Class: White Mage
Title: To Dust
Summary: Returning to Oerba brings up some memories.
Word count: 428
In the distance, the windmills are still. Fang steps into the sand, her sandals gritty with it. The silence settles inside, heavy and sure.
Summer in Oerba was the busiest time, bursting with activity, as the hunters hunted, the builders built, the herders herded, and so on.
Vanille rested her head on Fang’s stomach, the grass tickling their sun-dark skin. “Look!” and Fang could hear the smile in her voice, “Cocoon is red today.”
Red with blood. But Fang didn’t pick that fight, instead breathed out a long breath.
At her back, Hope sucks in a breath. Fang moves ahead before he can say anything, her gaze locked on the ocean dark against the horizon.
A Cie’th shambles into few, and her stomach drops as she draws her spear. Her good old spear, crafted so long ago now by Oerban smiths.
They gave her her spear on her sixteenth birthday, in the autumn with the cool winds blowing in off the water.
That night, with the viper’s nest bright overhead, Fang traced the inscription over and over with the pad of a finger—Oerba Yun Fang.
After twenty, Fang stops counting the Cie’th they come across. Vanille hangs back, pulling up the rear with Snow, while Fang, Sazh, and Light forge ahead.
Fang runs another Cie’th through with her spear—whose blood is on her hands?
The other orphans loved to follow Vanille’s lead. That day, they chained bright flowers together to make necklaces for the hunters. Luck, for a sufficient haul. Fang huffed a sigh, twirling stems together. Hers never turned out like Vanille’s did.
Vanille just laughed. She pressed her mouth to Fang’s cheek.
Though the building itself is coated in dust and falling apart, the picture is there and so is Bhakti.
Vanille cradles the damn robot to her chest, but doesn’t cry. Sazh strokes her hair, and Fang dodges the hand Snow tries to place on her shoulder.
More and more Oerbans went to war. Fang found herself watching the soldiers, and her hands itched for her spear. More and more, Vanille was silent, eyes fixed skyward.
Cie’th after Cie’th after Cie’th, and Oerba crawls with them and no people. If Fang remembered hope, the most she could hope is that some people escaped.
Beneath them, Oerba was tiny and getting smaller. Cocoon got closer and closer.
Vanille clasped Fang’s hand.
The railroad tracks are being claimed by the sea. Fang gazes back over Oerba, her home, with its wandering Cie’th. She crosses her hands in prayer—I’m sorry.
Vanille is all that’s left.