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Julian’s head aches from Lord Aranan’s summoning. Taking a moment to compose himself, he watches as the Lord strolls in a field of requiem flowers, brushing the blood red tops, setting them swaying on iron stalks. The flowers ripple under a breeze seen but not felt. The total absence of life is the only clue that this place doesn’t truly breathe life. It exists only through a steady feeding of Lord Aranan’s power, not quite an illusion, certainly not real. Julius wonders if this place exists only in the Lord’s head and shudders, claustrophobic.

Though the ladies are quite taken with the Lord of the Below, falling prey to his fine bones, pewter skin and deadly charm, Julius knows better and his knees tremble from both desire and fear. But Julius has been in this game longer than most and knows, if nothing else, how to juggle a variety of emotions, realities, wants.  Lord Aranan raises his left hand and beckons Julius forth with a mere twitch of a perfect finger.

“I see that you did as I asked. Nearly,” says Lord Aranan.

“You did not specify how I was to bring Danyek to you,” replies Julius.

“Do explain how creating an Angel causes another to fall,” says Lord Aranan, each word lashed in acid on Julius’ skin.

“Obedience leaves no room for love, a love that Danyek can now no longer live without. There is only one creature in all the realms, in all the dimensions of both the Above and the Below that can undo a soul graced, who can untangle that particular knot. There is no one else for him to go to. He will call on you, and he will be near mad with desperation, primed to promise you anything,” explains Julius.

“I see. Go. Live this day. But Julius, he better come soon.”

***

Inspired by Trifecta’s prompt word of:JUGGLE (transitive verb)
1a : to practice deceit or trickery on : beguile
b : to manipulate or rearrange especially in order to achieve a desired end
2a : to toss in the manner of a juggler
b : to hold or balance precariously
3: to handle or deal with usually several things (as obligations) at one time so as to satisfy often competing requirements

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