* * *
“I am her ninth face, the first and last, the darkest of nights.”
I have heard my brother speak this prayer many times; I could chant the litany myself, if I needed to. What I can’t do is figure out how to get in to see him. The Order is not unwelcoming, but the temple itself is hard to navigate. They light no candles, and when She is hidden, the skylights do no good.
“I am her silence, the space between prayers and their answer.”
I am my own silence; I have worn soft boots tonight, so as not to disturb vespers. All I want is to get to Elias before I am discovered and sent away. Again. My brother has not left the temple in over a week — though I know full well he can care for himself, my worry is for the others.
“I am her child, born into Unending Night by blood and sacrifice.”
The child, and the wetnurse who cares for it, and has kept it hidden. The child, retrieved from its mother, who brought her army to batter itself against the city’s walls again and again.
“I am her vision, and with her eyes, I am made whole, and I see beyond.”
The child he had never seen. His child.
* * *