The following is a short stand alone blurb that will find it's place in the story. As of right now, it is cross listed as part of the O' Lantern canon, and a Short Story.
My godmother told me names had power. They could call a child in from the rain or bring attention to a naive mistake. They allowed people control, so uncomfortable in their own identities that they had to assign special vibrations of breath just to know who they were and who was around them.
Names belonged to man and God. The names of man were fleeting, symbolic. They were just tools to denote ownership of something to the ears of another man.
But God’s names were Real, in the truest sense of the word. They weren’t symbolic. A name was a person, but they were beings who knew themselves to the core.
So when I asked what her name was, she balked. She looked at me with tired empty eyes that expected this question one day. She seemed nervous. She looked out the open door of the house, watching souls go about their day unaware of the future she held in her palms.
She watched my parents talking with other villagers about the recent harvest and the upcoming festival.
Mama was doing laundry and Papa was just in from the fields.
“You know my name,” she said softly.
“I know who you are to me, Godmother,” I said. “But who are you to God?”
She smiled, her bloodstained teeth beautiful in their darkened scarlet. She bothered mother and father with her wraith-like appearance, but they trusted her with me since I was a baby. Mama said I wouldn’t have been born if not for her. I always found her beautiful in a quiet, pained way. She had no control over her visage, despite the power she held.
“A mistake probably,” she said, glancing up at the ceiling. Her teeth pressed together and I knew it was her lips she really wanted to purse. Strands of her hair blew into her face at a slight gust of wind and she tilted her head to listen. She listened to a voice I couldn’t hear and cracked a smile.
“It’s very strange you call me Godmother,” she said, coming to sit beside me. She picked up my old doll, careful not to get blood on it. Her fingers traced the seashell eyes Mama had sewn on.
Godmother had brought those shells, along with stories of the sea.
I wished to see the sea someday.
“Why?” I asked, tilting my head to match hers.
“I’m neither a mother nor blessed to be in such a role,” she said. “A think…I thought…that a mother assists with life. Growth. Childhood. I’m suppose to come at the end.”
“The end of what?”
I was quiet. “Godmother? Who are you?”
“I’m not human.”
“I know that.”
She smiled at me, but it was still sad. “I used to be, very long ago in the future…”
She spoke strangely like that sometimes. She said funny words too. Words she wasn’t very good at explaining.
She said it was because the language she spoke didn’t exist just yet.
I stood up, near tripping on my dress as I did.
She was still as I came closer. She moved her arms out of the way as I climbed into her lab and rested against her chest. I couldn’t hear a heartbeat like Mama or feel breath like Papa’s, but she was still warm. She liked to move her chest to give me an illusion of her breath and blow into my hair. But her “breath” was a cool as the surrounding air.
She always felt whole.
I always felt whole when I was close to her.
She ran her bony fingers through my hair.
“How old are you now?” she asked, gently resting her her hard chin against the top of my head.
“Mama said ten winters,” I answered.
“Hm, ten minus eighty,” she said.
I wasn’t confused.
It was just the way she spoke.
“You call me Anam,” she said. “That’s very close to my real name.
“Alright, Godmother. Are you Death?”
“Close. But no. Don’t worry about it, kiddo.”