, , , , , , , ,

The town center on early mornings were cool from the harbor air, twisting the ends of shirts and skirts as people bustled about. Walking, waving, tapping canes, shaking hands, chatting with their peers, the Atlanteans easily intermingled amongst their duties—many of them craftsmen and saleswomen, who had booths to open and set up for the rich and powerful.

I liked to sit at the center’s fountain, large and gold-laced marble with a roaring splash that injected a steady cadence into my heartbeat.

Karamara sat a few degrees to the north of me, dressed up her blonde curls and tanned skin—the exact opposite of her natural dark hair and pale skin. She could not hide the silver flecks in her dark eyes.

My disguise matched hers to blend in with the humans.

“You’ve made these visits more often than is usual for you. It is like you know something that the rest of us don’t.”

Breath filled my lungs, pressing against the tight wrapping of my bodice. For a fate, she asked me such an obviously-leading question.

“I sense chaos. Tell me you don’t feel the oncoming retribution, the inevitable destruction looming catastrophe that few will escape.” I tucked the long hair behind my ear, twirling the bead in my earring.

“And so you’d prefer to spend your time here instead of preparing a defense? Planning the means for survival?” Karamara didn’t fidget the way a human did.

Chaos and discord didn’t mean always mean death and destruction, but this time it did. I’d succumbed to the irrevocability of our fall. All things must end.

Even if we never truly disappear.

We must pay our dues.