Dark Eyes Chapter 4: The Mother

Tyler Golec

Dark Eyes

Lakes Edge was a short trek from Ware, and bordered Eelier Lake as in its name.  Walking slowly down the well-kept roads that had made this area so successful recently in increased trade.

He stopped outside the border of the main town.  The sun was high and the whole of the massive Eelier Lake shown in its reflection.  Fumbling with his black cloth he reluctantly put it on over his eyes.  The residence of the town was still low despite its rapid economic growth. Traders from various areas would converge in its market place and sleep in their carts or wagons.  Ignoring the throng of people he made his way to the town hall where he thought he could ask about his mother.

He found the place and knocked on the front door. An old man answered. His face was ancient, he had seen far too many winters.  The elderly man’s expression shifted from irritation to curiosity.

“Who are you?” He asked.

“My name is Azriel. I’m looking for my mother. I heard that she was in town,” He said.

“Who is your mother?”

“Alicia.”

Immediately the old man’s skin tone lightened. Azriel moved to steady him.

“No boy, I am fine,”

“You know me?”

“Yes I believe I do,” The elderly man was smiling a bit now. “You’re dead, or should have been, they left you there.”

“You should sit down,”

ignoring Azriel he led him in.  “You mustn’t be seen. The Doctor, who is also the town’s pasture, almost got Simon removed as mayor after how he housed poor Alicia and let you be born,”

“Why?”

“Because of your eyes, those demon eyes he called them, and a large portion of town believed him. He cast you into the woods when you were born.”

“I remember.”

The older man paused, “Really?”

He nodded “I remember you to now. You helped birth me,”

“Yes… wait here.” He scurried down a hall shouting, “Simon!”

Several minutes later a man entered the hall from a side room.  He looked at the elderly man then down the hall at Azriel, who removed the cloth from his eyes.  Simon’s reaction was even more extreme than the elderly mans. He couldn’t move. His face was as pale as the ghosts he was seeing.  Slowly he regained control and began to walk closer to Azriel.

“I watched them take you to the woods. I watched you squirm in his arms. They restrained me and I couldn’t get to you. I’d foolishly left my guards behind. Alicia nearly died when she asked for you – when I told her what happened.”

“Were is she?”

“How did you live?”

“I just did, I ate when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty. Now where my mother?”

“She lives two houses away. She married my guard captain fifteen years ago.”

“Can you take me there? I will not stay long. I just want to see her,”

Simon nodded.  He led Azriel out the front door. Azriel hastily retied the cloth covering his eyes.  Simon kept looking back at him, clearly full of questions.  Simon stopped in front of a door.

“Here,” Simon said stepping aside.

Feeling strangely uneasy Azriel stepped forward.  He felt strange that his search would be over so quickly.  After pausing for a second he knocked on the door.

A small girl opened it.  She had a head full of blond curls and glowing green eyes. She was almost an exact younger replica of the girl in his memory.

“Hello,” She spoke looking up at his covered eyes tilting her head. She was too young for trepidation of his oddness.

“Is your mother here?”

“Yup, wait here,” She sprung down the hallway curls bouncing.  She’d left the door open to him so he stepped in. Simon was right behind him.

A women’s voice came down the hallway followed by her footsteps.  She appeared at first with her eyes on her daughter. She was still very pretty. She must be in her thirties. She had long straight golden hair that fell across her face as she gradually raised her green eyes. She was the women from his memories.

She saw him, “What’s wrong with your eyes. Oh, hello Simon.”

“We would like to talk,” Simon said stepping forward. “This is a – friend.”

“Honey, go play now,” She said to the little blond girl who ran off.

Azriel removed the cloth from his eyes and looked at his mother. They just kind of starred at each other for a moment before Simon cleared his throat to speak. “Alicia, this is your son.”

“I know.” Slowly she moved closer. She spoke again. “How?” her voice was far from steady.

Looking away from her he recalled everything. Memories flashed in front of his eyes as fresh as when they’d occurred. “It is strange, but I can remember that I was taken and left in the woods as you know. I also know that my father must have been something more than human. You are the same as any other I’ve seen and I am not.  A Husband and a wife found me when I was a boy and raised me for four years till I got into a fight with and older kid and killed him. I left them fleeing in order to protect them from what I’d done.”  He didn’t know what else he should tell her

“What… what is your name?” His mother trembled.

“That couple that helped raised me named me Azriel,” He said.

“That’s a nice name,” She drew closer touched the side of his face with the palm of her hand. It was a weird feeling, the contact. It was more of a human emotion than he’d ever felt. “I wish I could have been the one to name you. That is your name now and will forever be, you are Azriel.”

“You look a lot like him, your father. Sure you have my hair but with minor exceptions your face more resembles his than mine, plus your beautiful black eyes.” That was the first time anyone had called them that.

“Alicia what’s going on?!” A Man with sandy curls came burst through a door. “Lana said we had visitors.”

“This is Azriel, my son,” She spoke gesturing towards Azriel.

Now looking eye to eye with Azriel the man who was dressed in a mail tunic and leather greaves stepped closer, “Impossible, he was killed”

“I survived,” Azriel said.

The guard captain was cautious to approach him. A stern look from Alicia dulled most of the edge in his eyes.

Azriel felt a familiar uncomfortableness coming over him. “Mother, I should be going. We can talk again.”

“Please, I just got you back. My husband will not harm you,” Alicia begged.

“We will talk again,” Simon said assuring Alicia. “I have many questions for our friend as you do.”

“Make it soon,” Alicia said. Then to Simon, “We’ll be in touch.”

“See you soon mother,” Azriel said. She kissed his cheek as he left.

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