Chapter 3 “The Pearl” 51

Gwydion?

The voice enters his world softly, as if coming from very far away. Feeling weak and drained, he opens his eyes into darkness and searches for the source of the voice. Although he senses a presence close by, he sees no one in the velvety, comfortable gloom spreading before him.

“Who’s there?” he asks, feeling the words catch in his throat.

Suddenly, the darkness seems to waver as if in response to his question. Somewhere at eye level, the blackness sprouts bright, silvery-blue wings attached to a little, golden body. Fascinated by the tiny thing, Dion reaches a hand to touch it. The feeling on his hand is that of soft solidity and warmth, as if the gloom had reached out a hand to hold his. And yet, the little brilliant creature seems to evade him, its wings flapping frantically while it dances in the air just beyond the god’s reach.

She was draining you, little soul, the soft, kind voice whispers again.

Unable to identify the speaker of the whispered melodious words, Dion searches through his library of memories. For some reason, the voice brings back blurry memories of sweet smiles, a gentle touch, a generic female voice half-sung, half-whispered through delicate lush lips.

“Mother?” Dion asks tentatively.

Took you to an inch of your immortal life, the voice goes on.

In front of the god, the darkness sprouts another bright little creature, and then another and another, until there are hundreds swarming before him, flying together in formation, taking a different shape in their gathering. A female form with long, flowing hair and a graceful, slightly familiar face made of a thousand dots of light appears before him.

“Are you my mother?” the god asks, his words still feeling like they’re anchored to his throat.

You should know better, the voice rings, now appearing to come from the figure in front of him.

Suddenly, the swarm moves forth and the lady of light moves toward him, leaning close to his face. A flickering hand reaches for his cheek, stroking it lightly, like a cool summer’s night breeze, while glimmering lips touch his ever so softly, ever so gently, in a kiss that is like fresh, pure water to a parched man. Warmth and strength infuses Dion, leaving him partially restored but still confused.

“Please,” he nearly begs. “I don’t remember. Is that how you sound?”

Hmmm… Am I too late? the glowing figure wonders, tilting her head.

“ARE YOU MY MOTHER?” Dion shouts, desperate to hear no words coming out of his own mouth.

No longer preyed upon by his previous weakness but suddenly feeling very tired, his eyelids falling against his will, the god begins to drift again into a world of slumber. As his world turns dark again, he sees the woman break into a million light specks and fade away, her final words hovering in the air for a minute.

No… I’m not.

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