Tale – Iatre’s Crush

I think Arkay secretly fancies me.

Okay, maybe fancy is a strong word. But he definitely likes me. And I’ve heard him say things during the night. While he’s sleeping. I’m not watching Arkay sleep but… well, I am. But I can’t help it. He sleeps weird. A sort of half-sleep where he mutters things. As if he’s trying to be somewhere else in his dreams. What a weird little thing.

It’s not as if I don’t fancy him. Chances are, if I’d known Arkay when I was alive, and we were the same species, I’d at least suggest we go on a date or something. He’s a genuinely really nice guy. Even if he’s a little grumpy.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more Arkay and myself are… well, we’re kinda at opposites. I am happy to be here, I have all the food I could eat, zero responsibilities, attractive surroundings, living a life of luxury, but almost utterly devoid of memories from my past life. Arkay is a tortured beat, in a place he hates, living an existence he doesn’t want and haunted by his own past. He wants to forget, I want to remember.

Oh well.

Things have been quiet around here though. That very nice Vahlok has been wandering around, trying to work out how he got here. He actually has a heartbeat and is capable of breathing, so he’s definitely alive. Not an undead fellow like myself. He’s no Veth. Which gives us two problems. Firstly, he doesn’t belong in this Kinigi place, and that means that other Veth will most likely try and kill him should they discover him here. The second problem is that, as far as we know, the only way out of here is via the underwater cave. But Vahlok can’t hold his breath long enough to get down there and back to the, uh, real world. And even then, he doesn’t know what’s on the other side, so he has no idea how to get back home. For all he knows, he could be light years away from home!

So Vahlok is staying with us. And he’s helping distract us from our troubles by telling us about his life. His life though, none of it really makes sense to me. I get the impression that Arkay can relate a little, but even he’s a little bit confused. That doesn’t make the fact that Vahlok single-handedly destroyed a whole pirate army any less impressive. The things this Varga creature has done… Sorry, Vohra creature. He said he became a Varga recently, before that, he was a Vohra. A young one by the sounds of it. Similar age to Arkay. It’s crazy how Vahlok and Arkay are both actually very young. Arkay claims he had just turned 25 when he died, and Vahlok isn’t much older.

But everything gets awkward when they both ask me things. I remember no details at all. Some words trigger me. Anything to do with medicine or doctors makes a light bulb go off in my brain. But it doesn’t bring back actual memories, just fragments of who I might have been. It’s incredibly frustrating because I want to know who I was.

Arkay though doesn’t think I’ll remember. At least not until I’ve ‘matured’ as a Veth. He seems to think that his adapting abilities are what are stopping Death’s mind-erasers from working on him. I’m not quite that powerful yet, but given enough time and training, I could eventually remember who I am.

But that assumes I get that far. Both Arkay and Vahlok think that most Veth are purposefully made mindless and aggressive since they’re better at doing Death’s duties.

What I really need to do is get some answers from Death herself, but that’s not really working too well right now.

Oh well. Maybe I’ll just play along with Arkay. He seems interested and while I’ve never considered myself gay or anything, I don’t know if I’m still technically male any more…