The darkness fell heavy and thick as wool over the city, despite the hot noon hour. She felt him go into the darkness and she knew she wasn’t going to get him back, though she could do nothing but watch from the distance as his body slumped to the ground.
Around her, people panicked, screaming at the sudden blindness. One person pushed against her, then another, and she heard someone nearby call out in pain. She stood still as the heart of the sea as the waves of humanity broke and shifted around her.
That was it, then?
She’d come all this way from her dry desert home so that he could die?
She thought there was supposed to be anger now, boiling hot, scalding and bubbling over and rolling out across the blackened landscape, rage to match his as he’d shouted in the market.
There was only a sense of depth. She was falling away from the humanity around her, falling into the darkness where he would wait for her.
At the bottom of her own personal ocean, there were no arms waiting to hold her, none of his breath left to whisper her name, no salty kisses. He embraced her nonetheless, the solid pressure of the depths and the darkness. The pressure was overwhelming, and she knew what it must have been like for the others when they dove, the sense that where she swam was not a place that belonged to her. The water had never felt that way.
The darkness had been safe and warm when he wielded it, but now it had no shaper. The darkness knew it was drawn to her, but no longer remembered why.
She let it in anyway, a heavy spray of ink across the deep ocean, no phosphorescence to light the way, and then he settled into her, weighing her down but not so heavy she couldn’t swim.
She reached for the surface.