My mum was the warmest person I knew. She was like all the suns condensed into one person and loved hugs. She would call me her precious baby girl, her little stream. Always smiling, she had a lot of smiles. The warm one, the tired ones, the "who let your father into the kitchen" one, the mischievous ones, but all of them hers.
I remember the first time I saw her smile crack. It was a lovely, bright day and Mum left the windows open in the forge while it was roaring, heat rolled off in waves. She came in to find me crouching next to the fire as close as I could, shivering. Her smile crumbled and she pulled me away, my hands cracked and bleeding.
It was cold. Always so cold, except when Mum was holding me. But as I got older, she was home less and less. It got to the point that all I could see was her smile of guilt and desperation.
She would hold me like she would never let me go. Told me, I could do anything I wanted. Be whoever I wanted. But the swords she made me were too heavy, too brittle, or I couldn't stand long enough to learn how to use them.
"En" Mum's voice was a low rumble full of the warmth I lacked. "Mum has to go away tomorrow again."
"Can I come with you this time?" I was just small enough to fit in her arms as I peered up at her.
"No, it's too cold where I am headed." My gold eyes were reflected in hers which were curving with amusement, "I would hate to bring my lovely baby back as my lovely icicle!"
"Booo." I stuck my tongue out at her. Laughter burst out as she tickled me in revenge.
"Cause a ruckus, or be good, either way my darling little stream." Her eyes turned serious as she tapped my nose, "Be sure to run if you see your father in the kitchen."
"I'll run to Grandpa's if I do." Being too weak for weapons was one thing, escaping for one's life is another.
"That's my girl." She hummed a random tune, rocking me like I was a child.
"Gold-eye, you know there is not a cure that has been found for Autumn's Breeze." Uncle Elijial whispered, thinking I couldn't hear. I had really good hearing, not that they'd notice. They all called her that, if Mum didn't tell me so often that it would be my name next, I don't think I'd ever have known what her name was.
"I will find one." Her voice was cold and flat.
"...I hate to suggest this, even the mention of it-"
"Spit it out, boy."
"...you are all of about two years older than I, Gold-eye. Very well, as you say. The demons have-"
"You know, as I do, their medicine-"
"Nothing of that foul race will touch my child." She snarled, hatred dripped from her tone and eased further into her heart.
"We know you caught it in Hell when you were pregnant, perhaps they also have a way to-" He was tired, but he still tried to change her mind.
"...very well. I have done what 'twas possible within my own means. Keep her as warm as possible, let her move. If you can, stay with her as much as ye are able, but I know you are still a hunt for a way to save her." It was sorrow that followed my mum's venom.
What were they? Those demons that could cause my mum to hate them so deeply? Our enemy, our foe. Mom hunted them, and they would hunt Mom. I feared that my life would end before I would ever found out. They tried to hide it, but I knew that every time she left, it was to save me. But my mum, my invincible Mother, was failing to find anything to help.
She was quiet the way home, the wide streets intertwined with the rare small plants that everyone made sure to protect. Fine dark green grass wasn’t as treasured since it grew everywhere.
I was on her back; she didn’t want to risk tiring me out. Warm. The suns were baring down, Mum’s back seems to absorb and reflect it to her back. I felt something hot bubbling in my chest. The air was stirring slightly, but never it never blew hard like the storms she described.
We got home, and I finally couldn’t take it anymore.
“Why can’t we go to the demons for help?” She stopped but didn’t turn around to me. “What if they can fix me? What if they have a cure? What if-”
“…En, we can’t.” Her voice was soft. In the main hallway of our house, I was left facing her back, my eye level about to its middle.
“Why not? If we just ask-” I pleaded, though whined might have been more accurate.
“EN!” Her voice broke. “we can’t.”
“Mother,” I felt tears in my eyes. “Mum, just tell me why? What is more important than my life?”
“…your life is not on the line. I will find another way.” Her wings twitched as she turned around, her jaw clenched. Firm eyes met mine. “You will not die. Not while I live.”
“…I still want to know why.” Dad always said I was her miniature, and I felt my face mimic her expression. A thread of cold ran though my heart, making me wince.
She had a few white strands in her hair. Her eyes flickered with emotions I was too young to understand at the time.
Memories danced around Mum’s eyes. “You can never trust a demon.”
“…but all of them can’t be bad, right?”
Her expression changed to one I’ve never seen. On anyone. There was a light, cool look in her eyes that seemed to shift so they were looking down. Distaste and scorn weren’t directed at me as her gaze was shifted down at the ground.
Her head was high, her shoulders back, arrogance and pride were etched into her bones.
“Who knows. I will find a cure. Besides, your illness is an angelic one.” Her eyes closed. “I doubt they would have a cure.”
Stubborn as we both were, the fight continued until my legs gave out from standing too long. It was the first, and last argument we had.
I realized there wasn’t a point in arguing with someone who didn’t listen.