Causality and Consequences

That Drumming Sound...

A Rooftop, Downtown

Sasha breathes. The noise is still there; the maddening pulse of this city that grows and shrinks without reverence. He can feel the tug of the Dark Mother’s broodlings, someone with strange and forbidden arts. Someone that calls to him. Along the thread of the pulse he can see her magics, primal and demanding, but shadowed, detached. Unavailable.
At least to him, now. He breathes again, deeper this time, the tang of frozen salt burning into his sinus, filling with water and the deeps. Like a swift current, he lets the ocean take him where it will, down the streets and alley mazes, the pulsing growing louder, pounding harder. He does not fear, but he feels the anticipation of knowing the ground is getting closer, the sand brushing against his belly…
Soon the current drops him at the foot of a condo tower. He sidles through the shadows towards the service entrance down the alleyway, the bellhop throwing his cigarette down as a voice calls from within. Sasha is nothing more than darkness as he slips through the closing door behind the bellhop. He sees the sweat break out on the back of the young man’s neck. Sasha’s hunger sharpens his reflexes, but he knows he gains nothing (or not enough) from showing this punk who’s boss. Towards the stairs, up the tower; midway switch to the elevator for a couple of stories and then back to stairs. No need for the gym tonight. Finally he’s at the roof and the pounding noise is louder than his footsteps, louder than his heartbeat but just as furious. He hears singing bubbling up from inside the beat, a harmony against the percussion.
“I ran to the tower, when the churchbells chimed
I hoped that they, Would cleaaaaar my mind.”

Sasha opens the door, subtlety aside.
“They left a beating, in my ear.
That drum still beating, loud and clear.”

He approaches the Singer, smells the quicksilver blood of werewolves on him, notices the swaying, the singing, the drunken look in all-too-clear eyes that have danced to look at him. Sasha finishes with the chorus, his Russian accent obscuring some of the sounds.
“Louder than sirens, louder than bells
sweater than heaven, harder than hell.”
The wolf’s eyes burned and he starts walking towards Sasha, humming the song. Finally he stops.
“Yes. I see it now. ‘As the water fills my mouth, it couldn’t wash the echoes out…’” The beating in his head has stopped and Sasha stares at the werewolf. Suddenly he throws his head back and screams… which melts into his next words seemlessly, all the passion of that primal scream still tapering out.
“This story is true. I walked the darkest paths of the Shadow Wilds, the deepest trods where no light shines and I found myself at the base of the darkest ocean. Black water on white icebergs, and everything was cold. Even my fur would not save me and so I threw myself into the ocean and gave myself to the water fearing I would die but I did not. I drifted along the currents of the frozen stream and lost the feelings I once had and instead I found a deeper darkness in the depths and found I could breath the echoes of an ancient song, the pulse of salt within my veins. I gave myself to the Ocean.”
Sasha nods. “Da.
“And then!” He can tell there is no rest for this wolf; there is no reprieve for this unfortunate soul. "Then in the darkness a figure approached me and I knew the fear and terror of human lunacy and the creature was furred and beaked and swam through the oceans it was easily two hundred feet long and three times my height in the Father’s form. Its maw opened to eat me but before it closed I sensed its confusion and it shook its head and I swam out from it and it chased. I knew I could not outrun and soon I stopped to fight and I knew the song then. I knew what I would need to do. I knew the Dark Mother’s mind for just a brief instant as the beast stared its one eye into my head and was then gone.
“I knew how to find you, Sasha.”
“And who are you, so blessed by the Dark Mother?”
“Me? I am Eric… I think. I feel like that was the last name I was given, but I don’t remember… too many… too much swimming.”
“I think Luna has you by the… how-you-say? Short and currlies?” Eric laughs.
“Luna… The silver mother blesses me to sing and always gives me a song and sometimes its just quiet enough I can do what she wants.”
“What’re you doing in Isidis, cousin? I have seen no others of your kind?”
“A shell has broken. The shadows approach and Luna calls me here. To call you, to start something, to meet you. I do not know. I hung upside down and knew a charm and it was a charm of giving, a gift that brings fellowship. But Luna does not explain.” Eric grabs Sasha’s face, doesn’t register the gun under his chin that surely was not there a moment ago. “Perhaps you can. Perhaps in that light-less depth you have an answer, something about why we are here?” He pulls too close, both eyes blurring and he’s practically speaking his breath into Sasha’s mouth. “Something about WHAT. IS. MOVING.” Abruptly he lets go as the gun fires, the bullet sailing upwards and backwards over Sasha’s soldier.
“Cousin, you cannot do these things. Let go of Luna’s song—”
“I CAN’T!” An echo among the buildings: can’t… can’t… can’t
“The Dark Mother walks these streets and the Pregnant Moon throws his arms around her shoulder. Call your Brood, I’ll call my pack, we’ll have a Hatfields and McCoys party.”
“Let us not, Cousin. I have no Brood.”
“You lie; the Dark Mother will call them. With the next watchtower.” A pulse of sound returns and Sasha falls to the ground. “What do you mean—” Eric is gone as Sasha stands.



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