Too late, she echoed. Her fear of the unknown fate that lay beyond begged her to flee. But she had chosen this. Her short life had been full, and yet empty. The cold ache in her chest was not from the water; she had known it all her life.
The stars swirled and twisted dizzyingly, but Kali refused to be distracted. She could not deny that the information she was looking for wasn’t exactly easy to come by. If it was, she wouldn’t have had to go there and seek him out.
Pushing her turmoil aside, she turned her attention back to her phone and did her best to navigate the streets to the underground. Her sense of direction was still terrible. Even with the map, she got lost. Twice. But with her face glued to her phone, she didn’t care if anyone was staring or laughing at her.
Secured and protected by the Mage Lords, they repelled the demons and spirits outside. Another painstaking experiment in the name of progress. Another step for humans to carve a life in a world that was not made for them.
Even on a Sunday morning, it was a buzzing hub of activity. Kali spotted the god in his usual place, in the furthest corner. It was the hottest area of the forge, and the most out of the way.
Heat, and pain, and an ancient unfathomable rage. Just outside of her consciousness, she felt it screaming. Burning.
Kali frowned and focused on the hag again. Leathery skin pulled taut, empty white eyes, withered hands. Scattered patches of thin hair. She didn’t feel like the creature was evil or cruel, regardless of appearances. But something about this place, this person, terrified her beyond reason.
But the glint in her eyes was driving him crazy. She was teasing him. Her untamed joy, and the flames of desire in her gaze. She didn’t just love him; she wanted him. And she was wearing his mark like she was born for him.
Kali didn’t realise she was crying until Poseidon wiped a tear gently from her cheek. She stared at him numbly, shaken. He spoke as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. He spoke like he respected her decisions. Like her choice mattered to him.
But the title of “Writer” is a mantle that has been worn by mountains, and I falter in their shadow. I cannot compare. I am never sure if I’m more afraid of failure, or success.