A young man stands over the communal grave of those lost to The Great Anathema, paying respect to the parents he gave up over a decade ago.
“It seems I may have gained friends finally, my beautiful Mother and sagacious Father.” he whispered as he placed the very familiar Mournrose upon the memorial. It saddened him further to have added the optimistic prefix to his mother, as he can barely recall her name, let alone her face. In his sullen heart he knew she was perfect – this being one of many child-like notions he still carried with him, despite the obligatory coming-of-age that ensued for him. Part of him never would have the chance to fully be a child, and a darker part decided to scourge him with immaturity.
He put his lips to the earth, saying a short prayer to his lost family in front of the all-seeing eyes of his patron.
“They seem to actually tolerate me, despite the Abhorrence within me, and I want you both to know that I may be gone for quite some time.”
He closed his eyes, fighting away the burning and futile torrent which he believes his tears to be.
“I… I may, Judge willing, join you much sooner, and we all can be back together again… all of us, except for…” and cut himself off as a passerby drawn near.
“Hurry now, for you carriage is arranged for the trip toward the woods.” said the voice of a good friend and apt coachman.
“You are aware that I will most likely not be returning to this place, and yet you seem so eager to become rid of me.” he spat back at his long-time aquaintance.
“Ah, but I do know you shall return with time, after becoming one of the greatest heroes of our day!” the coachman stated in all sincerity.
“I wish you to know that I will not allow them to know you and I are as friends, and shall only regard you as ‘Carriage Man’.”
The coachman scoffed harshly, feeling the keen-tipped blade of a lost friend penetrate his metaphoric heart, and he finally understood. His friend wasn’t embarrassed at having such company, but was planning as painless of a goodbye as possible.
With a deep, heavyhearted sigh the coachman began his pace away from the friend.
“I am not eager for you to leave, or at least, not as eager to walk away from such a wondrous cohort as you are. But that is what I am doing, walking away, and when you come back I will be your Carriage Man, and nothing else.” he spoke as the well-hidden breaths of a crying man gasped outward.
A poisoned needle would have done less damage at that moment, and yet no other words were uttered as the young man stood from the memorial, and walked in the separate direction of his only real friend.
In the evening the young man gathered all of his belongings that weren’t forgotten or burned. Mostly practical trappings, with the occasional sentimental bauble here and there. What he could not carry with him would be housed in a desolate location that most are not aware of, locked and likely forgotten, if he were lucky. Yet the nightmares would still take hold into his imagined viscera, and the thoughts would persist as if a demon hath ravaged his mind daily.
As the bleak tendrils of slumber slowly apprehended him, his final thoughts for the night crossed his cognition as dripping ochre in his consciousness.
“I… will become… a hero, for my beloved parents… or… I shall… join them…” and his steel gray eyes finally closed.