Author’s Note: Diana over at Mythos of the Mirror has put up a new photo prompt for this month. And let me tell you what: It’s a good one. 😉 Here is my take on it…
Jo’am had known all along that his time was limited.
His master had crafted him out of an eclipse’s darkening shadows. He was created to be something more than a silhouette, but something a lot less than a human. He had no face, no voice. His feet left no imprint in the city’s sand-stormed streets.
His time was limited. For the magic binding him together would be undone by the next eclipse. His master searched for ways to strengthen his bonds. He read through manuscripts and dust-old tomes and delicate sheets of vellum and stone tablets. He spoke to every wizard he knew – both dead and alive.
But there was no solution.
There was no hope.
His master was devastated.
Jo’am comforted him. He could not say a single word, but he stood close to his master and stroked his back in sympathy. He ached with the need to say the words hidden inside his darkness. But he had no face, no mouth, no voice. So, there was no way for him to speak.
His master went to bed early and without any supper.
Jo’am stood in the hallway – lost and uncertain as to what he could do to make things better.
He raised his featureless head.
Something beckoned to him. Through the house’s brick, mortar, and plaster, something beckoned to him. Without words or sounds, something beckoned to him.
Jo’am drifted through the walls until, at last, he was outside. He followed the summons through the middle of town. The white sand lay in thick waves and ripples across the street, creating the illusion of a frozen ocean..
He couldn’t see the eclipse’s eerie blue glow, nor its breath-stealing blackness, but he could feel its pull. He could feel it tugging at every part of his body, at every unspoken word inside of him.
It pulled him forward, summoning him with unrelenting insistence. It tugged at all of the invisible lines and seams keeping him together.
He raised his hands to the eclipse’s complete darkness.
It twined his wrists and pulled him into the air.
As he left the safety of the streets, Jo’am thought about his master. He thought about how desperately alone he was going to be.
Jo’am shook his head.
He couldn’t leave him like that.
He looked to the center of the eclipse’s pull.
I can’t leave him like that.
Jo’am fought against the eclipse’s power until his wrists were finally free. He dived down to the ground, like a gannet diving into the sea.
The eclipse reached for him, grabbing at him, snapping at him, in a furious act of desperation.
Jo’am hit the ground and ran through buildings – stores, homes, and more.
I can’t leave him.
I can’t leave him.
I must go back to him.
I will go back to him.
His body rippled like water, like sand on the move. But he kept running.
He had no eyes to see the way back home.
He didn’t need eyes.
He felt the tug of home pulling him onward. He ran to it like a dog to its master – in a straight line.
The eclipse grew more frantic as the minutes escaped and the moon started to slide out of position. If it could have screamed, it would have.
Jo’am reached his master’s house. He ran through the walls and rushed up to his room.
Outside, the moon slipped out of alignment and the eclipse came to an end.
Jo’am’s body returned to normal as he approached his master, who was curled up in his bed, crying.
He gently touched the human’s arm.
The man raised his head. “Jo’am?” He sat up. “How?”
Jo’am would have smiled if he could. Maybe the next eclipse would be able to steal him away, but for now he was safe.
It doesn’t matter, master.
I am home.