Author Contact: loll4000 (at) gmail (dot) com
Series: Wraeththu (AU, sort of)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Wraeththu Universe and its characters belong to Storm Constantine.
- Autumn, my favourite season
- U2’s struggling “October”
- Peter Greenaway’s movie “The Pillow’s Book”
- Edgar Allan Poe’s beautiful poem “Annabel Lee”
And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care
And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
U2 – October 1981
He had never belonged there. Never. Not when Cal was just a ghost hanging over his heads, even less now that he was back in all his flamboyant and carnal essence, throwing tantrums and whispering alluring images of a perfect threesome.
Not that he had ever fed himself some sort of illusion, but it had been nice, at the beginning.
But now, now that Pell had accepted to host Cal’s pearl, they had cut him out. Completely.
So he had begun to travel. Representation trips, they called it. Keep Rue away, he had secretly renamed them, but yet, he had obliged without a single complaint.
He was the Tigrina and nobody, especially his two so-called consorts, would have rejoiced at his discomfort.
In the last month he had visited more tribes and met more rulers than he thought possible: first Megalithica, with a brief stop in Galhea, then around to the Kakkahaar’s camps and then back to Jaddayoth, visiting the Natawni, the Kamagrian of Roselane, the Emunah’s markets, the Maudrah and his Archon, the Gimrah and now, the Ferike.
Compared to some utterly uncivilized and rough tribes, the Ferike and, in specific, their leader Ferminfex Jael and his enchanting consort Lahela were a regenerating and refined company. So he decided to extend his stay for a little longer, enjoying the relaxing ambience of the palace, the music, the art and the good wine.
It was the incoming of autumn, not his favourite season at all. He loved the sun, the warmth and the scent of the sea. Summers in Ferilithia where cherished and valued memories he still clung to desperately, especially during some bad days.
But this first October’s sunset was breathtaking. From the huge window facing the garden he could see the explosion of reds, infinite reds, dark like a stormy sky or bright like droplets of fresh blood, stained in yellow, or green, or orange, or purple. Hundreds and hundreds of leaves dancing all around in the orange light of the twilight, carried by the wind, tore apart from the trees that only few days ago had nourished them in proud luxuriance.
A sudden wave of melancholy enveloped him like a possessive embrace. Longing…and not just of summer in Ferilithia.
And suddenly he was crying. Not a dignified silent weep, but shattering sobs, that made him hiccup and cough.
It was in this pitiful state that Panthera, Ferminfex and Lahela’s son, found him.
“Missing home already?” he asked, throwing himself over a sofa just in front of him.
Rue shook his head, sniffing hard, and wiped his puffy eyes, hoping that the ground would open under his feet, swallowing him away from the irreverent and persistent stare of the young Ferike.
“No, it’s just…” He opened his arm and moved it, embracing the landscape behind the window, as if that explained everything.
The puzzled expression in Panthera’s eyes told him that, probably, the Ferike thought him insane, at best.
“They don’t deserve you.” Muttered the black haired har, and then “May I paint you?”