This follows the physical appearance of Jericho in the Shattered City at Mirror, MIrror.
Look at them all sleeping peacefully. It's hard to believe that the Shattered Realm is ever this peaceful, though Kumir's mirror holds things of the night at bay. I wish I could sleep too. I had seven hours of life today, seven. Ten years of being a prisoner in my own flute and how did I spend those seven precious hours? I should have spent every one of them just being with Omi, but instead I spent most of them helping others or trying to figure out how to put me back in this flute. What's wrong with me?
It was wonderful though. I could breathe. I could smell, which was amazing with this nose. I could feel. I could hold her hands in my... paws; his paws. I don't think I'll ever forget Imogen telling me to "give me your paws" for the mind share. "Give you my paws? That's not something I ever thought I'd hear someone say to me." Then again there was a lot about that seven hours that I never would have thought.
Omi and I are so much alike in so many ways. "How?", she asked. Who cares how? We have each other back. Let's make the most of it. That's what I should have said, but that's not the way either of us work. We both want to know more and I've certainly thought long and hard about some of that on nights like this, alone with my thoughts.
So I wasted precious time recounting details I'd gone over a thousand times before, from the incredible coincidence of our births to my wizard's title to the mixture of odd magics at my spirit farewell to the inadvertent agreement Kumir and I had entered into at Omi's request to the way I play the flute through Kumir and finally our odd journey here.
I can't believe I made Omi feel guilty about our situation. She certainly didn't do anything intentionally. I still get totally tongue tied when she's around and say just the wrong thing, like a starry-eyed child, like the time she wore that beautiful dress and my only response was, "What's wrong with Omi? She's beautiful!" I deserved to be hit for that. It's not like I meant it to come out that way. She's always beautiful. I could stare into her eyes for hours and get lost in them. But to put across my theories sounding as if she was somehow to blame for it all? That was really dumb.
And Kumir? We made the poor beast feel awful. It's so easy to forget he's there. It was *too* easy to forget he was there. I almost *wanted* to forget he was there. I have never in my life so wanted to do the wrong thing and keep his body. I know I complained about it. How could Omi possibly love me in the body of a dog? I couldn't even bring myself to touch her at first because I was in that body.
I think that was only part of it. I kept reaching for her and thinking that I had no right to use Kumir's body for that. I could see it in her eyes too, and then we seemed to decide almost at the same time that it just didn't matter and I held her and she held me and it was all that mattered. I want that back so much it hurts.
I must have sat on that tail a half dozen times. I have no idea how he does anything with those claws. I almost got us killed several times trying to use them. Clearly, based on what others have said, they're not sure how he uses them either.
I wonder what would have happened to either of us if I'd gotten him killed. Would he have died? Would I have died? Which of us would face the Ferryman? I don't fear death. I've faced it already. But like taking someone else' body, I have no right taking someone else' life either.
Which reminds me, we talked about what will happen when Kumir dies. I hadn't really given it much thought before. Will I finally fade away into death? Will I go on in the flute? Will I be able to attune to someone else? Will I have to watch Omi grow old and die, leaving me behind? I will never get used to this feeling of wanting to cry so badly but having nothing to cry with. It's one of the worst parts of being this way. I wonder if my will will stand up to this or if some day my mind will crack and I'll go insane. NO! I can't think thoughts like that.
Although I can't help but wonder if that's how evil artifacts with terrible intellience come to be. Do they start out like me, a spirit of good trapped inside an item until they go mad? I'm pretty sure my realization is right, if somewhat humorous out of context. I am an artifact. I am the intelligence inside a magical item, an item that allows its attuned wielder to do thins he wouldn't otherwise be able to do. Here's hoping I don't some day turn out to be an evil artifact controlling the body of my wielder as if it were my own. Right now I'd rather die first... well, die completely.
Enough morbid thoughts. That *is* the way to madness. Kumir skipped his regular ritual of playing me. Listening to him talk to Thousand Roads he hates me. He took what we said completely out of context, though I can't blame him. Both Omi and I said we half wished we could leave things as they were. In his frantic state that must have been a terrible thing to hear. As much as I hated the fur and the tail and the claws and the lack of color, I'd have given anything to be able to keep them if it meant keeping a living body to be with Omi. But I would never make such a horrible decision at someone else's expense; never. I wouldn't be the man Omi loves if I did, and therein was part of her dilemma as well.
Thousand Roads' reaction was horrible to hear as well. I thought of all the people in the Shattered City that he would be the one most calm, most accepting, most likely to be a friend to me. I've always admired him for his calm certainty in life, of the way he's treated and guided Kumir. I would never have expected the venom he had for me. It was painful to hear. I hope someday that I can change his opinion. After all, the music that he admires so much is actually me and it's not like I *took* Kumir away from him. I did everything in my power to give Kumir back. Perhaps there's more going on in his life than either Kumir or I have seen.
Ruakhi is fascinating and I owe her a great debt, one I can never repay. She was probably the most stable force of the day, helping Omi and I to reach the right decision and helping us carry it out. Even now I can feel the seal she put on the flute, blocking me in. I've never felt anything confining me in here before, but then again I've never felt a pull on my spirit, drawing it to Kumir when he wasn't playing the flute before. I'm grateful to her for putting it there and I hope that Kumir never loses the seal, but part of me still hopes that I have the opportunity to live again, to spend time with Omi, to feel her hands in mine, her body next to mine, to make music with her... even if it's in the body of a dog, but I won't let that happen; can't let that happen. I'm not sure I could give it up again.
I asked myself earlier and I guess I have to ask myself again, what *is* wrong with me? I guess it's that I haven't changed after all these years. I'm still going to be the hero first and do what's right, regardless of the cost to myself. Keilis called me a hero. I'd say that would be my epitaph, but in theory my epitaph has already been written out there somewhere on another world in another universe. I should have asked Omi what it is.