She was lonely for some reason tonight, and rain that had been threatening to fall for days on end wasn't making her feel any better. Never a drop to quench the deserts thirst nor to relieve the heat against the caravan that was a makeshift shelter for the day. It was still a few nights walk to the cavern at this rate, but duty was duty and she had things to kill and people to report to. She crawled out of the caravan as the sun began to burn down the sky to make way for the stars, her thin veil quickly flipped over her head to keep the dust out of her eyes as she walked toward the path that would lead her home. The rocks were beginning to crack under her feet with every step she took, elegant movements over crackling stones that were the tune of her childhood.
It was a peaceful sort of quiet out tonight, the only sound the soft shuffle of her dress and the water moving against rocks across the river. She would get back to the cavern and present the mother grub with her prize, then tend to her before slipping out again. Such was her life, in and out of a cave and taking care of something that didn't truly need her. No more friends with this duty, no more chances to spread love, just solitude. This would not be the first time she cursed her own blood color for practically exiling her from everyone else. She took a deep breath of the night air and gazed up at the stars, taking in the beauty of the night sky as the wind picked up around her and spread her veil.
The fabric flapped about noisily and she turned to yank it back to her chest, only to catch sight of something in the distance stretching across the sand. Something unnatural that made her turn and step closer, something that looked eerily like blood. Only blood didn't come in that bright shade of red, there had to be a mistake. Something white skittered in and out of the sand and she gasped, her feet taking her off the path before she had time to think why, what was possessing her to chase after this creature. When she broke the hill the creature was gone, possibly dead beneath the sand as its blood soaked a path into the hill, below her the ground was burnt and cooling.
Something shrieked at her from beneath the sand, but not the shriek of a daywalker or a feral. The shriek of a wiggler, defensive and scared and so... so very soft. That bright red bloomed beneath the sand and when she took a step closer the shriek sounded again. She froze, finally seeing the wiggler trying to bury itself, trying to hide, scared and alone in the burnt dessert. The white, the blood... had its lusus just abandoned it, or had it been a lusus at all. Drawing in her courage she pushed back the sleeves of her dress and walked forward, ignoring the aggravated shrieks and chitters the wiggler made at her as it reared up to try and defend itself from her oncoming form. In a wail it reared back too far, falling backwards into the sand and flailing all six of its tiny limbs into the air as it tried to right itself.
The sight made her laugh, unexpected delight at the energy this tiny creature had. Before her thoughts could tell her otherwise she reached into the sand and scooped it up, resting the hatchling across one of her arms and brushing it off with a flick of her other wrist. It squeaked in protest and she shushed it, smiling as it stopped mid flail.
"Now there, little one, what are you doing out here all alone?" She wrapped both her arms around the wiggler as it blinked up at her and began picking at the embroidery on her dress. "No, little one stop that, my goodness, you've just got all this energy yet you're so calm when I pet you." With a soft nudge she gave the wiggler a gently scoot toward the crook of her arm. Her heart swelled when the hatchling nuzzled its head against her veil, yawning and hooking its limbs against the fabric of her dress. This creature was unlike any she'd seen before, candy red with such small horns, scared of others but so... tame when held. This wasn't a normal wiggler, and mutation aside, if it even was one, this was a small miracle in her arms.
Above them thunder boomed in the distance, the threatening rain ever present and now a soon to be reality. The thought struck her that she needed to put this wiggler down and walk away, let nature take its course. Be it the hatchling drowned in the rain or dry up in the sun. Yet... as she looked down at the creature in her arms, blinking sluggishly as it made a half attempt to tug at the embroidery on her dress. There was no way her heart would let her leave this miracle alone, her duty be damned, her blood be damned! This wiggler would live, and... and she would raise it by god! Who cared if it wasn't done, she would just... she would look out for it until it could look out for itself, there. Settled. She would just... tend to this instead of her mother grub. This small, drooling mess of a thing, squirming closer to her as it closed its eyes and purred off to sleep. Her heart was taken.
It took no time at all for her to decide that this was the right choice, and she easily lifted her veil over herself and the wiggler as she began walking. There was no real destination in mind, just away at this point while the hatchling slept. Shelter, somewhere near enough to gather supplies but far enough away from prying eyes that she would not be culled for going against her duty. Life had gone from lonely to full of companionship, and as she hummed softly to the sleeping wiggler in her arms. She knew she would never regret a single day of watching it grow. Things had turned so suddenly, and for some reason it just felt so natural.
She walked for hours, surprised the wiggler slept through the uneven ground as she made her way closer and closer toward caves she had yet to explore, cliff faces and valleys she could shelter them both from the oncoming rain. One day this miracle would be a troll, and she would be a... she stopped and tilted the wiggler in her arm, correction, he would need clothing and guidance. He would grow up out of the violence of society, safe from drones and people who had the means to hurt him. He would be a glowing light in the darkness of her world.
He would be her sunlight. He would be her sun.
She kept off the path and continued to climb, a feeling in her heart swelling beyond description. Her little miracle, her sun, her little one. Time to play lusus.
It had barely been three sweeps since she had scooped the wiggler out of a sand, and less than one since her little sunlight had cracked out of cocoon and learned to speak and walk and be a general joy. Well, most of the time at least. "I've told you a thousand times, never leave the hive without your hood!" She was kneeling before him, scraped knees and bloody palms with candy red blood soaked into the fabric of his clothes. He was fighting back tears, fangs buried in his bottom lip as she ran water over the cuts. "What would have happened if someone saw your blood on your clothes?" He tried to look away but she snapped at him. "They would have taken you away! They would have taken you and culled you and I wouldn't have been there to... I wouldn't have been there." The venom in her voice quickly died when a single tear rolled down his cheek. "Oh, now Sun." She reached up and wiped the tear off his cheek and leaned forward to kiss his forehead. "I love you my darling, I wouldn't know what to do if you got hurt any worse than this."
He sniffled and shook his head, fists clenched as he looked at her with a tired smile. "Mama." He would never get her name right, poor thing. "I'm never going to leave you, I have to take care of you now!" He said sternly, then sniffled. She couldn't help her smile as she ran a hand through his hair and ruffled it until he smiled. "I'm sorry I went out without you Mama." He whispered as she began to dab at the blood on his palms. "I... I saw something down in the rocks, and I wanted to get it for you." She paused, letting one of his hands go as he stuffed them into his pocket to pull out a rock. There really wasn't really anything fantastic about it, save the hole through the center. "It's your blood color, and it... and in the middle, when the sun hits it, it turns red." He nodded and held it out.
She couldn't stop the smile from spreading across her face as she took the rock, it was smaller than two of her fingers put together and felt like glass. It would be worthless to anyone else on Alternian, but her precious sunlight had gotten himself hurt just to bring it to her. It was worth more than all the gold on this planet combined if she had her say. "Oh, little one." He beamed at her as she stood and got one of her necklaces out of her dresser. She tugged off her sign and quickly replaced it with the rock, snapping the silver chain around her neck with pride.
"Do you like it?" He asked nervously as he picked at the scabs trying to form on his knees. She laughed and spun once to show off her new prized jewelry piece, then hurried over to smack his hands with the rag.
"I adore it so very much, my sun, but if you don't stop making yourself bleed I'll adore it a little less." Her smile softened when his hands flew up and into the air. She couldn't help but laugh at him and shake her head, leaning forward to kiss his forehead again. "I will adore you always though, my sunshine." His grin was blinding.
At six sweeps her sunlight was having daymares, only they left him in such an opposite state of mind than the obvious terror and crying she had seen when they could not afford sopor. He would wake with a start, gasping and reaching for something that was never there, turning his palm as if to open a door. As the time went on his dreams began to become more than just dreams, they were visions he would regale to her in details of a time she had never even thought to dream of. A time of such relaxed peace that it made her eyes swell with tears as he described each new tale, each new piece of his dreams and now simple thoughts. The hemospectrum meant nothing, all were equal, fighting wasn't something they did to survive if they wanted to love above or below their station. Her miracle could see them.
"And it was so beautiful Mama, they were... Mama, are you crying?" He knelt down in front of her already seated form and took both her hands in his. "No, Mama please don't cry, I'll stop talking about-" She quickly cut him off with a wave of her hand.
"No, it's not that." She griped his hand and laughed when he reached out to wipe her tears away with his cloak. "No, never stop telling these beautiful visions my sun. These are things that others need to know, they need them, they are things we can only dream of." She soothed. He frowned at her and squeezed her hands back, shaking his head.
"No... no they don't have to be just words... they don't have to be just dreams." He said with a smile. She watched as he got up and tossed his hood over his head and headed toward the doorway.
"Where are you going little one?" She asked, standing from her desk. He turned back and smiled brightly, a happiness that took her breath away all over again.
"I'm going to spread the dream, spread it until it's a reality."
Nine sweeps old and he was tall and all grown up, his followers standing beside him as the crowd around them tried to hush, awaiting his words. His hands shook and his lover quickly came to his aid, hand in his until he smiled at her. Beside them the yellow blood looked on, head held high as the crowd gathered. "Mama." His voice was barely a whisper as he looked back. "I..." He stopped and bit his lip. For a split second she saw that scared little wiggler in the sand, rearing back to protect itself from a threat that wasn‘t there.
"You can do anything, my sunshine." Beside them the yellow blood snorted, earning a glare from him and a hard smack across the back of the head from her. "Quiet, he's about to speak." Nothing even rustled after that.
"Let me through!" She screamed and thrashed against the hold of the trolls around her. Rain began to crack down in sheets as the last echo of his scream broke through the air. He had shouted until blood poured forth from his mouth, screamed in rage she had never seen in him. It hurt her so terribly to watch her little one become so full of rage until an arrow pierced through him. "Let me through!" She broke a hold and easily tugged away from another troll, her feet carrying her through the rain until she could shove the troll aside as he dragged the quiet corpse no god please be alive please please fuck please. She fell to her knees, arms wrapping around a cooling torso, flesh sizzling in the rain from the hot iron of the shackles. The smell was wretched and thick even with the water, and tears were fogging her vision as she fought to find a pulse along his neck and through her gloves. "Please." She begged, to who she didn't know. "No." Beyond her she could hear Disciples screaming and wailing. A flutter, dying fast, just enough. "Listen to me." She pleaded. "Open your eyes!"
In her arms his eyes flickered open, the weakest smile she'd ever seen him give her. "Mama." She couldn't even hear his voice, just see the words as the fluttered began to fade again, eyes still open as he gazed up at her. Her chest ached, her soul tore and life stopped, no more noises, simply the feeling of her boy, her child, dying in her arms. She couldn't speak, her fingers shutting his eyelids as she drew him to her chest just like she had the night she found him.
"My poor boy." She cradled his head beneath her chin, looking to the stars as tears poured harder than the rain. "You shouldn't have had to die, not like this." Her voice shook with every word. "You will always be my sun, always. There will not be a moment that goes by that I regret finding you and loving you with all my blood pusher! You are the only real miracle in this world, and you shouldn’t have to die!" She was starting to shout, eyes shutting against the rain as the crowd went silent. "You shouldn't have to die." As the rain poured harder she buried her face in his hair, sobbing as she held him close and felt him slip. "You didn't deserve this." Arms snatched at her and started to pry her away. "No!" She wasn't done, she had to take care of him, she had to protect him, she had to watch over him! He was her sun! Hers!
But her sun was dead, just a shell being dragged to a pier and a symbol for others to fear revolution, to fear change. An example to be made.
A mother should never have to listen to the agonized screams of her child as he is torched to deaths door.
A mother should not have to hold her child whilst he dies.
A mother should never outlive her child.
The Dolorosa didn't go on living though, she was a shell, a body, and example to be set. She was lonely.