Welcome Home

10 minutes read

03-01-2024
A large meteor shower cast darting lights of color across the nights sky, an almost cloudless night gave sight to all who wanted to see its splendor. Those who dare to venture out into the world of Hollow found themselves with a spectacle of pure beauty that the Holites valued greatly. Amongst one of the many forests of Hollow the Gypsies were set up for the night. While they milled about their travelling home fortress, spending the time to be close with one another, and look up to the sky their leader took a moment to step out of their circle of vehicles to smoke. Gara-Vae‘s hunched figure stepped from the light into the shadow where she watched as Anodyne flew around a tree with Penrose in tow. She jumped at him with her sickle in hand, trying desperately to make purchase in his flesh. She giggled as she failed with every swipe, only stopping when she heard the approaching steps of Gara-Vae. The joy of her face falling nearly instantly, leaving behind a scowl.
“What do you want?” She asked rudely.
Gara laughed to herself as her face was illuminated briefly by the ignition of her lighter.
“I came out for a smoke, but now it looks like I am being greeted by an old friend.”
“I don’t know you, you are not my friend.” Penrose said, hiding herself behind the tree slightly.
Anodyne landed in-between the two with a confused look on his face.
“I don’t recall having any kind of discourse with you.” Anodyne said as Penrose poked her tongue out.
Gara chuckled once more, taking a deep inhalation her face was illuminated once again. She held the smoke in as she passed her cigarette across to Anodyne. Curving his lips, and raising an eyebrow he decided to take it. Anodyne took a quick inhalation, dragging it in deeper with a second one he felt his lungs warm for a moment before letting out the faintly purple smoke at the same time as Gara.
“Is it fair to say that you forget most things though?”
Anodyne shrugged, but nodded their head in agreement as he continued to draw from the cigarette. Gara took out another and sparked it up as she sat against a tree.
“If you knew who he was you wouldn’t be sitting there. You would be running scared.” Penrose said with a raised sickle. “That is Anodyne, and he loves to hurt you dumb little Holites.”
Gara gave a warming smile to Penrose, grabbing the bottom of her own chin she peeled her skin back to reveal her skull; carved into the bone was a strange symbol that Penrose could only catch a glimpse of before Gara re-sealed her face.
“You can’t hurt what is already dead little one. Well, I am sure he can, but most can’t get past the seal made by the god of death.”
“Ha, I love that kid. Has a weird affinity for rabbits that he refuses to admit.” Anodyne said sitting cross legged in front of Gara.
“You are right, the whole memory thing is a wee bit in the garbage sector. Have we had much one on one time?”
“My dare friend, it has been an age since we have seen you here on Hollow. Those of us who know you have missed you so. We have seen the pale imitations of you wandering around, spouting falsehoods and lies, it is a sweet moment to see you again with my own eyes. With Penrose none the less. This is where you are supposed to be and we have missed you truly.”
“People here have missed me?”
“You sound so confused, of course we have missed you. You always had this weird delusion that we all hate you. But that just isn’t true. Most of those that live here hate, and fear you as they fear pain and death. But those of us who need Hollow to live call your name in praise. We need you, we need Hollow; just like you do.”
“I always thought that what I did caused everyone pain.”
“It does, that is the best part. You have spent too much time on Earth my sweet Deity. We are wired differently from those kind, we need different things that they won’t understand. Come back to Hollow where you will be love by those that crave to live on the planet you have created, and feared by those who don’t understand how our world works. You were never supposed to be on a planet like that. Come back, you can stay, it is okay to stay here.”
Gara smiled her sweetest smile, patting her own crossed legs Anodyne turned around and laid his head in her lap staring up at the night sky that was still erupting into a variety of colors. Penrose let out a frustrated groan from behind the tree, so Anodyne flicked his wrist and she levitated over. He pushed his feet together so there was a small gap in the middle of his legs and let Penrose sit on the grass in the middle. She snuggled in and continued to look up at the sky, raising one hand up Anodyne reached down and held it, then before long Penrose started humming happily to herself.
“It has been so long since I have been back here, I remember fantasizing about it, making little stories in my head about what would happen if I was to come back, how I could torture those who dared to live a happy life down here. Sneaking into homes to set things alight while they slept, seeing if they would wake in time to escape. I even tried to make stories about others living out their lives, but they didn’t feel real, like a pale imitation of what they should be doing. Like watching a play where they just have not quite gotten the characters correct. While what was happening felt like something genuine, and what the characters are doing feels correct; the whole thing just feels off.”
“You can’t create what you don’t know, and as much as you are able to see into all our minds, it does not mean you know us enough to create us. You see a lot of fear, and hate, but we are more than that. That is why you can’t create us in your head, because you don’t understand that there are those of us who love being on Hollow. We have heard about the lives of others on other planets, and it sounds like a cruel nightmare, this is how life is meant to be. We all need to be Hollow.”
“It is funny you say that, because I actually feel so hollow when I am not here.”
“No, no you don’t. You feel empty when you are not here, or maybe hollow sure. But when you are here, that is when you should feel Hollow, this is where you should feel home.”
Gara, I feel like you are probably one of like two Holites that have these thoughts. But even if that is true, that is more than enough for me. Hell I thought there were none of you here, and I still wanted to get back here. It is just hard, it requires a lot of effort once you leave you know, it hurts.”
“It wouldn’t be Hollow if it didn’t hurt to get here. Nothing is gained without pain here, that includes entrance.”
“And leaving.”
Anodyne, Gara, and Penrose all burst out into laughter as they kept their eyes to the sky. The flashes of greens, golds, and reds dotting the sky would appear and disappear. Their laughter calmed and the three of them lay in relative quite. Gara started to pat Anodyne‘s hair flat as she hummed a short song, Penrose fell to sleep quickly after the trance like music started.
“So what now? What will the god of chaos do now that he has returned?”
Anodyne gave a wry smile as what appeared to be the last of the light show in the sky faded from view.
“I don’t know.”
“What a perfect answer.”
Anodyne gave a huge grin as he licked his lips.
“I feel like I am free though, anything could happen now. I can do anything again. Maybe some pain, maybe some exploration, maybe just watching. I have missed watching your lives unfold. The hidden little stories that I get to gain a small window to see. Never the beginning, usually not the end, although sometimes. But even when it is the end, that never tells you enough that the beginning isn’t something I am excited to see. If I was better with how you mortals work with time I might be able to follow whole lives, but instead I will leave that knowledge to Tukon, and instead I will keep up with my blind bumbling through time. Finding your stories piece by piece.”
“I would like that, I know not everyone can feel it. But I know when you are around, I can feel the energy that you radiate, that is the reason that I made sure we settled for the night by you. I didn’t expect you to be this close, but I did hope. Means I don’t have to walk far to get back to my truck.”
“Glad I could be of service.”
“You do understand that the god of chaos does good things right? Chaos, or randomness, however you want to look at it does mean that good things happen, it is just easier to focus on all the negative because it hurts more when there is no reason behind it; and it somehow cheapens the joy from the good things.”
Anodyne sat up as a collection of the Gypsies were looking out of their windows in disbelief. Gara waved to them with an embarrassed look on her face.
“Go back inside my family, there is no concern for you what exists out here.”
Anodyne started salivating as the others pulled their heads inside, closing the curtains. He turned to Gara-Vae with excitement.
“Oh shit, I forgot just how good fear tasted. I feel fucking alive.” He yelled, much to the dismay of Penrose who, while still half asleep waddled to the steps of the truck, taking one step she disappeared into her own dimension for the peace and quite.
“You are going to pay for that one later my lord. She will be very grumpy when she wakes up.”
“I get the feeling that you may be right.” He said looking at the stairs, turning back to Gara before speaking again. “I need to go, I need to jump, run, I, I…”
Gara slowly climbed to her feet, grasping either side of Anodyne‘s face she smiled sweetly, kissing him on the forehead they both closed their eyes for a moment.
“Begone you absolute nightmare. You need to taste that sweet fear, and I need to go back to my truck. I need to roll some more cigarettes, and I want to get to some chores I have been putting off.”
Anodyne stretched his arms out wide, and with malice on his face he leapt into the air with ill intent on the mind, and before long he was out of sight, and the faint sound of screams could be heard being carried on the wind. The other Holites very quickly spoke to one another, message traveled fast, and before long even Gara got called to tell her about the return of Anodyne.
She took one last look up to the sky before heading back into her truck with a satisfied grin on her face she mumbled to herself.
“Welcome home.”