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Signs of the Southern Cross Chapter One

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:The Diver:

The Signs of the Southern Cross

Mud for Dinner

→→“It was snowing, not a cloud in sight, rather the Sun bearing down intensely on A snow covered tree. The air was chilling, despite the Sun’s blinding rays. The tree bore forth a neon spider the size of a plate, running towards it’s newly captured prey. What ever the spider had caught, it was small not anywhere near enough to make a meal. The spider took pity on the minuscule creature and simply meandered back to whatever crevice it had scurried from. The Prey began growing steadily. Soon the fly was the size of a plate itself. It escaped from the Spider’s snare, then scrambled to the crevice in which the merciful spider had gone to rest. The fly invaded the sleeping spider’s abode. The spider hadn’t awoken until the fly had siphoned his organs into her bowels. As the Spider curled up and died the fly emerged from the home, still growing. It looked right at me. I immediately bolted away, taking desperate glances over my shoulder. It continued to grow and by the time I had reached the City Gate it was the size of a man. I cried for assistance in my forlorn escape and attempted to peek inside the gate. There were no people, only flying insects. The air was vibrating with the sound of thousands of small wings and was only getting louder. I turned, cupping my ears in vain, to see two multi-faceted orbs, staring at me… And that is when I awoke.”

→→He was sweating, the vision still fresh in his mind. “Calm Angelus” someone said to the sweating man. His voice was like silk covered marble, smooth, and hard, Gentle and warm. “t’was just a fright”. “It was more than that. Brother Padavon, could you possibly tell me what this means?” Angelus’ cold, loud voice was betrayed by Desperation. Padavon stopped a moment to think, “It’s really quite simple. What do you think the spider is, Brother Angelus?” Angelus was not prepared for this and thought in the awkward silence that followed. “Some-one I strongly respect and fear losing” Angelus’ eyes were serious and protective. Padavon shook his head and sighed, “I’m flattered, Angelus, but not every dream is a prophecy of an event to come. No. This dream is showing a change of heart, unsure of what’s happening to it. Within you there are two forces, The Predatory Spider, and the pitiful fly.” Padavon was fantastic at dream telling and had never been wrong yet. “The spider has, been a predator since it was created, the Spider is strong, gluttonous, and fierce. The Fly on the other hand is meek, small, compassionate. Now that you have joined us, The fly has become far more strong and able to beat back the spider. The reason you run is fear of change, you fear that you will be unable to protect others, as your calling is. Upon reaching the village and witnessing the ‘infestation’ your heart was telling you, ‘there is no need for fear, others will stand by you.’”

→→Angelus was not satisfied by Padavon’s interpretation, but accepted it with a “thank you” as he exited Padavon’s quarters. Angelus was a self appointed guard for the small group. Group was what Brother Padavon called it, although others called it church, and Padavon… Prophet. Hell, Angelus was beginning to think he was a man sent by god. Padavon made no claims nor did he denounce any, he was a nearly perfect man, and he had made several predictions, most of which had been proven. Angelus opened a door to his small house which entered directly into his bedroom. “Pater!” a young feminine voice dashed Angelus’ often grim countenance, and replaced it with a grin.

→→“Anima! Filia Mea!” Angelus grabbed his daughter by the hand, knelt down and kissed her golden hair “Tam pulcher es!” His daughter was his world, and proof that god was with him. Angelus had taught her a smattering of words in his home tongue, he knew it was important to never forget where one is from. The girl giggled and swiveled on her hips…it was then that he noticed her hands were muddy. “Anima, what have you been up to?” he said in a soft scolding tone. “I made dinner Pater!” Her voice was as golden and sweet as her hair, a voice one could never be mad at. Angelus chuckled a bit and asked “Ubi est Coena?” “Sequi Me”. Anima grasped Angelus’ hand, and tugged him back outside and around the building into a dim ally, it was moments before dark. “Cilium close” she told him in broken tongue, he’d have to chide her about that later but for now he obeyed and closed his eyes. “sit cross-legged” Who ever said ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ would turn in their graves upon witnessing this man sit, legs crossed, like an eager child. He felt a wooden plate land in his lap and not long after that a spoon thumped on the plate, he opened his eyes a bit to grasp the spoon only to be chided by a small Child, arms crossed, staring him down “ CILIUM CLOSE!”

→→Angelus shook his head and closed his eyes with renewed vigor. Anima giggled at her father’s scrunched up face and Angelus heard what sounded like mud land on his plate, his heart sunk…what had he gotten himself into.. “Comedo” a word he never thought he would dread as much as he did now. With the resolve of the lord himself, Angelus moved the spoon to the plate, shoveled a large amount of the mud like substance onto the spoon, and placed it in his mouth. It took all the control Angelus could muster to swallow. It was mud… Mud with faaaaaaaar too much salt. Angelus opened his eyes and cupped Anima’s face in his palms “Sapida!” Angelus said, he grabbed the plate in both hands and swallowed it down, leaving just enough for one more spoonful, “Forgive my rudeness, Master Chef! I seem to have forgotten that chefs must have the first taste.” Angelus grabbed the spoonful of salty mud and pushed it to his daughter’s lips. Making silly noises like he used to when she was little. “Hey! You!”, An inebriated man brought a quick stop to the good fun.

→→Angelus stood up, his grin wiped away to its former grim aura. This man had been keeping the peaceful group members up for weeks with his constant insults in the middle of the night. “You the ‘guardian’ of that cult isn’tcha?” Angelus picked Anima up and placed her with-in his house through an opened window, she new what was going to happen, and she couldn’t bare to see her father like this, She jumped in the bed and hid under the covers. The man was obviously a man of privilege, as was evident by the fact that he could drink enough spirit to be in such a drunken state. “Iam.” Angelus’ voice was dark, trying to rebuild his ‘don’t aggravate me’ countenance. The drunk was having none of it, and was even getting feisty “Think you’re so tough huh?”. The man withdrew a short-sword from a hidden scabbard, it wavered in both his hands. “Don’t get yourself hurt” Angelus said, “you are drunken while waving a blade about, you are going to hurt yourself.”. “My sister was drawn in by your prophet’s lies” The man had reached his boiling point “she thinks some shady cult is going to protect her!” The man took a blind swipe at Angelus, who was unarmed. The blade cried in pain as it met with an immobile wall. The Diver heard a short gasp from within his house, Anima was always worried she’d lose her father and it bit him to the bone that he would scare her like this. Angelus grabbed the off-kilter drunk by the jaw and thrusted his head into the unforgiving wall twice, until certain the man was unconscious. Angelus took the man’s sword and smashed it into the wall breaking it in two. He threw it at the drunk’s feet and walked back inside his house. He locked the door and closed the window shutter. He crawled next to Anima and held her until she calmed and drifted to sleep. Angelus stood from the bed and walked to the bench, ready for rest. No sooner did he sit than he heard Anima’s naked feet slap against the floor. “Pater?” “Yes, Parvola?” “I can’t sleep.” Angelus stood from his bench and cradled Anima in his arms before lying her on the bed, taking great care to tuck her in. “Iucundissima Somnia” he said, huddling over her like a bear over it’s cub.

I turned, cupping my ears in vain, to see two multi-faceted orbs, staring at me. It was then that I realized. I was not scared of the fly….. I was scared of what I might do to the fly.

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