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For a Sunrise They Would Never See

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Adil figures Roland using teeth will be something he picks up from the demon and the devouring it had done. His Asura’s mouth does not have lips after all; teeth is all it has—and a tongue. But, Roland had used that particular part of his mouth before, specifically for when there were two of them in play. He liked to save it for the most fervid incidents, Adil will remember, when they were trying to get their mouths to silently say something so dizzying that neither of them could find words for it, only a longing, but Adil would not want to say such anyway. Even he knew enough to say it was not going to be appropriate for the occasion. What he will want is to tell Roland that finally, after all that time, he can let the Lokapala go. What he will want is to let Roland know that finally, after all those hardships, they all can let the Lokapala go; lay it down, bury it in a bed of stale dirt, so that dandelions and daffodils can begin to grow.

            One of Adil’s aspirations is to impress Roland with prose. To shame that the reality is that he is only going to be the same kind of wordsmith with his lips that he was when audible. All they were actually going to say is ‘God, it’s all over,’ after God had answered them and had forgiven them—forgiven humanity—of their sins. Then, He is going to allow the sun to rise over the horizon in a blinding, white shine.

            The only blinding, white shine Adil was able to see was from the lighting fixtures along the length of the corridor’s ceiling and walls because the they blurred against each other. His eyes could not focus; his thoughts could not either. His skin felt like it was reliving a winter he had not experienced in years—nor would ever experience again—and his lips also looked like they remembered it all the same.

            A bellow, from teeth still soppy and sticky from the parts of Adil that were missing from him, vibrated against the metal-coated halls of the facility. It was saying something recognizable—but only vaguely—except the monster was taunting someone else.


The taunt is calling out for Roland. It is calling out for his Avatar specifically, enraged from them having escaped, except Roland is not running. He is remaining conscious of an objective only out of desperation, despite the heaving, despite spitting out speckles of what little life he has left, and despite keeping his insides around his abdomen in place by force.

            Karma is something he had learned to believe in, but Irony, or the lack thereof, is to blame for all of those listed offenses, because the monster is fated to its claim: Indrajit, conqueror of Indra.

            Roland would have figured only after a good fight—from both sides—the static would have stopped, and Indra would have quelled, letting him return to a forgotten state of mind: silence. The Brand on the back of his hand would long have been dormant then, like it would have been some kind of cure for the virus to forget that Indra was there and forgive himself of what he had done to get him that far into the prospect. Except, his levelheadedness would have recognized that the reality of the remedy, his fantasy, was to either go mad or shoot himself before he had gotten to that point. That verity is what fiction was for after all.

            Roland still was a novelist; a writer composing fanciful hopes and dreams because of both a belief that he could not have it and because he had desperately needed it. They were the dreams of the skin on his sides not having been wasted away and the discoloration around his eyes not having been there because he was allowed to sleep again. Then thereafter, he would not have had to worry about Fred as much as he had in the past, for years would have given him his own life, but yet Adil would not have grown out of either of theirs. Adil still would have been there next to him all of those mornings after, forgoing more sleep because it had gotten to the point of the sunrise where its shine would have been kissing their skin as much as their mouths were.