The second Blue Flame novel –
There is a wiki database to reference names, although you can certainly ask me questions as well.The Other Side of Life
Chapter Thirteen: Part One
We were speaking in Chinese when my teacher stopped and put his hands up as he said, “You seem very happy today.”
“I should not be, but, yes, I am.” I did not wait for him to ask, but went ahead and provided the information. “A friend died. A close friend. The one of whom it was said that he was a real immortal. With his death, I feel that I may one day indeed step from the heights of immortality and take my place among those who truly live a life.”
“Then I must say that I understand your loss. However, my own gladness is made sorrowful by the news.”
“Yes. I have begun dating a most wonderful lady, but now that I have what I hope to my own source of happiness, I find that my hopes might once gain ring true of gaining you.”
I did allow myself a little laughter before speaking in return. “I doubt it. I told you that it would probably be your grandson. You thus need to marry this lady and have her start providing you with children, as you first need a son before you can gain a grandson.”
“You inspire me to live, honorable lady, as I do hope to one day bless your own son, my great-grandson.”
“No granddaughter could be more pleased with such an honor.”
We both tried to return to the lessons. I however could sense that he wanted to ask another question. I felt no rush. If he wanted to prolong the inquiry, it was fine with me. Eventually, he did ask.
“How will I know that it will be time for you to marry?”
I actually felt that those questions had been answered in the process of me hiring the man. I did not say such however, because I actually did not deal with him. It was his father that I actually approached. How much was related to this man, and how it was said, might have caused certain facts to be ignored, evaded, or simply not considered important at the time.
“I will come to you. When another takes my position, I gain a moment of clarity where I can choose where to go. The first time I went to Greg, who is the friend that brought you my photo. It was also to Greg that Chisel went. Greg and I were both present for Chisel’s last moments. The next time for me, I will however come to you.”
“And how fast will events need to move?”
“No faster than necessary. I am physically young. While I lived for centuries, I became Death at a very young age. While the courting process will take its time, the man that gets me will probably be considered as robbing the cradle.”
“Yet you are not a virgin.”
I really did not consider the response proper, but I went ahead and answered. “Yet whoever will want a lass close to three hundred years in age, should not be interested in me as a virgin.”
“I have already been getting inquiries concerning you. Most have asked.”
“Good, although it has them mean no more to me than your professions of love for me. Those who want a virgin, will not truly want me. I am not an innocent girl.” I moved to touch the man as I added, “Those who seek me now, do not truly know who I am. While I long for life, I know well how short the years are. I will thus stay Death as long as I can.”
“Oh, a man will never love a granddaughter as much as you, as by the time that my grandson first looks upon you, I would have spoken to you for so long.”
It was very much the proper thing for him to say. If our relationship was anything closer than simply teacher and student, I would have kissed him. As it was, I simply smiled. It was enough for him, and he returned to the lesson.
The lesson ended as I felt the signal to be elsewhere. Instead of any closing less professional chatter, I rushed to where somebody called for me. I felt it for the best, as I found my instructor already attempting to break the barriers of our relationship. While I suspected that we would indeed grow close, I did not feel any desire to rush a deeper communication. I thus politely excused myself at the close of the lesson, then left.
“Oh, you. I would get you. Oh, damn, you are not who I wanted.”
I considered it strange that I would recognize the lady. Equipment filled the room. Smoke poured from certain components clouding my view, but also the lady had her appearance distorted from wounds she had suffered. I did not consider it to be suicide, and the words spoken seemed to support that conclusion.
“Go away, Death. I don’t want you.”
Normally, I would, but I recognized the person. “Azurgell, what did you do?”
“Is it still you, Calliope? Good. Go turn off the power supply over there.”
“Will the room go dark?”
“What? Yeah, but the smoke ain’t helping anyway. I know where the door is.”
The equipment had been scattered by what I felt was an explosion. I looked to the door and considered it blocked. I thus went to move some things.
“What are you doing? Oh. I can get that stuff. Just get the power off.”
I had been summoned, so thought different. “Can you even stand?”
She tried, but the grunt became close to a scream. I saw her eyes turn to me with fear. The sensation of no longer desiring me could clearly be sensed, but I stayed to see how I could help assure that she did not die anyway. Regaining some composure, she did speak to me.
“I have tried and tried to regain my status as Life. Nothing has worked.”
“I don’t know of anyone that regained their position after having it removed from them. Having it taken by another is one thing, but once removed another is divinely selected.”
I did not want to add by doing some experiment probably as dangerous as what I saw around me. I also knew that Greg spent years in his trial period, so anything done before a number of months ago would not have worked. Moving some equipment, I hoped that Azurgell would explain some things, which she did.
“Yeah, I got angry and did something really bad. I don’t like worms however, and felt the caterpillar creatures deserved an advantage. I really did not believe that I was doing anything overly wrong. Ended up back home however.”
I saw the smoke and sparks, so did turn off the power. The darkness did not spoil my sight. Azurnell could no longer see, but something about not being able to judge the size of things around her caused her to act. Throwing off a piece of equipment, she screamed, and as hands came to her body to feel the source of pain I heard her exclaim what she detected.
“I am going to die!”
I replied, “I was called.”
“Thank you for coming, Calliope. What you have done was a help. Now, go away. I don’t want you.”
“Azurnell, you might not be Life, but start living it.”
I saw the hands touching a certain part of her body as she replied, “That might not be a possibility any more.”
I thought of Greg’s wife as I said, “Mepriane.”
“The word is from another culture. It means a lady that can no longer be a proper wife. They are removed from the courting process, because they cannot provide any children for a man.”
“Is there a word for the men?”
Since I had started the topic, I felt that I needed to answer. “The word might apply to a man as well. I don’t know. I heard the word from a lady. Anyway, you can still be a factor in helping your relatives raise their families. It can be a good life. Enjoy life, Azurnell.”
“If I survive. I am about to try to leave and get help. If I die, I will go suffering. I don’t want you, Calliope.”
“I hope to see you again, one day, Azurnell, but I will be the one not wanting to come to you then. Before I let you pass on, I will want you to tell me what you did between this day and that one.”
“I will promise to have a pitcher of beer waiting for you, so we can talk as friends.”
I told the lady farewell, then I went to Greg’s apartment. Vefillaya was there overseeing a work crew. I had hoped that the bedroom would be clear, but she had people even in there doing work. I thus choose the best place I could to be visible.
Vefillaya greeted me, then said, “We just had one of the festivals of the Pranashall Consortium, and Greg mentioned something that a few want to speak to him further about. When an opening in the schedule next occurs, some will thus gather here. I am thus trying to get things very ready.”
“Oh, the life of a diplomat.” She smiled, then I asked my question. “The word, mepriane, does it apply to the men as well?”
She did not say ‘eunuch,’ but that was how whatever gift for language that I had translated it. I felt dumb after hearing it, as I knew the word. The fact that I did not know ‘mepriane’ told me that I did not have a similar word in my language, at least one that I did know. I could have thus answered Azurnell’s question. After thanking Vefillaya, she however asked a question that I had not expected in return.
“Did the situation come up as a part of your lessons?”
“No. It came up at the scene of an accident where another lady hurt herself very badly. She saw me, then told me to go away. It might seem improper, but I thought of you.”
“It might seem strange, but I did not feel myself as close to death that day. I know others have told me that it sounded strange to them that I did not speak as if I had hurt myself so bad. They however could see that part of the tree was inside me. I however only felt myself as being surrounded by the tree. I actually thought that it had kept me from danger. Considering that my parents had been killed by being slammed into a tree, I at first thought it ironic that a tree would save me.”
I thought of the scene with Azurnell as I replied, “It is strange how the fates seem to work.”
Vefillaya looked at me with an odd expression as she said, “Greg is with the other ambassadors, unless he had to leave.”
“I came to ask you the question. I did not come to see Greg.”
“Well do you have to leave again?”
“No. Not at the moment.”
“Then can we spend time talking?”