People are such that everybody yearns for something to answer their prayers, to close up their wounds, to let go of their memories. I flexed my fingers, feeling the tendrils of my powers in my finger tips and in the back of my head. I could destroy so much with these powers.
The headmistress watched me from where she sat beside me in the library. No one else was in the large area, she sat beside me, the scars on her face distinct in the calm morning sun. I flexed my fingers again and looked up at her.
“I don’t know how to use this Tama.”
She held out a hand, that smile still lingering in her one eye. “Would you like to test it?”
“What if I hurt you?”
“I have faith in you. You won’t hurt me..” I laid my hand tingling with powers on the headmistresses hand, I felt all of that power flow into her, her gasp was faint, but from within my mind, I heard her speak.
“This story is known only by the beautiful moon that illuminates the land at night. You need to know it as well, my sweet. Every girl has three guys in her life: The one she loves. The one she hates. And the one she can’t live without. And in the end, they’re all the same guy.”
Then, suddenly, my powers bloomed inside the headmistresses mind, and I found myself in a different time, in a different place. It was her memories, I realized. Just as she had said earlier.
There was the headmistress, whole, unscared and truly beautiful. Her long blonde hair was tied up into a bun, she was wearing a long light blue dress and had a serene smile on her face. We were in a field, yellow flowers surrounding us, the breeze was warm, the sun high in the air. There was the faint smell of fresh bread, we must have been close to a town. Amelia bent down to pick one of the largest yellow flowers when, from the woods beside her, a man appeared.
It was my father, his shadows prominent on his white skin. His blue eyes darted around, landed on Amelia and widened slightly. Amelia looked over, her eyes found his and they just stared at each other in a trance.
“I’ve finally found you.” My father whispered in awe.
Everything around me dissolved, and I was transported to a new memory. This time I was in a small room, the lights were on, but dim. Amelia sat in a rocking chair, her stomach showing a bulge of pregnancy. Her face was pale, her eyes closed, her hands grasping her stomach as if she was in pain. The door to the room slammed open and again, my father stood there in his godly glory, his eyes frantic. Amelia, she was my mother. I gasped, my mind processing this information while the memory still played on.
“What have you done?” Janus was accusing, as he fell to his knees beside my mother. She opened her eyes, grimacing at the pain.
“Why should I give birth to this child if all the gods want me dead for it?” Janus laid his hands on Amelia’s protruding stomach and whispered something in another language.
“They will not touch you, my love. I will not let them.”
“Even you can not change the future, Janus. What will come to pass will be as it should be.” She grimaced again, Janus, growled low in his throat and laid his forehead to Amelia’s. “Don’t hate humans because of me, hate will only cast your heart into darkness.”
“Then what should I do?” Janus whispered, his hands cradling the precious life inside of Amelia. “Am I just supposed to sit here and watch while the only two people I love rot away?”
“There is no need for that,” Amelia whispered.
“No,” Janus said, all his thoughts clear on his face. “There is not. From this moment on, I’ll protect you and our child.”
“What are you doing?”Amelia’s face was stark with rage. Janus’s power was visible as it seeped into Amelia through their contact.
“Sleep.” Janus whispered. “And let that broken heart of yours slowly mend.”
Again, the room dissolved away, I saw Janus dart away with the sleeping Amelia in his arms. He opened a rend in the space and disappeared within it. As another memory appeared, Amelia’s face was tight with pain, her stomach large, the size of the last stage of pregnancy.
“It’s alright,” Janus was beside her, his hands wrapped tightly around one of hers. She was glaring at him, hate in her eyes. He smiled sadly, “You will love him, I know you will.” Amelia gave an ear wrenching scream, Janus darted to the end of the bed, the smile so tender on his face, that some of the hate faded from Amelia. The second scream was more of a wail, but it echoed his mother’s.
When the baby was put into her arms, Amelia smiled, love in her eyes. “My little Echo,” she whispered. She looked up at Janus, the hate now completely gone from her eyes. “I’m sorry, and thank you.”
“I told you I would protect you,” he breathed as he leaned down to kiss the love of his life and his newborn son.
Everything faded once again, the new memories coming fast and faint. Of Janus and Amelia, sleepless, taking care of the newborn. Of a one year old, a tuft of black hair sticking up everywhere, his blue eyes bright on his face. He was learning to walk as the parents encouraged him to take just one more step. A two year old, black hair longer, running around, giggling, naked as his mother and father tried to catch him. A three year old, black hair tied into a ponytail, his blue eyes the exact shade of his father’s, holding a teddy bear in his arms and sucking on his thumb. He reached out a hand toward his bottle, and it flew, he caught it, giggling.
Now, I was in my own memories, mingling with my mothers, they overlapped to become a bigger picture.
“What do we have here?” The voice was deep and the little Echo did not recognise it. He looked up at the stranger. He was taller than his father, his face riddled with scars, his eyes a color he did not have a name for. Amelia, felt someone she did not know enter the world Janus had created and felt fear slither down her spine. Echo screamed from outside. Amelia dropped the plate she was washing and ran to find the god of war, Nergal, reaching for her baby boy.
“Get away from him!” She screamed, running in between the god and her son. Nergal’s eyes turned red, the scowl on his face darkening.
“Don’t defy me, child of man.” Nergal slapped Amelia with all of his power. She screamed and put a hand to her bleeding face, her sight in her left eye now stolen.
Little Echo clung to his mother’s shirt, his little teddy bear forgotten in the grass beside him. He began to cry, big tears that fell down his chubby cheeks.
Amelia’s eyes widened, her pain vanishing and she turned her face away from the god to look down at the crying child. If he began to scream, it would be all over.
Where was Janus?
“You dare to turn away from me?” Nergal roared. His power a visceral form around him. Amelia’s eyes darted to him, her face sheet white around the blood that poured beneath her eye.
“You don’t understand.” She whispered, “If we don’t calm him down, everything will end.”
Nergal huffed then spit on the ground. “I am not afraid of any demi-god.” He reached out and took Amelia by the throat, squeezing until she was gasping for breath. She clawed at his hands, trying to get back to her son.
Echo’s eyes began to change color as his wails began to become screams. From that bright blue they changed into a color darker than black, they matched the color of her father’s when he was in shadow form. As his screams became louder, all color seeped from him, and his power, the color of midnight swirled around. At his feet, all the grass began to wither, the calling of the birds ceased, clouds rolled in the once clear sky. The forgotten teddy bear at his feet began to move.
Nergal laughed maniacally, “This is what I came for!” He hollered over the raging winds and the rain that began to fall. He threw Amelia to the side as if she was a mere rag doll. Nergal struggled to take a step against the small child’s power.
“He possesses a power greater than his father’s.” Nergal laughed again. “Just as the oracle said he would.” He raged, bringing his power out full force to be on par with Echo’s. He screamed louder, and from the dead grass at his feet, creatures of all shapes and forms began to form. They looked unlike anything in any of the world’s. They were fierce, all had sharp teeth and fangs, even the bugs. They were the manifestations of every nightmare. It was then that the teddy bear morphed into something larger than possible. It was hideous, it’s maw open, teeth sharp as knives and drool flowing from the corner of it’s mouth.
“Amelia!” The scream came from the other side of the two clashing powers. Janus appeared, all blood falling from his face. He ran toward the hurt Amelia, her arm was battered, blood and cuts everywhere. Echo’s powers still raged but he was pushing Nergal away from him, his creatures grabbing on to the god, ripping skin from him where they caught hold.
“Save Echo Janus!” Amelia begged. “He will lose himself if this goes on longer.” Janus looked at the small black creature that was his son. Gone was his smiling blue eyes and cheery laugh. All that remained was destruction and darkness. The ground beneath them shuddered and cracked.
“This world is becoming unstable.” Janus whispered in awe and fear. “If it falls, so will all the other worlds.” He looked toward Nergal, and his powers began to color his own skin. “Stop this, Nergal! You’ll kill us all!”
“I will have your son, God of Time. He will help me become king.” Echo’s cries were loud, his creatures almost covering Nergal in darkness. Amelia staggered to her feet, Janus at her side.
“How do we stop him?” Amelia whispered in fear. Janus frowned, and touched her forehead.
“Share my power, no matter what happens, hold on to him with all of your strength. Trust me.” Amelia nodded, and took a deep breath.
“I love you,” she whispered.
“Me, too.” He whispered back, kissing her for all he was worth before letting go. “Now go grab her Amelia, and don’t look back.” With tears streaming down her face, Amelia took off, running towards her son.
“Echo,” she screamed. The creature that was once her son turned, some of the darkness falling from her.
“Mama.” He cried, he reached out his little hands, the darkness fading more. Nergal’s powers exploded and hit Amelia, her arm becoming more battered in wounds. She grimaced.
“Nergal!” Janus screamed, he put his body in between his son and wife. His body nothing but the darkness of the end. Amelia reached her son, all of his darkness disappearing, leaving a weeping child. Janus turned and looked at the mother and child.
“I love you both,” he whispered before he waved a hand and sent them both to the world on the other side of the barrier. Amelia cried, squeezing her son as tight in her arms as she could.