Fall of the Sun

By Kay

Disclaimer: I don't own Everworld. Just the books and a healthy imagination.

Author's Notes: Taken from the fourth book where we learn a little more about Jalil's father.

you took the closest road to the fall of the sun

Jalil is reading Nietzsche in a slim, red-bound volume when the knock on the door comes- heavy, dragging. They knock like this is the day they will be turned away. His intent eyes don't waver from the pages as his father comes past him, beaming and dressed down in a ratted shirt he would never otherwise wear. Sometimes Jalil wonders if he does it because of sentimental value of the article itself, or if he just thinks they will forget this beautiful house, the wife who bakes fried chicken that doesn't taste of sweat and blood, and the way in which they are utterly different now so long as he looks the part.

Blues men. 'Good friends of the older golden days,' his father likes to call them, wistful, clenching air as if it will bring those moments back. Torn men. Street men. Blind men. Wise men.

Today they will come in again, Jalil thinks to himself, and shuts the book quietly. It's not like his father would turn them away. He's still in love with the past, just a bit, enough to cling to it even when it rots everything in the present. Neither Jalil nor his mother like them, but there's nothing they can say against it. Nothing that would make sense or seem less ruthless, anyway- and Jalil has inherited that calculating sort of cool from his mother, along with the sharpness of her smile and upward tilt of her chin.

He can't play the blues himself. Jalil has no talent for music. His fingers can move in the correct directions, but there's nothing behind the sound. The only time he tried, Wilbur- watered pale eyes and a nose half-eaten, teeth yellowed with too much tobacco and time- had gently taken the saxophone away from him, as if it would burn him back any moment for the indignity. Jalil isn't embarrassed easily, but that night the shame had colored his neck red.

He doesn't like the blues men. They're too much of his father he hasn't seen, so worn down that they're above him in a way.

Before they file into the room, Jalil takes his book upstairs to read. He can still hear the music, though, like a living pulse beneath the floor. Beat, beat, beat. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

He washes his hands seven times over seven these nights. It's just another reason to taste the bitterness.

The End