Tale – Still Friends

The room was brightly lit, with a white-paned window and painted walls, decorated with childish white and grey clouds. In the corner was a clean, neatly made bed with a freshly fluffed pillow. A desk, a lamp, a small computer sat in the opposite computer, next to a free-standing cupboard and several shelves. Next to that was a wheelchair and a set of mechanical leg braces, as well as a table covered in various medical equipment

“You like?” Veeyel beamed as he wheeled himself in, pushing the door open.

“I do.” A hooded figure followed Veeyel and gently closed the door behind him.

“Good!” Veeyel continued to beam. He had been disabled for over a year now and was finally used to moving around in his bedroom. Everything had been specially made to cover for Veeyel’s inability to use his legs. Normally though, he would be using his mechanical leg braces, a bulky suit of armour that let him walk around like normal. But lately, a new, underlying illness had confined Veeyel to a wheelchair.

Finally, Veeyel managed to ease himself onto his bed. Several times, the hooded figure offered to help, but each time, Veeyel refused. He didn’t want help. He liked being as independent as possible. Once he was comfy, he smiled back at his visitor.

“I know exactly what you’re going to say, Kayel.”

Kayel sighed as he removed his hood and sat down next to Veeyel. “I am sorry though. I am sorry for everything. If I had…”

“See, I was right. You’re apologising!” Veeyel interrupted, still smiling. “Yeah, I went mad. I bashed my own head in because of the shit they gave me. I paralysed myself. You didn’t do this to me though. I always wanted to tell you that. You never did anything wrong by me.”

Kayel sighed again. He couldn’t accept that. Veeyel could see it in his eyes.

“You know who I blame?” Veeyel continued. “The former High General and his cronies and their knee-jerk reactions. But you know what? I got an early retirement, I made new friends, I have a super nice attractive medic, and I have a million evra in the bank as compensation for what they did to me. Alright, I can’t walk any more and that’s sad, but I am doing pretty alright for myself. You though… I don’t understand you.”

A little smile crept across Kayel’s face. “How so? You don’t like my… talents?”

Veeyel shrugged. “I dunno. Necromancy seems weird. Whatever floats your boat though. I just have no idea how your life has been. All I know is that… well… our kid… You know…”

Kayel didn’t respond for a bit and instead stared at the wall.

“I… I never realised you considered Arkay to be your kid.”

“Of course I did. We were going to raise that poor thing together. Neither of us got the chance and… I’m at least happy I got to meet him. What a fine young lad he was. Still, little Arkay is having a better time these days. Got himself a good job in the afterlife.”

Kayel blinked. “What?”

“You haven’t heard from Kinisis?” Veeyel’s eyes lit up. “I see her every Wednesday. She’s the only regular visitor I get these days. She’s been visiting me since last year, lovely young lady.”

Kayel blinked a bit more. “Um… I know I have magical powers, my life is fucking insane and all that, but… what are you talking about?”

Veeyel blinked too. For some reason, he expected Kayel to know who Kinisis was. “You don’t know her?”

“Are you talking about the Personification of the Cycle?”

“Yes! She visits me every Wednesday. She told me what she was planning with Arkay! Their little deal! How she needed people like us! Should have put two and two together, now that I think about it… She probably would have killed him some other way but still… But how do you not personally know Kinisis? You’re a necromancer!”

“I… I don’t know Kinisis personally,” Kayel didn’t really know what to say. “But you… Are you okay? Are you well?” Really, Kayel wanted to change the subject. Talking about a dead child was painful enough, but Kayel was worried that Veeyel had really gone insane.

“Me? I told you. I’m fine. I can’t walk, I’m mentally ill, but I’m happy as heck! Seriously… Okay, I’m kinda miffed you haven’t visited me much, but I don’t know what you’ve been through. Plus everyone kinda told me you were dead until your eldest slipped me a note last time he visited.”

“Elkay visits you?”

“Not regularly. Came by when he closed down the old Ksa facility and got us moved to real hospitals. He recognised me. Nice kid. They all are. Kinda makes me wish I could actually have kids…”

“You can’t…” Kayel asked.

“Well maybe if it was someone else. Not me though…” Veeyel’s smile faded then reappeared, bigger than ever. “You considering?”

“What? No! I’ve had seven kids, that’s enough” Kayel didn’t mean to snap, but he couldn’t help it.

“I meant a partner or something. I don’t want you having any more kids that will almost certainly be taken away from you or get you killed or in some other way destroy your life,” Veeyel almost growled. “You do need someone though.”

“I kinda… already have…”

Veeyel didn’t let Kayel finish. “No. Not him. Not that monster. He may be kind and caring now, you may have made him into a good Rethan, but you deserve someone better…”

“Like you?”

“Not me. Before this? Would have been me. We had a thing before things went bad. Now though, I’m a mess. I don’t have much time anyway…”

“What do you…” Kayel didn’t finish his question. He realised he didn’t need to. The look on Veeyel’s face said it all.

“Medics said that, if I lasted the first year, it would be a small miracle. I have. But that doesn’t mean I’ll see a hundred. I might not even see next year. But assuming nothing else goes wrong, I have maybe five years left. That’s what Kinisis suggested. I… tend to think the mistress of death is right about these things…”

Kayel remained silent. After a bit of hesitation, he took Veeyel’s hand and squeezed it.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

“I want to make it up to you.”

“You don’t need to…” Veeyel paused, a smirk drifting across his face. He edged closer to Kayel, whispering. “But you should visit more. Get some alcohol and soup…”


“Yes, soup. Bring them. Come visit me on Wednesday. 9pm. You won’t regret it.”