Her brown hair stuck up from around her face in haphazard tufts. Her large brown eyes were full of unspilled tears. The full pink lips covered by the porcelain white tips of her fingers.
Enaid had never looked so human.
Her hands trembled as she reached for him. Trailing fingers over his cheek and the kissing him on the forehead, Enaid let her tears fall upon his face. Close to his lips she whispered.
“You do not recall the day that we first met, but I do.”
She smiled weakly.
“You were so haughty and impatient.”
Enaid stepped aside and gestured with her hand.
“Please, bring him in,” she said.
Gytha obeyed. She laid him carefully at the center of the tree. Kneeling next to him, she looked down at his closed eyes. It seemed as though there was a part of him clinging about here in this body. Was that possible? Perhaps he clung to this flesh a while, until he was born into the next. There was no way to know the secrets of the Life Spark.
“This is not your fault,” Enaid said.
“You saw this coming,” Gytha said. “It’s why you sent the others.”
“I suspected that something might happen. There has always been violence when Raven and Dipak come together.”
Enaid looked in the direction of a large mushroom that hung from the wall, but her gaze was looking further away then that.
“I hoped that I could keep them together for a while,” she whispered. “They deserve that.”
“The Gods promised,” Gytha snarled.
Enaid laughed. The lines on her face became hard and her eyes became dark. Every soft curve turned to a hard edge.
“The Gods are cruel,” she spat.
Kneeling down beside Dipak, on the opposite side from Gytha, she stroked his hair.
“He was promised only that he would be allowed to find Raven in every life time. The promise was kept.”
Everything in Enaid had drained to white. There was no longer any color in her, even her eyes were flat white.
“We need to bury him,” she said.
“Jacob’s mother has also died. Dipak would want her honored as well,” Gytha said.
Enaid nodded and said “Bring her here.”
Gytha stood and the tree opened to allow her to leave.
“You had protected me once and I have never been able to protect you,” Enaid whispered.
Gytha stepped away from the tree and allowed it to close behind her; sealing Enaid’s weeping form into solitude. She would get only this brief moment to grieve him alone.
As she moved back through the crowd, they gave her curious and puzzled looks, but they kept the silence and they allowed her easy passage. She went to the car where the others waited as she had asked them to. None of them had been present when Dipak had last died. They did not know that way that Enaid would honor him. Gytha knew all to well. There were so few of them left who had known him from his last life.
Baring her teeth, she hissed. There was no reason that she should meet Dipak again. Pausing and looking down at the young boy that Dipak had risk everything for; she pressed her claws against her skin and drew blood. She crouched down in front of him and drew red lines across his face.
“I vow to you,” Gytha whispered. “On my blood, my life and my soul.”
She got up and took his mother from the car. She carried her with as much care as she had Dipak. Jacob watched her a moment, blinking his large blue eyes. Kam reached his hand out to the boy, but Jacob didn’t notice. He moved in to follow behind Gytha. They walked between the rows of Fey. First the people honored the mother, touching her and silently bidding her soul fair well. Then they bore witness to the oath that Jacob wore. Each touched one line of blood. With this the silence was briefly broken as the quietly spoke his name and then Gytha’s. Thus, there was a strange low hum of a chant as they moved up to the Life Tree. Gytha stopped at the tree without touching it.
Gytha looked down at him and was trying to decide how best to explain to him what this place was and why they were at this tree. But stepped forward and gently pressed his palm against the bark.
“Horse,” he whispered.
Pressing both his hands hard against the tree, he broke into a sob and the tree opened before him. He stumbled in and fell. Enaid caught him in her arms.
“Enaid!” he wailed. “Why did they hurt him and Momma?”
She shook her head, holding the boy close to her and allowing him to sob into her long golden hair. Offering no answers, she moved aside to allow room for Gytha to bring Heather in. The Mother was laid next to Dipak. Enaid sat between them, holding the boy in her lap. Reaching out, she held Dipak’s left hand and Heather’s right. Jacob’s arms were not long enough to reach their hands. He put his hands onto Enaid arms.
“Jacob, life begins with birth and always ends with death. But it is not forever. All is renewed. Gaia will take them back into herself. Your mother’s soul will return to the Life Stream and for a time will return to Original Unity. Take peace in knowing that. Gaia’s embrace is kind,” Enaid said.
“But not Dipak,” Jacob stated.
“No, not Dipak,” Enaid said. “He is a Life Spark. His Soul shall wander a time, but it cannot return to the Life Stream. It’s separate. He will be reborn with all that he is still inside him. His body maybe the same or it may change. There are seven aspects of the Life Spark.”