A howling wind carried specs of purple sand through the dry air, storm clouds accumulating above the childhood home of Zodac. Long since abandoned, the acidic rain of Parnassos deteriorated the simplistic building to its foundations.
At opportunity, the former soldier would visit the makeshift grave he created for his elderly mother as a child, the stone that marked her grave mysteriously untouched despite the planet’s awful conditions, the poorly marked inscriptions made so many years ago still legible. It was a miracle of sorts, though not one Zodac would pay much attention to. The crunch of the sand beneath his boots haunted him of days long since passed, each step bringing painful memories few have ever known. A sudden halt brought a silence, the wind blowing the cloth around his neck in it’s breeze. Slowly, he made his way to the floor, a low murmur escaping before he finally sat on the floor.
“Hey, ma.” He softly said, patting the top of the stone where she rested. He removed the helmet he bore and set it beside him, then pulled some things out of the sack that dangled from his thigh. “Sorry I haven’t come around in awhile, ma. I’ve been… busy with work.” He hesitated. As the howling wind finally began to calm, out came two aged teacups, along with a thermos. “I brought you a ‘lil somethin’.” He smiled, placing one cup ahead of the stone. Zodac poured a hot tea from the thermos into the cup within the sand, as well as to the one in his hand. He tapped her cup with his own with a small *clink* and sipped the drink. Silence is all that endured, not so much as a word escaping from the man’s lips. The gentle breeze brought some sort of calm to Zodac, watching the sky as the storm began to brew.
After awhile, the elderly man turned to the stone with the largest grin stretched across his face. “I know you’re gonna roll your eyes at me for this one, ma, but I got the funniest story. Just the other day, I was out drinkin’, just to let off some steam from work, yeah? And, this real tall guy, some eight-foot lookin’ alien man, stuck out like the biggest sore thumb you ever saw. Poor fucke-,” He paused for a second, “Poor sucker didn’t even enough credits to get a drink, meal, nothin’. So, I got him a lil’ somethin’ somethin’. Real nice, naive fellow, but could prolly squish my head like a grape with his huge ‘ol hand. Anyhows, we exchanged names and such, and to make a long story short damn thing ended in a bar fight.” A smile grew across his cheeks. “He’s my friend now, believe that? Got meself a friend haha. And you know what? I can die happy.”
“You’ve still got much ahead of you, Zodac.” A disembodied voice spoke.
“Ma finally, I was thinkin’ you were gone for good.” The old soldier expressed. Though, he never really knew who he was truly speaking too. It could have been in old age he was losing his mind after the countless battles he partook in, or simply the heat of the Parnassos. No matter though, he was just happy to receive a dialogue from his mother. It had been too long.
“I'm joyous to hear this son, creating bonds with others, but don't you think you’ve grown too old to pursue this kind of life? I do not mean to offend, but pretty soon you won’t be able to keep up with the others in this… business of yours. I mean, you are nearly as old as I when I passed. And-” “You know ma, I appreciate your concern and all, but I’m going to continue ‘til I can no longer. It’s how I get by, you know? It’s all I know how to do.”
“Whether or not you realize, it is killing you. Your full potential has not been realized, and if you kill yourself before it’s accomplished, it would be a great dissapointment to me. To those before us who allowed for you to be born. Find time to meditate, and you will know what I speak of.”
Zodac stared down at his teacup, swishing the liquid around the rim. He fell silent listening to the voice of his mother, unsure of what to say.
“Once you discover who you are. Come back to me. Together, we can realize your potential. I promise.”
Zodac’s hand began to shake, some of the tea spilling off the edges.
“Ma,” he began, “how do I know you’re real? How do I know that I’m not just some crazy fuck, talkin’ to myself? I just… I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do, ma.” He whined. He looked up to the storm clouds above, holding back rouge tears attempting to escape. “I mean, shit. I can’t even see you. You’re just… A voice. A voice that I can recognize, but not one I know for a fact is there.”
“Trust in me, Zodac. Only then will you be able to see me.” The voice stated, as it began to grow distant.
Zodac remained silent, staring at the sky for what felt like an eternity. A shaky sigh escaped before he slowly came to stand, gathering his things to leave the ruins of his home. He picked up his mother’s teacup, now empty, and wiped it clean with his glove before gently placing it in his satchel. He patted the top of her stone before walking to his ship, wiping his eyes of the tears that had gathered.
“I’ll see you soon, ma.”