I found her.
What is left of her, that is – the one who I sought is buried under layers of malign influence, both old and new. She struggles still, and though I have been unable to speak with her, I have attempted to drain the miasma from her. It may only heighten her distress, for it allows her to feel the changes wrought in her. At least she is aware enough to know and still desires to fight for her sense of self.
I had to leave my post on occasion, lest I succumbed to the energies I had drained off and revised for return. The warnings of Great-Aunt Sybille and Auntie Gris fresh on my mind, I sought a pool of that which would balance, and as luck would have it, the Sheriff provided the setting with his natal-day observation. Dancing generally does restore the balance and the company of a good friend will heal much. Though, when she had to leave, I was assaulted by a newcomer who decided I was “fresh meat”. The lady in question was definitely unexpected, and provided a second wind to my flagging spirits. I could return to my self-appointed task with renewed vigor.
The old conflicts had not quite been settled before, with the addition of the infusion of blood, had thrown her off balance to the point of madness. Do not tell me she was not able to be driven so, her soul ached with it. As one who, in this society, only had a passing acquaintance with her, I could not gain an audience with her. The fact that I was not a relative, and admittedly a transient in the eyes of society as yet, meant I had no means of introduction. I had to watch from a distance and attempt to contact her in a manner appropriate to the eddies of movement in the patient population.
My returns to my home for brief respites from the maelstrom of the Tam San were more restful and restorative than any visits I had made before, as the company of one who developed from an acquaintance to a friend and, most surprisingly, a mate, made my continued investigations possible. Her bond opened a new avenue – if she could anchor me, there was another way to reach the one in pain.
With the link in place, and in the still of the small hours between midnight and dawn, threading past the orders and objectives of others, I sought to ask that which was her core, her true self, one question.
What is YOUR will?