This flash is a sequel to “A Crossroads in Limbo”. I wrote that as the world went into lock down, I wrote this sequel as it seemed my city might go into lock down again.
Again, Homin found themselves lying still after being thrashed by a tumultuous storm against the damp, flat shore. The waves thundered as they rolled from the ephemeral depths and crashed to splay out across the catching sands as a gentle caress.
The hissing foam slid past Homin’s face and they coughed and spluttered, struggling back to consciousness with all of the burdens of a great battle.
“No,” they said, straining through blurred sight to take in their skin.
It shifted from brown to black to pink to white to brown again, shifting through the multitudes of age, baby skin to withered wrinkles and firm hide.
It happened again.
“I only just got out of this forsaken place.” She – her body finally solidified as a she with paling brown skin wrinkled with age – she slumped her head back into the eternal damp sand-scape that was Limbo and sobbed. “I thought I was doing better?”
A pitter-patter of paws signified some other spirit, it stopped before her and plopped to sit, panting pleasantly.
“Who are you?”
“Look Hoomin, and you will know me,” the eager voice replied.
Homin lifted her head to see a mix breed dog, part shiba inu, part wolf, “Canine?” It barked and nuzzled her face. “Why are you in limbo? You did nothing to deserve this.”
“This isn’t limbo Hoomin. This is Heck.”
“You mean Hell?”
“The Alpha spirit didn’t think you deserved full on Hell, you’re just a bit disoriented and need guidance. This is Heck, it hath no fury like Hell.”
“I really hate you sometimes, dog.”
“I am aware,” Canine stared Homin down as a wash of guilt swept over her. “Huge swathes of me hasn’t treated you too kindly have they?”
“No, but huge swathes of you have treated me very well. I’m here to help, Hoomin.”
“Why are you saying my name like that?”
Canine shrugged, “It’s a phase I’m going through, up you get, we have work to do!”
“But I failed you, I failed myself. So many pieces of me have been destroyed needlessly, so many are lost to the tides of the abyss…” The waves rumbled, “… I don’t deserve to be saved.”
“Not by others… but I will help. We’re partners, after all.”
“I can’t, Canine, I’m too fractured, I’m warring against myself, you should just let the tide take me. I have lived poorly.”
“Sounds ruff…” Canine barked. Homin glared at him as he cocked his head mischievously. “No one can take responsibility for your failings but you, but in doing so you get to take responsibility for your successes as well. Now, up!” Canine nudged Homin until she staggered to her feet. “I caught a whiff of your purpose over the next dune, let’s go reclaim it!” Wagging his tail, Canine bounded from Homin and up the rise in the sand, stopping periodically to hop and bounce as Homin caught up.
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