What's in a name? Sounds? Syllables? Hopes, dreams, promises? A future? A legacy?
I wouldn't know. I wasn't given a name. I was given power.
The cities stink. It's not the exhaust or the coal dust. It's not the people pressed together like hogs in a pen. It's not the sweat of half-filtered alcohol and the back-alley puddles of urea. It's not the dying or the dead. It's the neither. Those yet waiting. Those, who at the end, shall wait more still.
They reek like a bare wound, rich with cream and crackling corners. What is their name?
I wouldn't know. They each have a name. It gives them power. It gives them purpose. And pain.
It gives them a function. The girl writhed on the ground, hugging her ratty leather jacket close. The name on the back said Priest, but the shoulders were far too big for her. Her cheeks hung too hard off the bone. Her eyes, wet and smoking, had seen more of hells than heavens. She saw me.
Those weeping, hissing eyes ran up my boots, but stopped. Trapped. Shuddering. "Run," she said.
"No," I answered. I knelt, placing a palm against her cheek. The weeping smoke billowed back from me like sailcloth, snap-taut in a heavy breeze. It howled, high and hideous, like a cracked pipe.
She met my eyes, or tried to. All she saw was the shadow fallen over my brow. She smiled.
"Are you an angel?" she asked me. Clinging. Sighing. "Are... can you help me? Who are you?"
There was a short snap, the screaming of a thing with an unspoken name, then silence.
"Solace," I answered. "Or something like it." I stood. I left. The smoke trailed after, unable to run.
What's in a name? A wish, and only that. It's the same wish any mother or father makes.
It's a wish that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.
Prompt: A lingering Anonymous offered: "Solace"
(c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins. Seeking writing prompts, feedback, exposure, and commentary.