With the slick grace of a lacquered brush, I paint him, sealing the fate of he who chained me. Amber coated, his skin melts into the air before me, as with each stroke, I define him further, deeper. Like a dying tree, the bark that once bonded and coddled my form throughout time is peeling away in great, curling sheets, torn and cast upon the winds. I can see now how I’ve been shaped, shunted and formed, directed in agony, as one might tie a vine or trim a shrub. At each turn, each impossible knot, before each sap-filled wound, he is there. I can see him. Here a breath, there a voice, there the touch of a hand. Each form is impossibly different, yet the essence remains the same.
From each touch across a thousand centuries, I call him to me. Against his will, I bring him.
I can do this now; the barriers are falling apart, thunderous and calamitous. The ships that sailed from our worlds left behind nothing to shore their moorings. In their haste, in their flight, they left gaping holes, voids that reality rushed in to fill, sloshing and pouring with crashing waves that widened the six dimensional tears. Here, by the husk of a ruined Tower, I can mould the shifting currents, force them into shape.
His face is complete now, contorted in a grimace that somehow I feel I know intimately. Yet even as I look at him, even as the rest of his form remains incomplete, his visage shifts and burrs; I am creating a composite from a hundred different faces, over an un-estimate able number of encounters with me that span every possible emotion, every possible situation. To be reborn into such a form must be tantamount to a living hell.
But he does not live. I know that now too.
It was his death that lost the war, for all sides, that caused the last of the vessels to pass into the horizon. It was his fall that left our universe to its fate of eternal cold, eternal stillness.
The dead do not like to return to our planes, and while this is not his ghost, this figure before me that swirls into being before me, it is all that remains of him, the traces and touches he made upon my skin while he still lived. In anyway that matters, he is responsible for my birth, and also for my death: he is my father.
Yet as he stands before me at last upon the wet, sodden grass, blinking and bewildered through eyes that never cease to shift and phase in their colour and aspect, I cannot help but feel that I am the parent, and he the errant child.
“Hello,” the figure returned cautiously, as the screams of pain faded from his breath. The word seemed cold and clipped, a discarded nail trimming cast upon the floor, sharp and foreign. He cast about for a moment, as if searching for a phantom hat to bob or tip. “You’ll have to forgive me,” he began slowly, his voice a blur of a hundred different accents. “I’m not sure if I’m meant to bow… I’m fairly sure a handshake is out of the question… It’s just… I feel like I should have brought something... But would it be a bottle of red or white wine... You see, I’ve never met History before.”