Book of Days: October 11, Call of the Gates

I’d wanted to travel with Tyesha forever, to the ends of the world and back, but when we reached the Red Passage, I could go no farther.

For years, I had known Tyesha was a true believer, that her faith was strong and certain and unwavering, but it never occurred to me it would be strong enough for her to seek the Gold Gate. There are things that are done and there are things that are not done, and we do not try to find the Gate, none of us. 

But Tyesha got it into her head the world was lost, that people were turning from the path and that we needed to be reminded of the truth. She was called to bring us that reminder. She was certain of it, as certain as she was the Gate was there to be found, and nothing we said or did could convince her the quest itself was blasphemy.

I was certain, when we started this journey, she would see that. I was certain she would remember the admonishments, the stories, would realise if she wanted to fulfill her calling she would have to find another way. But it never happened. The more we travelled, the more places in the world we visited, the more convinced she became, and nothing, not story nor scripture, would turn her from her way. I made my last effort, at the Red Passage, but she stood between the rust-coloured stones and demanded I tell her if I thought the Gate was not there at all.

“It’s there, Tyesha, I have no doubt. But it is not for us to visit, and you know ignoring the edict means death.”

“I have been chosen. They have called me to the Gold Gate, they have called me to bear witness, and I will behold the glory and return.”

“But I was not called, Tyesha.”

“You are my companion and I have granted you leave to accompany me.”

“You are not one of the gods. That permission is not yours to give.”

This, I thought, would make her understand, but in that moment, in the fierceness of her gaze, I realized that while she might not consider herself one of the gods, she thought herself to be only one step removed. The air in the Red Passage is hot and dry, but in that moment I felt as though the icy winds of Oloala’s Rift had followed us. 

Tyesha turned her back on me and entered the passage. I watched until she was gone from my sight, until I was certain she would not turn around. Then I returned to the village of Whitemouth, booked a room in the inn, and set myself to wait for news. Either she would return triumphant with her message from the Gate and what she found, or her body would be returned, the gods’ message that they were still there and their instructions remained unchanged.

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by | Oct 11, 2021