Ever-Lady Sular sat atop a mountain, weeping.
She had birthed 1000 sons, and those 1000 sons had all died in one day.
They were all good – handsome and brave and strong. But despite this, battle had claimed them all.
Her tears fell onto the dirt, and a fissure began to appear. The fissure grew with the weight of her tears until the mountain spilt in half, forming a ravine. She pressed her face into the earth and her tears flowed over the side, filling the space below until a deep river raged.
Her heart was so filled with sorrow, and the aching need in her arms to hold her sons was so great, and the longing to see their faces was so fierce, that she decided she could no longer keep living without them.
She stood on the edge, spread her arms wide and leapt.
Father Death stood blocking the gate – a golden light that marked the entrance of the nation of the Ever After. With a frown he rejected her, not allowing her access to the sons she so desperately craved. She had taken what was not hers to take, but his, and he had not marked her for attendance for another three thousand years.
She did not know what to do. She could not return to her body for it was too destroyed, and she could not cross over to the nation beyond. She begged Father Death to have mercy on her, fearing becoming a lost – a whisper of a wraith that was bound to one place for as long as first life kept living, never able to cross, forever alone – so Father Death made her a deal.
She would live in the river she had formed, unable to leave it, a spirit gliding up and down the water, until she saw a lesser blood trying to drown themselves, then her form would solidify and her legs would become fins. It would be her duty to save them, stopping them from trying to cross over before their time. Once she had saved a thousand of the lesser bloods from drowning, he would let her pass and be reunited with her sons once again.
And so Sular swam endlessly up and down the river, her sorrow so overwhelming she could do nothing but weep. Her moans carried on the winds, and the sound frightened those who heard it so much that its reputation grew, and the lesser bloods avoided it, and so she did not get to save a single one. Ten thousand years have passed and still she waits, swimming from one end to the other, never ceasing, bemoaning all the way, unaware that she is the one keeping herself from her sons.
*I wrote this in one sitting, and have only gone over it a couple of times, so it’s not perfect, but I’d love to know what you think.