It is dangerous," whispered the wind.
"He is mine," Araan replied and the arrows melted into mist.
The bloody holes closed and Araan reached beyond and pulled the boy's soul back from the other side. He breathed and those sparkling blue eyes blinked and stared up at him.
"Mika," Araan said and the boy's eyes widened with surprise.
"You know my name," he said.
"Of course," Araan replied, "you are mine."
Mika simply smiled.