Paul follows the fremen tradition and walks blind into the desert – a short depiction of his departure. Enjoy.
A Christmas present with no specific recipient…
I don't do disclaimers. This is a fan fiction site, and that should be enough of a statement.
The winds brought sand into his face, like a rough caress. The sound of emptiness surrounded him and, for the first time in millennia, there was darkness. No more threads upon threads of times that may or may not come, no plots within plots, no grinding future ahead, not even common vision. Paul Muad'dib, emperor of worlds and blind man, walked the desert, a fremen once more.
The desert had always been the place of safety, the harbor where no enemy could suddenly ambush, the holy land of the fremen to purge all sins from the flesh. His desert…
"I am an empty vessel. Fill me…"
Step…stop… step, step…rhythmless, endless walk. The walk of the desert.
Caught in the maelstrom of time, he had feared that he had lost his humanity. But the pain of Chani's death had struck as it should have and he had welcomed its brutality. There was something endearingly tangible in that death that he hadn't been able to delay anymore. He, who had thought countless futures for his entire short life, who had come to live only in possibilities and probabilities and the vast expanse of ages yet to come, hungered for the present. The merciless, precious present, even if it would tear him apart. And no present could have been truer than the instant that life had departed his love's body… Ducan's resurrection… his own reflection through his children's eyes...
"How sweet it is to be able to let the universe surprise me again…"
He knew this was only an interlude. Much as this desert thirsted for his water, this was not the time. He had rejected the Golden Path; thrust upon his children fragile shoulders what he had not dared to do, not for the love of the entire world.
"My Sihaia… it seems I am but all too human after all."
He needed to live still. To follow his abandoned empire and children from afar. To challenge the corrupted religious bureaucracy that had turned him into a stone idol and risen in the shelter of his image. He was free at last to do that, with no name, no love, no hope and no title attached to him.
"The wheel must turn. I will see to it that it does. But, at leas for now, let me taste this… "
The blind man wandered on into the depths of the desert, caressing with his steps the dunes which he passed, as if he was treading the flesh of a loved one.