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For I had believed what I was sold, I did all the things that I was told
But all that has changed, and now I'm bold.


Poppy cocked her head in exactly the way Adonis used to. Aura realised that, for the first time since she’d been alive, that didn’t bother her. She’d always been glad that Thoth had never inherited that particular quirk; now, it felt so trivial compared to her own death. Matters of Life had little meaning anymore. The things which had once defined her life – misplaced love, persistent anxiety, fears of crowds – now seemed so… trivial. Perhaps it was true what the living said about dying bringing enlightenment.

She nodded along absently to Poppy’s points about her needing help and being busy, missing the implication. It was only when her daughter explicitly requested the job that Aura stopped nodding and her jaw fell open.

Apparently, being enlightened and above Life’s concerns didn’t mean she still couldn’t be utterly thrown by them.

Poppy wanted… a job? That job?

The thought was so absurd that she gave a very brief, nervous laugh, which she regretted immediately. That was hardly going to help their non-existent relationship. If Aura had ever thought about Poppy having a job before, it was always as a… a… stand-up comedian, or a bank robber, or something. She’d certainly never equated her with anything as serious as the Lieutenants of Death. And what about her magic? What would happen when Poppy accidentally turned a dying soul into a pink goat or something?

“Er…” Aura hesitated visibly, unable to find words. “I mean, that’s… yeah.”

She could just imagine strolling back into Zone One with Poppy in tow and presenting her to Brock with flourish. Here ya go, Brock! Our first Lieutenant!

The nervous laughter swirled in her stomach, but was squashed almost immediately by a sensation which made her catch her breath. How dare you. It was less of a voice and more a feeling, buried deep within her, raw and fiery. How dare you laugh at your own child’s dreams.

Dying had not meant she was above shame. Her shoulders dropped, she closed her mouth. The sensation had felt oddly familiar, like a long-forgotten memory resurfacing, but she couldn’t put her finger on who or what it was.

“I – sorry.” She pinched the bridge of her nose. “I’m sorry, Poppy. Yes – I could really use your help. Please.”


A u r a
They thought I was weak, but I am strong; they sold me the world but they were wrong
And now that I'm back, I still belong.


image by ankur sharma at flickr.com


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