Yuriel has his way, and we seek out all the spirits. He has no trouble chatting with them. I personally am not interested. I find them… unsavory. It’s not that they are weak or lack in knowledge. It’s more… something about them turns me away. As if they are surrounded by dark energy. Yuriel doesn’t feel it.
After quite far in travels, we end up back at Mother’s garden. She has transitioned out of fall. Back into summer. I don’t quite understand things. But as we walk just a touch closer, her all seeing eyes spot us. I shiver at her direct contact. Yuriel grips me tightly. We were caught. But Mother doesn’t berate us, her image softens and a smile shows up.
“Come. See.” It’s two separate words. And when I finally hear both, I hear a squeal. A baby.
“A baby?” Yuriel releases me.
I don’t question moving in to the new baby’s side. It’s a new spirit. Made with creation not birthed. I am the only one here that was birthed. “What’s the baby’s name?” I want more knowledge about the little bundle.
Tan skin with mixes of green and red slipping throughout. The eyes are sapphires, beautiful with the twinkle of new life. Lips are blood red perhaps with the recent creation. All it does is coo at me flexing fingers in my direction.
“Go ahead, Kura.” Mother waves me to pick up the child. I sit down and settle the baby on my lap. The baby has no trouble suckling my fingers. Seeing the red fingernails disappear into the cretaure’s mouth is…
“I love them.” I tell Mother. Yuriel stands at our side staring unsure. “A name? They must have a name.”
“Well, child, what is her name?” Mother twists an elaborate flower decoration on her shoulder into place. Her summer style weaves so similar to this small baby. A girl. I have a little sister. I look down at the sapphire eyes.
“I don’t know what to call her.” I hug her closer feeling the squirming warmth of new life. I love her already.
Yuriel knees before me touching the baby’s face ever so softly. He doesn’t seem as quick to jump over a baby’s squeal. “How about Cloudir?”
“Interesting option, Yuriel.” Mother smiles at him patting his hair down. “I would think a name changes a person. So think carefully before fully deciding.” Mother walks off into the small cottage we would sleep in. I watch the door shut. The baby’s coos has me looking at her. Yuriel’s finger has found its way into the baby’s mouth.
“It sucks.” Yuriel’s eyes widen. “Such a powerful tug.”
“That’s normal.” I nod noting how small this child is. How quickly will it grow? Some of the spirits went through youth very quickly. Some never had youth. Some are slow growth like us.
“This is normal?” Yuriel takes a step back. His eyes are on the baby though. “How about Evil?”
“Did you serious…? Yuriel, how would you feel being called that?” I huff at him lifting the baby up. As I do so two thin wings much like my own slips out from under the blankets she was wrapped in. “Oh, how precious.” I shift her position on my lap so I can touch the delicate wings. They, much like the rest of her limbs, do not seem functionable. She’ll need to learn then.
“She’s as colorful as a butterfly.” Yuriel says. When I look to him, he steps back. “I’m not trying to insult, I swear. I don’t get babies.”
“You don’t get life.” I pout at him while focusing back on the baby. “But… Mariposa sounds beautiful.”
“You’d name her after a…”
I roll my eyes cuddling the little baby in my lap again. “Mariposa is queen of the butterflies. Her odd looks will only grant her greater strength.”
Yuriel knees near me again. He isn’t moving as close as normal with the baby. To think he doesn’t trust a baby. That’s silly. What can a baby do? “Alright, Mariposa. We’re the only other ones who are still young yet. Hopefully you grow faster than us. Being kids in this place sucks.”
“Yuriel.” I glare at him. He shifts. “Being kids is fun. Mother likes taking care of us.”
“I hate having Mother take care of us.” Yuriel taps his chest. “I can take care of us.” I stare at him until he deflats. “I can. I’m strong enough.”
“Without magic, you cannot do anything. How much magic has Mother granted you?”
“Stab me deeper, why don’tcha?” Yuriel gets up pulling out his blood bow. He nocks an arrow formed of the same blood magic. It won’t hurt me since it is based off his feelings. If he was facing us, I’d worry over the baby though. I don’t know how Yuriel feels about the baby. “Mother will give me everything I need soon enough. Then I can do everything.”
“Why rush forward?” I stand up holding the baby close to my chest. “Being a kid works for now.”
Yuriel releases the arrow watching as it flies into the side of the cottage. Then it disappears. Not sure if Mother took it or Yuriel got it back. He slides his bow on his back not releasing it’s existence yet. “We’re ten. At this rate, we won’t stop growing until we’re fifteen.” He waves a hand over his head and then over mine. “And I don’t like being shorter than you.”
“I’m three weeks older, though.”
“That’s nothing!” He squeaks. He steps back covering his mouth. The green skin of his face darkens with embarrassment. His voice has broken before. It’s why we weren’t together earlier today. I thought he was going to find someone who could help with that.
“Why does it keep doing that?” I sigh cuddling Mariposa as we head for the house.
“Daphne mentioned it happened to all male humans about my age. None of the males here though had that problem.” Yuriel hides his bow as we enter the house.
I pause in the doorway feeling the cold. Mother is definitely struggling with something I hope we can help. “So let me make you female.”
We stop when we reach the room where Mother sits. Her pure white glory has me tighten my grip on Mariposa. Mother has never been all four seasons in one day. Something is seriously wrong.
“Let’s go.” Yuriel tugs my arm. I’m not fast enough for him though. Soon he wastes what energy he has to teleport us outside. “Out of the main barrier.”
I nod glancing to spot the winter has reached beyond the cottage. We have to get out of the main barrier or we could turn to ice and snow.
When we reach beyond the barrier, the briars kick into place. To deny the spirits access to Mother’s concerns. She has closed herself inside. I look at Mariposa. Mother made another baby and then shut down her world.
“Everything will be fine, Kura.” Yuriel starts on a walk toward one of his favorite camp sites. It’s a beach with a view. Mother would show us how to see Life and Death there. But she doesn’t prefer it. Yuriel and I visit often. Perhaps too often. Or maybe, not often enough.