Photo via Visual hunt
The mist rose up the cliff. Dionne and Rionne watched it come. “Do you think they’ll return?” Rionne asked, his violet eyes full of fear.
“They always do,” Dionne said, clinging to her twin brother’s hand.
“Why are we doing this?” Rionne asked.
“We can’t let Suvi die,” Dionne said. “Ailin would be crushed and quite possibly kill himself. His children can’t be left to the care of his parents. You know the village council won’t give them to us.”
Rionne nodded. The village council, along with many of the villagers, believed that the twins lived an incestuous lifestyle because of how close they were. The truth was they were what was known as a tampti – a single soul split into two bodies. They simply couldn’t exist without the other close by.
Of course, the current village they lived in didn’t believe in that sort of thing. So few places did anymore. The twins’ condition was so rare that they would probably be forced into a temple soon just to survive.
The mist reached the top of the cliffs. A few minutes later, vague humanoid shapes appeared. “You are brave mortals, to confront us as we come to your land,” a soft voice said. It was neither male nor female, and the twins couldn’t tell what direction it was coming from. “What do you wish of us?”
“Our friend Suvi is dying and she must survive,” Dionne said. “The well-being of her children requires it.”
“Does she not have a husband? Will he not fulfill his responsibility to them?” the voice asked.
“He is too close to his lifemate. He will follow her in death,” Rionne said. “Those who would take in the children are cruel and violent. If the children survive, they would become twisted in their image.”
“Can you not accept the children into your home?” the voice asked. Before the twins could answer, it spoke again. “No, we see what you are. Your kind has never been looked favorably upon.” There was silence for a moment. “We will do as you ask on one condition.”
“What is it?” Rionne asked.
“The female part of you must choose a male not of this village, and not her twin, to father children. It cannot be a lifemate, for that is a bonding that will jeopardize yours,” the voice said. “A set of twins like you will be born. That is our price, that you perpetuate your kind.”
“I will do that,” Dionne said.
“Then we will grant your wish.” The sense of the presence was gone.
“How do you propose to do that?” Rionne asked.
“We’ll go to a big city,” Dionne said. “There are brothels there that cater to women. I’ll just keep sleeping with various men until I get pregnant. We’ll go from there.”
“Okay, if you think you can handle this,” Rionne said. “You do realize this is just going to perpetuate the myth that we’re incestuous.”
“Not if we play it right,” Dionne said. “Here, yes. But in a city? We can play off that my lifemate died and you’re helping me until I find a new one. We just keep a low profile until I do get pregnant. Maybe live in separate apartments in a tenement building.”
“I don’t know if I can do that,” Rionne said, a hint of panic in his voice.
“We may have to in order to survive, Rionne,” Dionne said. “Others of our kind have done the same thing. We can do it too.” She took her twin’s hand and pulled him into a walk. They headed back towards the village.