The last rock settled onto the small cairn, crushing a thin layer of snow beneath it.
“I have to go away, Noatak,” Tarrlok said to it. “I mean, really away; not just to the Capitol. I’m going to Republic City.”
There was no answer but the wind and the thick silence of the falling snow. He tried to remember what his brother’s voice had sounded like.
“I thought,” he continued, “if I made you… if I made a marker, maybe you could watch after mom. If you’re not still angry.”
He tried to pretend he could feel his brother’s ghost at his shoulder, the weight of a spirit, but there was nothing. Just snow settling on his parka.
“I thought,” he said to the cairn, “if I made you a marker, maybe you could come back.”
Inspired by this poem by Catullus (translated from its original Latin):By ways remote and distant waters sped,
Brother, to thy sad grave-side am I come,
That I may give the last gifts to the dead,
And vainly parley with thine ashes dumb:
Since she who now bestows and now denies
Hath taken thee, hapless brother, from mine eyes.
But lo! these gifts, the heirlooms of past years,
Are made sad things to grace thy coffin shell,
Take them, all drenchèd with a brother’s tears,
And, brother, for all time, hail and farewell!
Textures and mountains from [link]
Northern light brushes from [link]