Fool’s Hand: Part X

Baethan makes the final jump into a new subconcious

Fool's Hand: Part X

BURKE BISCHOFF

“My world…has ended?” Baethan asked Charisma.
They were both in Charisma’s realm. The empty whiteness surrounded them as Baethan stared at Charisma’s flickering black form.
“Indeed it has,” Charisma said. “But you saw that for yourself.”
The event was still fresh in Baethan’s mind. He had been brought back after his subconscious was transported to the minds of every single individual left in his world. His mind was almost shattered from absorbing all of the images of death and destruction.
Both of them stayed silent for a while. Baethan was reflecting on everything he had seen since the beginning of his journey. He was remembering Charisma first speaking to him, people being infected by Him-the death of his parents, everyone in his world suffering by His hands.
“Why did all of this happen to us?” Baethan asked. “Why did He decide to do this to my world?”
“Are you truly asking me this, child?” Charisma asked.
“What do you mean?” Baethan asked.
“He is drawn to places of Corruption because they are what gives Him strength,” Charisma said. “Every world has the potential to become Corrupted, but that is ultimately determined by a world’s inhabitants. He seeks them out and feeds on their wickedness. He uses that to fully consume a world. Your people were fated to be destroyed because they were easy targets for His corruption.”
“Enough!” Baethan shouted, and Charisma became silent.
“You’re wrong,” Baethan said. “Everyone isn’t the same. Weren’t you paying attention to the people whose minds I inhabited? Most of the people I observed did what they did because they were thinking of others. Miss Nalani was comforting children who were infected by Him. The world leaders enacted their plans to protect as many people as they could. The mother brought her daughter infected apples, not because she knew it was going to harm her, but because she just wanted to give her something to eat.
“I recognize that everyone on my world was not completely good, but they were not completely bad either!” Baethan exclaimed. “I know that every single one of them lost their lives trying to protect something that they loved. I don’t care if you think they brought this tragedy upon themselves. I refuse to have you disrespecting their memories after everything that has happened to them!”
Charisma remained silent, but Baethan could hear her song working its relaxing tune onto his mind, helping him calm down from his outburst. After a minute, Baethan was completely silent.
“Good work, Baethan,” Charisma said.
“You actually used my name.” Baethan said. “But what are you talking about? I didn’t do anything.”
“After the complete genocide of your entire species, you still hold your people in such high regards,” Charisma said. “Resolve like that is admirable. Since you have come so far, I suppose I should give you your reward.”
“My reward?” Baethan asked.
“Yes,” Charisma said. “A very fitting reward.”
Baethan felt his mind being transferred into the body of another. His mind went foggy as he felt his eyes open. He was lying on a bed. He sat up and brought his hands up to rub his eyes.
Baethan suddenly froze when he realized he was moving on his own will. He held out his hands to look at them. He moved each one of his fingers and brought them to his face. Baethan could feel tears streaming down his cheeks. He could also feel needles in his arm and a tube in his nose.
“How can I be moving my body?” Baethan said out loud in a voice that was different from his own.
Baethan looked around the room he was in. It looked like a small hospital room, with a single bed with a medicine cart right next to it.
Baethan looked to his right and could see a window. He looked out of the window and could see many different colored flowers that he did not recognize in bloom, as well as a tree that had a spiraling trunk. He looked out further and noticed that there were two suns in the sky. One was large and had a golden yellow glow. The other one was smaller and had a darker red color.
Baethan looked to his left and could see a small wooden table. The table had a vase on top of it and had a mirror connected to it. The vase had a bundle of white roses in it. He looked into the mirror and saw a boy that looked to be about his age staring back. He had long light brown hair and hazel eyes.
“What’s going on?” Baethan said. “Where am I?”
“You are in another world, Baethan” Charisma’s voice echoed in his mind.
Baethan flinched when he heard Charisma’s booming voice. However, his surprise quickly turned into happiness.
“Charisma!” Baethan exclaimed. “I’m so glad you’re still with me. Am I really in another world?”
“Yes, you are,” Charisma answered. “This world is very far away from where yours once resided. You could even say you are in another universe.”
“But how can I move my body?” Baethan asked. “I thought I couldn’t overpower a person’s subconscious?”
“Normally, you could not,” Charisma said. “However, the boy whose body you are inhabiting has been brain dead for quite some time now. Because of this, you are able exert your will over this body.”
“I keep trying to access his memories, but I can’t find them at all,” Baethan said. “What’s his name?”
“His name is Favian,” Charisma answered.
“Why would you do this for me, Charisma?” Baethan asked.
“You impressed me, Baethan,” Charisma said. “Even with all of the pain and death that you experienced with the fall of your world, you still saw the good your people could achieve for each other. You did not succumb to Him. So, as my gift to you, I am giving you another chance at the life that was robbed from you. Do with it what you will. You may very well use your acquired knowledge to prepare this world in case He lays his sight upon it. It is your choice.”
“Does this mean you’re leaving me, Charisma?” Baethan asked.
“Yes, Baethan,” Charisma said. “You are not the child that was lost in that forest any longer.”
“Will I ever see you again?” Baethan asked.
“I am not sure, Baethan,” Charisma said. “It depends on Him.”
Baethan wiped the tears that were gathering in his eyes.
“Thank you, Charisma, for everything you’ve done for me,” Baethan said. “I’ll always remember you and the experiences that we’ve shared together. Before you go, can you please tell what’s the song you kept using to calm me down whenever I was upset?”
“It is a song that pays tribute to a goddess,” Charisma said. “I remember singing it to myself around the time it was first created many centuries ago. It is called ‘Hymn to Nikkal.'”
Favian sat alone in silence for a few minutes. He looked toward the vase of roses and reached his hand out to pick one of them. When he did, he grabbed a thorn and drew his hand back in pain. He brought his hand to his face and watched the blood dripping down his finger.
His newest journey began with a prick from a rose.
Burke Bischoff can be contacted at [email protected] 

(Illustration by DIANNA SANCHEZ)