“Hello, Sarabi…” Alex sighed, sitting on his knees before a large tree, at the heart of his still missing ex-fiance, Glaciel’s castle, in Brraulen.
The ice around the tree had been shattered, torn up, as the roots of the tree dug deep for soil, for nutrients, for anything it could get a hold of to sustain it’s life. It had been mostly dormant for two years now, and the state of the tree made Alex’s heart heavy. He ran his gloved hand over the bark, taking one glove off to feel how tough it was. Immediately, his hand started to hurt. He struggled to move it, with how cold the area was. Normally Glaciel’s castle had an air of warmth to it, at least from what he remembered, but the tree had broken the foundation, and the roof, letting wind in.
“The weather is supposed to get really chaotic soon.” He said softly. “It’s taking a lot for me to be here, with how cold it is.”
And no doubt, he was shivering. Enough that he felt sick, but he was better off with the winter wear he had on, rather than being left with his normal thin and tidy outfit. With his hat off, and his mask off too, his face felt like it started to freeze. His nose dripped, forcing him to breathe mostly from his mouth.
The thin branches of leaves of the tree started to swirl around Alex, almost a little excitedly. Weakly, but quick for a slow moving, if not simply immobile tree. He smiled as the leaves as they touched him, and he bit the inside of his lip, trying not to be upset.
Why should he be, she was happy. Happy to know he was there.
Still, he brought his hand back, wiping his eyes. With a deep breath he nodded.
“I knew that I could make you happy. It’s only right for me to come see my daughter. I just wish I could take you with me.”
He reached his hand up to the rattling leaves, holding one of the thin branches between his fingers, rubbing his thumb over the leaves. The leaves were scratchy, frozen, brittle. They broke and crumbled in his hand, unable to handle being touched.
“You’re doing well… Maybe some day when I figure out what I’m doing, I can change this.”
He spent a few moments looking down, before wiping his eyes again, and shaking his head. But next was what caught his attention, and his eyes began to water uncontrollably. Above him, reaching downward among all of the bleached white leaves, were a few strands of colorful leaves. Leaves that resembled his daughter, the first plant golem he had ever created, Sarabi’s foliage, her “hair.”
“You… You’ve been working so hard!” He exclaimed proudly, standing up to save the tree the energy of reaching the branch any further.. “Look at all that color, three long branches…. Ohh… Oh how long have you been working on this?”
He ran his thumb over these leaves, admiring their vibrance. They felt lively, warm. And likely the tree had been hiding them in a bundle of leaves above, trying to keep what little color it had, safe. And the leaves didn’t fall apart, or fall off the branch. The branch bent easily, and didn’t snap.
But it was too much for him to admire for long. Alex brought his glove-less hand up to his mouth, shaking for more than of the cold. He almost whimpered when the branch receded back to it’s safe nest of warmth. But he understood, and he nodded.
“I know it’s hard here… I wish I could move you.“
His voice cracked and any pride he had tried to keep, any visage of a noble king, a strong man. Any of that… Was gone with that crack in his voice. He was mourning this tree, mourning Sarabi. Shaking his head and sobbing.
“…I should have been here for you, I should have done more when you were able. I’m so… I was so ignorant… And stupid. And you deserve better.” He admitted, and he took in a deep breath, his hands shaking as they touched the white bark before him.
The leaves and the branches stopped rattling, and they seemed to slow and droop. As his hands began to glow, the tree’s leaves began to grow in length, just a little bit. The bark hardened, and the ice around the tree cracked more. The tree was getting a little stronger, the leaves were a little tougher, from his magic. When he was done, Alex dropped to his knees, exasperated.
He pulled a small beanie cap over his head, and pulled over the hood, and up the mask he’d had on.
“Some day you’ll speak to me again, and you can yell at me all you want. I’ll let you, as much as you want. You can cry. Scream. I’ll free my schedule just to spend time with you.” He said, wiping his eyes as the tears continued. “I love you, Sarabi. I’m so sorry you ended up like this. I thought I was some god with the ability to create life.”
“I only hope some day you’ll forgive me. And be able to say it, and run around like your brothers, and your sister. And be warm and… Free. One day you and Benny will be free. And you’ll meet him, you’ll meet Flint.” He smiled beneath the mask, and he sat cross legged, holding his tail, looking down at it.
“We’ll all be the big happy family I’ve wanted for a long time…”