Hello all! Thanks for bothering to take a look at my dinky new thread. I seem to have accumulated a lot of them. O_O ^_^;; Oh.. dear...
Now, since my darling muse Carol is currently AWOL-- probably drunk n Las Vegas, drooling over an Elvis impersonator-- I've dredged this up from my hard drive in an attempt to get myself jump started. I only have a vague idea of where this is going-- so feedback is very welcome!
Feedback Song: [happy birthday]
Please give feedback to me,
Please give feedback too me,
Come on, give me some feedback,
Please give feedback to me
... eeh.. that wasn't my best. *sheepish*
The Widow Skywalker
by Meredith Bronwen Mallory
"... and no Ma'am, I'm sorry, but we seem to be out. I understand completely, yes, but I still can't help you. If you can wait a week, Widow Skywalker may bring some to town with her."
There was every chance he'd misheard it, Luke rationalized. It had only been a disembodied voice, after all, heard through the din of the market place. The young man cursed inwardly; those words, so surreal and out of place, had thrust him forcably into uncertainty. He had paused there, in the middle of the market, his heart, lungs-- indeed, the whole of him-- stilled. There awakened then old dreams, the dreams of a child without mother or father, longing for answers more detailed than the ones given by his aunt and uncle. Insanely, he'd wondered whether or not he'd stepped into one of those dreams. It was wishful enough, the idea of finding his mother by mere chance. By the time he managed to process the words, the scope of that sentence, he was unable to locate their speaker.
Was he only to have a glimpse, and then be turned away?
The Jedi, the only Jedi, paced back and forth restlessly in his hotel room. Coming to the wall, he turned went back the way he came, until he met with the other end of the room. So much for calm, he though dispairagingly. He tried, without success, to employ the Jedi calming technique, but each time it was shattered by the fragments of thoughts he hadn't allowed to form. Images tried to crystalize, built on those slight moments of rememberance that would sometimes strike his sister. Six times since the Battle of Endor, she had come to him-- sometimes in the middle of the night-- her eyes alive with something she'd thought lost.
"I remembered something," she'd say, and he would open the door to let her in. Never once did he prompt her or ask her what she meant. There were times she would sit on his couch for perhaps a full ten minutes before she could even begin to articulate what she'd discovered. In the end, her words for it were as simple and unexpected as the way she remembered in the first place.
Eating lamplight fruit for what she thought was the first time, Leia remembered another occassion. "The tree was so tall, and Mother held me up to reach them," she said, swallowing as if she could still taste it.
Then, in the market place, she'd seen a woman with a gold circlet in her hair. "Mother wore her hair like that sometimes. It was a dark brown and long-- it went down past her knees. I used to play with the end of her braids." This was said softly, and Luke could see in her face a type of wonder, as if Leia couldn't quite believe it herself.
Other times they were simply images, and Leia would wait while he brought something from the kitchen. Then they would sit together, on the couch, and their hands (even his mechanical one) would reach out and hold tightly. As vocal as Leia was concerning her unwillingness to train, those where the times she reached out through the Force. "I want you to see," she'd said, turning away her candid brown eyes, "and I couldn't bring it across right unless I show you this way." And she would share the images, so that he too might own them, though it broke his heart that he'd never had them in the first place.
Luke sat down heavily, his arms resting themselves against the faded, over-stuffed chair. Each of the images was polished, as vibrant and complete as when they'd first been transferred to him through Leia's hands. He thought about them, stilled pictures, traveling through his arm, carried on his blood until he could see them with his closed eyes.
A loving, safe shadow of Mother, bent over Leia's crib and seen again in a dream.
Mother pushing herself away from the table, food untouched and smile faint, the look in her eyes one of almost sweet sadness.
Glass beads, blue like Luke's own eyes, held in Mother's hand as she helped to pick up Leia's broken necklace.
That was it, that was all he had. Three little memories that were not his own. Some nights he would lay awake, no matter what planet he was on, and stare blindly upwards. He would bring the images to the fore of his mind, memorizing the detail, gazing at them because they were his mother's only legacy. Thinking back on this, he realized he had done it more and more of late. Perhaps, he considered, it was simply the fact that his search for Force-sensitives to train had taken him far from Coruscant, and what was left of his family. Luke shook his head, as if that would help to clear his mind, and climbed to his feet once more.
"Widow Skywalker," he murmured, trying to get a feel for it. Those two small words brought back the sounds of the market, as if to act as a background. Widow Skywalker, Mother; it seemed almost obscene that he was this close only by chance.
But how many Skywalkers could there be in the Galaxy?
"Alright," he said aloud, his real hand unconciously moving to touch the handle of his lightsaber. It was his, formed by his hands and his skill, but there were times it felt foreign. He could touch it, trace over the lines he'd made himself, and know instictively that they were in the wrong place. But as much as he remembered the contors of the other (his father's) lightsaber, he could not dublicate them properly. Nor should he, Luke reminded himself sternly. It was automatic, though, and he barely thought about it. He moved restlessly, possibilities stirring in his veins. If Obi-Wan had been there, Luke would have been quite embarassed at his lack of composure. "Alright," he said again, more firmly this time. He put his hands against a nearby table to stop the pacing. "Tomorrow I'll go to the market and see what I can find out." Artoo beeped questioningly from his place in the corner, and it occured to Luke suddenly that the little droid had no idea what he was talking about. At times it seemed Artoo was more of an extension, like the lightsaber, somehow always knowing his thoughts. Most of the time, Artoo was able to predict them with startling regularity. Fondly, the young Jedi reached over and placed his hand on Artoo's silver dome.
"Just a lead I found, Artoo," he explained, "I think it's worth following up."
The decision calmed Luke more than anything else, though it seemed to him that there had never been any question. To turn his back on this discovery, even if it consisted only of words over heard in the market place, would be violating a part of himself. Peace settled around his shoulders once more, and he smiled. Peace was a learned thing, sure enough, but it certainly helped get things done more quickly.
There was little for Luke to do for the rest of the evening save take his supper alone in his room and retire to bed. His recent 'little scrape' on Calamari, coupled with the long voyage to Koe, had taken more out of the Jedi than he'd suspected. The lower the small, red sun of Koe slipped, the more Luke found himself longing for sleep. Yawning lightly, he finished up the plain meal of fish (which, oddly enough, reminded him more of Beru's cooking than anything else) and pulled a small, rented computer unit into his lap. Leia, though she understood the need for Jedi in the New Republic, made no secret of her personal dislike for the idea. Rationally, Luke knew that he shouldn't blame her, but he always found the thought a bitter one. If the desperate need to hold onto their memories of Mother pulled the twins together, then the memories they had of Father pushed them apart.
"I just don't understand it," Leia would say, sometimes mournfully and other times with accusation. Often, the subject would be far from the one at hand, but Luke knew it dwelt in his sister always. Days came when Leia looked at him with half-concious suspicion, and he knew those were the times she was doubting her own origins. Her eyes would rest on him, looking like the eyes of someone else, and she would shake her head. Once or twice she put her hand on his shoulder-- to show that her confusion didn't matter-- but most of the time she turned away because it did. There was no way Luke could express to her the change in Vader, and Leia could not concieve of the idea on her own. But in spite of-- or perhaps, he admitted, because of-- her dislike for the subject, Luke always made a point of sending a report to her whenever he got the chance. She didn't always respond, he though wryly; the last messsage he'd recieved had said only that she was happy to hear he was well. Nothing regarding his search for Jedi, or his request that Threepio look for records in the Master Computer on Coruscant. Leia probably *had* set Threepio to the task, Luke considered, her failure to mention it was only to remind him of her distaste.
'Siblings,' the Jedi thought with a small, cynical smile. At least he *had* a sister to fight with. Still, when he left out any mention of 'Widow Skywalker', he didn't bother to question himself. Why get Leia's hopes up?-- or, so the rational went. Inwardly, he held the possibility of his mother close. In theory, she had always existed, but he regarded her as one regards a towering mountain. 'Mother' was a nebulous idea; he'd never had one before. He'd known surprisingly few others, he realized. Camie's mother had been a tall woman, body bent and shaped by the winds of Tatooine, her eyes the color of sand. His only memory of her, probably the only time he'd actually *seen* the woman, was the sight of her leaning over Camie and fusing with her hair. Aunt Beru had been a mother in a way, he supposed, but she carried with her an air of childlessness that had shadowed her bright blue eyes. It was only now that Luke wondered why she'd never had any children of her own.
Outside, the dome of the sky changed to red glass, lit only by the vanishing sun. Luke slipped into bed, ordering each muscle in his body to relax, but his eyes were always on the hill outside the window. A strong breeze ran across the land, moving in the tall grass that was only a shade darker than the sky. As the Jedi waited for sleep to claim him, his mind filled with images of a childhood on this planet; himself small, running after Leia through the jungle of tall copper grass. Just wishful thinking. He was aware of the mechanics of sleep and, as the last cog slipped into place, Luke was almost certain that tonight he was sure to dream of Mother as Leia sometimes did.
In the end, he dreamt of Aunt Beru, seen through the kitchen door as she waved him off to play.
He woke, but couldn't find it in himself to be disappointed.
to be continued