Author's Note: A rendering of Kikyou's final moments and thoughts. Originally written for LJ comm Iyissekiwa (with 250 word limit).


Even when she was mortal, Kikyou's life never truly felt her own. A priestess is dedicated to higher matters than the needs or the pleasures of the flesh, the fancies of the soul. Even when Inuyasha held her, there was something ethereal, insubstantial about it.

Now, as this form of bones and clay, animated by the souls of the departed, begins to disperse, there is a rightness to it, as if she had always existed, suspended in this moment in time. The experience of life and death are subjective, impossible to know outside one's own reality. But what if one has never known oneself, has lived and died to serve a greater good, only to be reanimated to serve a lesser evil? Has any of it been her choice? Has her life, her body, ever belonged to her?

And what of anger, a source that seemed in itself to give her substance, pursuit of revenge as pure and sustaining as protection of the jewel had been? Ignoble and infused with the petty hatred of the witch who reformed her in her own twisted image, Kikyou has come to recognize that the power of antagonism is even more illusory than that of love. How unreal seems that affection she felt for her wild hanyou, once upon a time.

In this moment of dissipation, Kikyou is struck by a flash of awareness, the gods' final gift or their vengeance: we do what we must to make meaning in a world without answers.