After Memory (part 3)
Zeydar stood shivering, blankets around him and screams resounding in his head. The screams would not disappear, and no matter the number of blankets, he could not get warm. He tried to pull himself closer, to collapse in on himself, but no matter what he did, it all kept going.
“This is him?” A woman asked.
“Yes,” the man answered. “Can we trust you to take care of this?”
“No.” Zeydar reached out for the man, unsure who he was even after this time. A Superior? But the memories were condensing and collapsing on top of each other. He knew no names. He knew no faces. Only Tyler as Tyler looked at him and then — Zeydar felt the tears at his eyes and felt the flames on his skin as people screamed.
“You’ll be okay.” The man told him.
“Where’s—” The woman asked.
Zeydar let go of the man who was to abandon him. Everything was pain. His mind ached. He wanted to disappear or get something to make it all disappear.
“He needs more whiteshade,” The man said.
All at once Zeydar was in need of it. His body ached for it. His body craved it. That was the way to make the pain go away. It was the only way to control himself. Was that why everything was so muggy and so cold despite being so warm?
“Patriarch!” The woman gasped.
“We have to keep him heavily sedated or else his magic will affect us all.” The man answered.
“I know but….”
“Do this Majorie.”
Zeydar felt additional hands reach for him and pulled back the blankets to inject him. Slowly his mind began to turn fuzzy until he was a child again with Tyler singing songs and talking about basic magic.
“Are you awake?”
The voice came from somewhere distant, rocking him from his slumber and into a brisk wakened state that was neither pleasant nor restful.
Zeydar blinked thrice staring at the woman who leaned over him. “Where am I?”
“Valeria. The Patriarch brought you back here.”
“Who?” The name seemed familiar, not that Zeydar knew why.
“Superior, Elder Anthony. The Patriarch.”
“Is he the one who found me?” Zeydar felt his skin crawling needing release and his head was pounding. He needed more whiteshade. He wanted it so much.
“Where is Tyler?” Zeydar blinked at the lights before staring at the woman who had dark brown eyes, a sharp nose, and brown skin.
“My name is Majorie.”
“Majorie?” Zeydar remembered that name from the Catastrophe. It was as if he remembered the name but not fully. Tyler had said something… What was it? “Tyler is happy you are safe.”
The woman’s face contorted and she sighed. “Do you know where you are?”
“Where is Tyler?”
“Tyler is not coming here.”
“Is he okay? Is he…” Once more Zeydar was there in the screams, in the flames, with the… He gasped and sat up staring at the room around him. He was there again, the pain, and the flames and Tyler — Tyler he had —
“Drink this.” Majorie offered him a cup.
“I…” Zeydar looked at the cup knowing what it was, wanting it, and fearing it all at once.
“Your magic is lashing out. Drink it.”
“You’re going to put me to sleep again.”
“Superior Anthony.” Zeydar cut her off, repeating it how Tyler always told him. Never Patriarch. Never use the title. “He wants me out?”
“He wants you controlled. Can you do that? Can you control yourself?”
“I…” Zeydar looked at the tea. It was for his control. He could do it. “Yes.”
Zeydar sat with Majorie in the Superior hall. She was to be his new official instructor, guardian, and power supervisor. Every few moments he would glance at her, making certain that it was as it was said. She was dressed in all white, as was Zeydar: mourning clothes for the man they both missed. The woman had tears in her eyes but she did not cry. Zeydar wanted to confront her about their relationships and why they faces looked similar, but he did not. He already knew, and hated to admit it.
“Elder Tyler was a wonderful man.” The memorial for him began.
Zeydar clenched his fists. He listened to them talk about his father as if he were a stranger, someone that Zeydar had not know intimately for years. The man they spoke of was ruthless, critical, a brilliant lecturer. But they did not talk about his laughter or how he scared the nightmares away when Zeydar was a child. They talked as if he were cruel when all Zeydar could remember was Tyler teaching Zeydar about bubbles and making forts out of pillows. Tyler had taught him magic, had been there through his first crush, had taken him to see the world, and had been the best support that Zeydar could have ever asked for. Tyler had been his best friend and the man had died, because of Zeydar.
Zeydar glanced to Majorie again, unable to ask the question. He knew it was in bad faith and bad etiquette to ask about his parents. He, however, knew that she had to be his mother. Her face was too much like his own and Tyler had cared about her. A thousand questions span in his head with answers he’d never be given.
“How are you feeling?” She asked him.
He would maintain control. He had to. He could never let himself cause the destruction of another Tower ever again.
“Tyler believed in the best, and that with practice came strength.”
But with strength came destruction. Zeydar needed to control himself better than he ever had before. He had to, for Tyler. For Majorie. Fighting back tears, Zeydar cleared his mind of thoughts.
He’d do it for all of them. He’d do it for himself.