Grace of Water
Grace’s toes dug into cool, wet sand as he gazed out into the predawn, waiting for the light to come. He was ready to go home and leave all mortal existence.
He was tired.
Leaving his shoes and socks somewhere behind him, he kept his eyes on the horizon and smiled into the dimness. Peace lapped in his heart as the sea licked his feet and he shivered. Cold water and the rushing sound of it centred him. A soft temptation of home, a call of love.
Tall and lanky with rich tawny skin, his sculpted hard face was as stone as he waited. Hands in pockets, time fell away. Squinting against the tiny hint of light, movement caught his eye, and in the distance, he saw a figure.
Grace’s shoulders slumped and set himself for the argument to come. Always the same.
As tall as he, but thinner and lithe, the figure looked amused.
“Who are you today, my friend?” Grace’s soft voice barely registered over the water.
They were dressed as he was, though they were much more dishevelled.
“I am Shah,” they smiled warmly, wild curls tangling in the wind. Light golden skin and soft features brightened.
“Shah, go home.” Grace turned back to the water.
“What happened that you would come here? This place brings you so much pain.” Shah faced the water alongside Grace, shoulders almost touching.
The first hint hints of light hit the water, and Grace smiled. Shah took his hand.
“You’ve got blood on your shirt,” Shah murmured.
“It’s not mine.”
“When is it ever ours? We are not them. Wanting to be, wanting to look back at them brings us misery and regret. We cannot live that way. We are not people.”
“I know. I love you, I always have. For all my life and time. We are trapped, and I cannot bear the smallness of it.” Grace closed his eyes, a wealth of pain marring his perfect face.
“Sweet Grace. Full of compassion and yet without mercy to those in your path. Who did you kill?”
“A woman. Young. Frail. Weak. I made her think I was an angel.”
Shah laughed. Light crept closer over the water, warming the air with the cold sun.
“It comes. Do not leave me alone.” Shah turned, tears in their eyes as they ran their finger down Grace’s cheek.
“I want peace.”
“You will not find it in death. Come. Make love to me in a dark place and let me love you again. I’ll even wear a dress if you wish.”
Grace smiled at Shah’s tone. They were light and hope. Fluid in mind and form as he never could be. He’d loved Shah for it centuries ago when they were myth and pictures told with dead tongues.
An orange sky lined the horizon, and his eyes hurt. The tide invited him into the water. Come home it said, remember who you are.
He and Shah existed at the beginning of man. They were of the forming of the Earth and now exiled from their kind, all disparate and irrelevant.
Clinging to his bloodied shirt, Shah spoke quickly. “I cannot be here alone. There is just us left. From all that we were, there is only us.”
Grace shivered and turning to Shah saw tears fall down their perfect cheeks, and wet their shirt.
Grace hadn’t kissed Shah for more than a hundred years. A blink of time but forever. With a smile, he pulled them close, and he kissed them. Shah’s tongue sought his. So much history and love, passion and anger between them.
Shah’s smile as they pulled back was all the stars they’d ever seen.
To his relief, Shah pulled him away from the sea, and they made their way back inland.
Grace hated what humans had done to the Earth. Hated cities, the smells, the food, all of it.
Moving as mortals couldn’t, they left the city behind, and Shah took him to an open space, and through it, barefoot, they wandered the trees and fields. Grace felt ease at that moment, for he was of the forest and grasses.
All time was those moments, lacing in between banality and dullness.
Shah led him out to a small cottage beyond and inside where they would be safe, for now. Lost to each other, like the memory of water in creation, of the beginning. Bitter and sad, but beautiful and home.
With Shah, Grace would always return to hope. A peak of remembrance, harking back to the deities they once were.
Their names long lost, their purpose forgotten. All they knew was to kill, and love, and to fuck, and return to each other.