Chapter 3

A trance-imagining of Darkness sweet like honey, a life refracted through another's eyes like splintered light. It leaves behind an imperfectly translated data fragment to mark its passing.

…Anyway, beloved sibling, if you want to catch me while I'm still wearing this (form/body?), you'll need to come home in the next couple of cycles. I don't mind if you'd prefer to wait until I'm down by the [untranslatable] among our ancestors, but you might get a different sort of chat!

I'm excited about it, genuinely. I still hear from our parents, from our great-parents, distantly in my night-trances. And there are those nectar-made moments—you know the ones, when you turn your thoughts to the Darkness and just listen, and the long sum of Qugu history graven there reflects dark-comforting advice.

I have lived out my life with the tenebrous warmth of our ancestors over me like a (cloak/atmosphere?) between us and nothingness. It's different—it's distant. I've drunk of the nectar a few times in the last cycles, and I touch briefly that concurrence of us all, and more and more, I think it is time to be part of it. I want to know the truths our ancestors keep close, and it is my turn to guide the future's children.

I know we argued the last time we spoke about it. You thought I was moving too fast toward aging-metamorphosis, but really I just think you've been away from home too long. Don't take it as my urging to get on with the next stage of your life, just take it as…

I miss you.

Funny, isn't it? How can you miss someone when you know they're always in the Dark? I close my eyes, and in the warm nest-hide of sleep, I know you are real and happy and out there on some other part of the world, far from the river, far from the [untranslatable] where our ancestors (dream/exist) together. But it isn't the same as having you near, knowing your truth is under the same stars. Being able to simply turn my (head/face/bloom?) and ask for your opinion.

Dear sibling, come home. Live in my house, and let me (dream/exist) close to you again, whether in this shape or the new one I will take on. I will not be the same, but which of us ever is? You are not the same as you were as a child, either.

No matter the form of the existence, I will love you.