A J Thompson | Andrew Thompson, Rockhampton Australia

Lamentations of an Ailing Immortal, a short story by Andrew Thompson

Lamentations of an Ailing Immortal is prologue to my novel, "Creatures of the Faith".

©2012 Andrew Thompson

I remember the first time we went to Ulan's Cove. We were young, maybe seven or eight years old. The King used to tell us stories about it all the time, like the secluded beach that lay nestled beside an ancient volcanic range that still puffed out steam when it rained. And the golden sands that sparkled with real gold dust, and the forest deer and wallabies that would eat from your hand.

We laughed at his tales. We knew they weren't real. He liked making up stories to entertain us.

But then one day it happened. We found ourselves at the fabled Ulan's Cove, and discovered that everything he'd said was true. It was his turn to laugh, and we saw a side of our father that we rarely glimpsed inside the Palace.

I remember him chasing after us down the beach, laughing just as loudly as we were. He caught me then hoisted me up on his shoulders as though I weighed nothing.

"What do you think?" he asked, "Do you like the Cove?"

I said that I loved it, and that I loved him. I felt so high on his shoulders. So he told me another story, about how one day I'd grow up to be a famous man, and that everyone in the world would know my name. I hugged him as tightly as I could then told him to promise that he'd live for a thousand years.

He said that he couldn't, that he wasn't an Immortal like me.

Before that moment, I'd never thought of him as mortal. I remember how sad his words made me feel; sadder than I'd ever felt before. He must have read my thoughts because then he told me that he loved me more than life itself, and that he'd always be with me in my dreams.

I didn't understand how beautiful those words were at the time, but they made me feel so safe. I miss him. I miss everyone.

I think about the past a lot lately, but alas, memories are only cruel companions for the old. But I dare not voice such sentiments aloud. Princess Jalna would only lecture me. She'd tell me that my memories are precious and should be honoured.

But that's easy for her to say for she's never lost anyone dear. I love her very much, but Jalna is still young and knows so little of the world. She certainly knows little of me or my trinity, except what she's read in history books.

My trinity. How I avoid that term. It means three, not two, and certainly not one.

Even now, seven hundred years since their deaths, I still see them and hear them, still young as they were when they died. They call me from the spirit realm, urging me to join them so we can be together again, but alas, my life is still long.

Some bonds never break, and time is just an illusion, little more than mist on the morning air.

Aye, my trinity. Now that's the cruellest memory of them all.

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