He put an arm around her shoulder and pulled her over so that she rested against his side, her head on his shoulder. She had always shied from displays of affection, more likely to push him away, sometimes with a laugh or a smile, sometimes with a frown or a growl, than to let him hold her. Her head now rested comfortably against his shoulder. She didn’t complain, and she didn’t fuss. He turned his head to hide his face amid the cloud of her hair, warm with the heat of her body, smelling of her and the shampoo that she used.
Her hand when he took it in his was cold. His tears, the sob on which he gagged was hot. Her name was mangled by that sob, and he choked back any more words, because mangled words wouldn’t suit her, never could suit her.
She had been the speaker he never had been.
Now the burden of her words would fall to him.
But tonight was not for words. Tonight was for mourning the woman in his arms.
Tomorrow would be for words, words to incite the rebellion, to chisel the bedrock of the society that had done this to her.
Tomorrow would be for following her.
And if he didn’t follow her tomorrow into the chill, numb place to which she had descended, he would wake up the next day, and he would continue to spread her story, to fan the flames that would destroy the Waykeepers. He would wake each morning with his heart and his words aflame till he followed her.
He laid her body down on the concrete and stepped back. He looked down at her. And he called for oil. He called for a flame.
Done so much earlier than midnight, and I bet that wasn’t you were expecting, Bek! I thieved this first line from Bek of BuildingADoor. Check out her blog tomorrow for the original story that she wrote beginning with this same line.