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Yugikun
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i'll be your light, your match, your burning sun
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Man, this was literally a cult gathering if Julian had ever seen one.

The 6’1” man did not have a candle in his hands, instead opting to put them in his hair and on a small, green coloured scrunchie. His parents were somewhere further into the crowd, likely getting hazed or baptized or something if his theory was correct. He was back here, fairly far away from the mayor when he gave his speech. The possibility had erupted in his mind at some point that he should just text his parents and bail, but the crowd of people who were suddenly behind him meant that even if he did want to do it he couldn’t. Not that he didn’t want to be somewhere else, of course. This was… weird. There were faces he recognised, in the crowd. Not faces of people that were personally friends of his, but others from around town. The old man who ran the bakery. The middle aged women who he saw sometimes whenever he went for a walk. Shit, he was pretty sure Felicity was one of the people in front of him holding a candle. It was weird. All these people in the same place, doing the same thing. It was disconcerting. Probably part of why he considered skipping out.

He stayed though. It was the right thing to do, after all.

Still, there was a feeling, and it wasn’t one that he could easily shake off. It had all been so sudden. One moment he was just browsing AskReddit and the next he had been informed that the bus his sister was on had just suddenly disappeared. Even ignoring the fact that it was his sister who had disappeared and probably died, this was something that had never happened to him. He saw and read stuff on the news, a lot. Things that were real that happened in places far beyond his reach. He lived in what was basically your average everyday ghost town. Barely anything happened here. People just went down the route, stopped for a cup of tea or something, and then went on their way. Nothing more, likely less.

Now though, he was part of the news. He was in the story. If he turned his head back he could see the cameras and the reporters. Even if he didn’t he could still see the white of the flash. He had seen all of those stories, about the shootings and the attacks and sometimes he criticised the people reporting for crossing what was so obviously the line. Now he was here, and every time he felt he was in this crowd the flashes would always take him back out, and he’d turn his head.

And again, this was even discounting the fact that his sister had disappeared. Jasmine was gone. Likely dead. As much as he knew how horrible it was to say he... never really liked his sister all that much. He knew that brother/sister love was supposed to be a thing but she had never given him any love. She was always so… aggressive. Like a thorn in his side. She always said that she was better than him. She always tried to be louder than him. She would always give him those devil eyes when he suggested she relaxed when she was stressed. There was no doubt that she hated him, for whatever reason she had; and he wasn’t obligated to give any love to her in return, especially considering how she treated him. But still, she was gone. Forever. Unless there was an afterlife he’d never see her again. He knew that part of him wanted to feel relieved, now that one of his few sources of stress was gone, but there was still something. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but it was like…

She was a thorn in his side. He got that. And now, totally suddenly, he woke up and the thorn was gone.

But it remained. The feeling did, anyway. The thorn was gone, but it felt like it was still there. He’d look down at himself, expecting to see it, but he couldn’t.

It was like…the people who had lost limbs. He remembered once reading in one of his books that sometimes those who had lost arms or legs could feel them itch. They’d reach to scratch it, but they’d claw at empty air.

Yeah, it was something like that. At least now, it was. He’d wake up tomorrow, go down to make breakfast, and when his sister didn’t come down while it was in the microwave he’d figure that it was because she was trying to sleep in.

He smiled.

He hoped that that was the case.

He looked up again, hair in a ponytail and hands by his side. The priests were talking about something. Julian wasn’t really all that religious, so he was mostly ignoring what they were saying, but he saw the wave of people putting their heads down and their hands up.

Yep. Definitely a cult. No wonder Kingman felt so empty sometimes.

Still though, he joined the crowd, as the wave got to him.

It was the right thing to do, after all.
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Carry the Fire · V6 Meanwhile...