It Was All an Illusion…

セフィロス

This was in response to a long-ago prompt... (so long ago that I'd even forgotten the source page... D8) It has been hiding in my folder for almost a year... XD

Special thanks to Final Hikari for betaing this, arigato gozaimashita! -bows-

To all readers, enjoy and please R&R. Thanks!

I do not own Sephiroth or Final Fantasy VII.

セフィロス

It was all an illusion…

My work…

My dreams, ambitions…

My life.

Even my humanity.

The only thing real is the pain, the suffering of being different. I sigh, rubbing my eyes in exhaustion. Life is a dreary thing, especially when you happen to be unlike everyone else.

I still cannot understand why I had been sent back, but it has certainly not been a walk in the park. It was nothing but punishment.

Even as I stride down this narrow street, I notice people staring, focusing on the single wing that hangs limply from my back. They are always careful not to step on any black feathers that fall to the ground.

Such is human nature, that he who is unlike everyone else is feared and scorned.

I cannot care less. It is a suitable chastisement for the sins I have committed.

My breath mists before my face but I ignore it, keeping my head down as I walk. Even so, what does it really matter if someone recognises me for who I once was? I am no longer the proud General, the hero of SOLDIER.

But what am I now?

I glance up, right into the eyes of a man. He averts his gaze at once to stare at the ground.

The people who pass me give me a wide berth. They walk faster to get further away from me. I can see the fear in their suspicious eyes. I draw my wing closer to me. It is not comfortable to be the object of so much dread and distrust.

I shiver involuntarily as a cool breeze blows some silver strands into my face. Another discriminating factor.

I have not the faintest idea why my hair is of such an unusual colour. Of course, during the days with SOLDIER, people simply tolerated it. But now, it only serves to draw more unwanted attention to a man who wants so much to escape it.

A little girl bumps into me by accident. She looks up at me and her sweet smiling face turns into an expression of utmost terror. I step around her and continue walking. But I can sense her frightened eyes following me, making me all the more painfully aware of the additional limb sprouting from my back.

No one knows its true function of course. No one but myself. The wing marks me, makes me a shunned person. It is simply there to make people afraid and remind me of what I have done. But then again, they do have just reasons to be fearful. After all, who would stroll along comfortably with a mass murderer beside them? A winged mass murderer with feathers as dark as night?

Something cold and wet lands on my ear. I stop, blinking in surprise before looking up. Small white droplets are floating down from light grey clouds in the sky, much paler than the ones that yield rain.

Snow.

It is falling everywhere, on my hair, on my outstretched hands, on this hated wing. I watch silently, bemusedly noting the sharp contrast between the pure white and the ebony black of my feathers.

Around me, the people scuttle for cover from the weather. Others laugh and try catching snowflakes on their tongues. Many small children object to being pulled out of the cold and into buildings. Within seconds I am alone on the street, surrounded by rapidly thickening snow.

It is descending quickly enough to create a pure white covering over the street and buildings. The flakes are large and the air cold enough not to melt them as they hit the ground.

Another shiver runs through me, making my teeth chatter. My cloak does not seem to block out all of the cold as it once did.

I raise my wing and shake the snow out of my feathers, watching it fall like a shower of white rain to the ground, before wrapping it around me. It does little to reduce the cold, but at least gives a slight warmth… which is better than nothing.

I sigh heavily, returning my gaze to the ground. A single snowflake lands on my nose as I resume my solitary journey down the quiet street. I continue, making no attempt to take shelter, even though the wind is picking up.

I will be alone forever without contact with mankind. This is my curse.

What am I now?

I am a monster, I know. An inhuman creature unworthy of living.

But here I am.

And I am forced to live, no matter how weary I am of this mortal plane.

セフィロス