Saturday, May 5, 2007

"Ashes and ghosts are all around me"/ Ineffable Fandom

"Danijela, Marko mrtva..." Gillian looked over at the hospital bed as she heard Luka's voice, then rose and went to his side as she saw him struggling to free himself of the bedding that he had somehow gotten tangled in.

"Luka, shhh." Brushing his damp bangs off of his forehead, she frowned, his fever was spiking again, the malaria still riding it's peaks and valleys as it raged through his weakened body. She should call his doctor in, see if they wanted to increase his medication, but that would mean leaving him alone with whoever haunted his dreams and she couldn't do that.

"There's no one one here but me, Luka." She whispered the words, unsure whether he would hear her or not as she pulled the sweat soaked linens free.

"Marko...mrtva." When his eyes flickered open she tried to smile, but found instead tears coming as he seemed unable to recognize her.

"I don't understand."  Luka, it's Gillian...I don't know who Marko is, there's no one else here but us." Reaching for a towel she dampened it, then wiped his face with it, hoping it might break into the fever enough to allow him to at least recognize his surroundings.

"Don't cry." It took her a moment to realize he had spoken to her, and she moved closer as she saw him lift his hand to wipe the tear that had fallen from her cheek.

"Am I that bad?" He managed a weak smile of his own as he let his hand drop to the covers.

"No." She shook her head before leaning down to kiss him.

"I think you were dreaming, but it didn't make any sense to me." Gillian pulled her chair over by the bed so she could sit as she began to explain.

"What did I say?" A crease formed between Luka's brows at his question.

"Luka, I don't know, it was just a few words, maybe a name...Marko?" Gillian frowned as the news seemed to erase the spark that had surfaced in him.

"Talk to me, Luka." She reached for his hand with the request, only to find disappointment as he pulled away from her physically as well.

"I need to rest...please." Turning his face away from her scrutiny, Luka closed his eyes, why now?  It wasn't until he heard the sound of Gillian rising and her footsteps as she left the room that he opened his eyes again to find himself alone, but, he wasn't alone, not really.  He released a sigh with the realization. 

"You're always here aren't you?"  He voiced the question aloud as if he expected those long gone to be able to answer.

"Always part of me..." The words trailed off as he closed his eyes again and allowed himself to be drawn back into his past. Back to Vukovar, to the smell of the fires that still burned in the ruined apartment building. Back to the ghosts of his family, of his wife and small children taken too soon from him.


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