Thursday, November 8, 2018
Title: From A Distance Chapter 5
Series: Another Life
“You are limping.”
Turning around, Enoch saw Misham standing on the path. His eyes incredibly dark against his pale face. He appeared small and insignificant compared to the vivid colors of the forest.
“And you are avoiding me.” Misham’s voice was laced with sadness and acceptance.
Enoch opened his mouth to deny Misham’s claim. Then he shut it again. He couldn’t lie. Not to his friend. He had been avoiding him. Enoch thought he’d been protecting his friend. But it seemed he’d only hurt him more.
Misham turned away. His words drifting quietly on the wind. “I understand.”
“No!” Enoch’s voice startled the birds in the trees, but Misham kept walking down the trail. “Misham. Please. Don’t go.” He took a step to run to the dejected man, but the pain in his ankle exploded. Enoch cried out as he fell. His hands started to sting as the rocks on the path ripped the skin. He didn’t try to stop the tears, bursting into sobs. He was wrung out. Between the visions and the pain in his ankle, he felt he was stretched too thin. Misham walking away broke the band of tension he’d had wrapped around him. He couldn’t hold back his tears.
Enoch felt arms wrap tentatively around him. Glancing up, he saw Misham’s face, tears creating streams down the other man’s cheeks. He tried to struggle away from his friend. He knew Misham was feeling all of his tumultuous emotions. As a child of a man that was a Historian and a woman from Tarvos, Misham had gained special qualities from them both. Yet he had neither the ability to receive visions from the stars like his father or to form the bond link that was so special to his mother’s race. Instead, the two races had created a child who felt the emotions of all that was around him. The emotions that had spilled into the ground.
Enoch tried to push him away. To spare him the feelings that Enoch had inside. But Misham gripped him even tighter.
“Please. Let me help. If only for a moment.”
At Misham’s plea, Enoch collapsed into his arms. He knew he shouldn’t burden his friend with his emotions, that was the reason he’d been avoiding him. But to have a friend wanted to help him was more than Enoch could resist.
Sniffling, Enoch murmured, “I shouldn’t. I should walk away.”
“Why? What have I done?”
Whipping his head up, Enoch stared at Misham. “Nothing! You’ve done nothing. It is me. My emotions are all over the place. I didn’t want to hurt you. But I did anyway.”
“Please, Enoch. Don’t push me away. You are my friend. The first friend I’ve ever had. Everyone was always afraid of me. Because I knew what they were feeling.” Suddenly, he tensed and cried out. “What? What did I say?”
Enoch knew Misham was feeling his despair. “Oh, Misham. I’m so sorry. Please, please, forgive me. I won’t push you away.” Wiping his eyes, he gave a soft laugh. “Oh, we are a pair, Misham. All my life people pushed me away. See on Earth, these visions I had were considered bad. Most people thought I caused all the disasters because I knew of them before they ever happened. I was always alone. And in my need to protect you, I was doing the same to you.”
“I’m sorry that happened to you. A life lived alone is not a life at all.” Misham knew of loneliness. He’d grown up isolated. Other’s staying away as they mistook his empathy for the ability to read their minds.
“No, it’s not. But you have Elden now. I have Chandir and Wryn. And most importantly, we have each other.” Enoch couldn’t tell whose relief was greater, his or Misham’s. But the air around them became lighter.
After a few moments, Misham asked, “What happened to your leg? Why are you limping?”
“Would you help me to the library? Once we are inside and sitting, I’ll explain what has been happening.”
With Misham’s help, Enoch kept the weight off his ankle as they hobbled to the library. Even though he leaned heavily against his friend, he felt lighter than he had for several days.
The tall door of the library opened as they stepped up to it. “I was coming to get you two.” Albric’s gruff voice belied a heart full of caring. “The ground has frozen already this season yet you both were sitting on it. Your doms should have something to say.”
Enoch held back a sigh. Albric was a Historian, a dominant, who saw things in stark black and white. Wryn had explained to Enoch that it was a way that the older dom could hold onto the illusion of control.
“Yes, Albric,” Misham said respectfully. “But may we sit down, please? Enoch has injured his ankle.”
Although the dominant’s voice was gruffer, the caring rolled off him in waves. He hurried the two men to a study room. “I will bring cushions. And food. Your thinness worries me.”
“His heart is full of love.” Misham’s voice quietly echoed off the walls.
“Too bad it’s not in his manners.” Enoch’s reply had both subs giggling.
They were still grinning widely when Albric came back. He was followed by another Historian who carried a tray of cheeses, dried fruits, and nuts. Albric put one of the cushions he was carrying on a small stool. He lifted Enoch’s foot and placed it gently on the soft pillow. He pulled Enoch forward and situated the cushion behind him. “You are so thin, your back will surely ache from the hard chair.”
Despite the harshness in Albric’s voice, Enoch smiled. “Thank you, Albric. Your kindness fills me with pleasure.”
Albric gave Enoch one of his rare smiles in return. He turned to Misham and handed him the last cushion. “You need softness as well. Now. What tomb would you be reading today? Or are you two recording what you’ve seen?”
Enoch didn’t know how to reply to the question. He’d started toward the library with no real purpose in store. After several days of resting, by Chandir’s command, Enoch had convinced his two dominants that he was fully healed and to stay inside on one of the last nice days of the season seemed a waste. He felt the blush of guilt rise in his face. He knew he’d taken advantage of the innate trait of those from Gliese to never be wasteful.
Misham sensed the unease in Enoch. He rescued him by saying, “I think we are going to plan the best strategy today, Albric. The food and the pillows you’ve brought us, give us the comfort needed. We thank you.”
Enoch shot his friend a look of gratitude as Albric left without further delay. He reached out and took one of the nuts. “Everyone is always trying to feed me.”
Misham laughed. “Elden has the same affliction. They mean well. Only have our health in mind. Like you protecting me from feeling your pain. What happened to your leg?”
“It’s not my leg.” At Misham’s confused look, he explained. “I’ve...I’ve been having visions. Of someone on Earth.”
“I thought all were gone?”
“We’ve not figured everything out. Wryn is having visions too. He said he thinks the people on Earth are the ancients or far into the future. But somehow, I’ve become tied to one of them. Everything she feels, I feel also. She stumbled and fell, hurting her ankle. Now, my ankle hurts as well.”
Misham blinked at him in surprise. “I’ve not heard of that happening before. Of course, I’ve not spent large amounts of time with other Historians.”
“I thought maybe there would be something here that could help me. But....” Enoch left the rest unsaid. He was embarrassed that he couldn’t read. Chandir and Wryn had been teaching him, but time was never generous.
“I would help. If you would allow it.”
Enoch should have known his friend would understand. He had been helping him record his visions and knew that education had suffered on Earth before the humans had died. Smiling at Misham, he softly replied, “I’d like that. Chandir and Wryn put restrictions on my time today. May we start tomorrow? Would Elden be ok with that?”
“I think he would. Shall we finish this small meal Albric gave us and then we can meet again tomorrow?”
Reaching out for another nut, Enoch nodded. He wondered if Rona, the woman he was tied to on Earth, had felt such joy at making a friend. For the first time, Enoch was impatient for a vision. He had something in common with Rona. Maybe they could help each other.
Read more of Enoch on the Another Life Blog.