By Lilac Summers


This little story has been hiding in the depths of my hard drive, aging and unused, for over a year. Finally I decided to let it see the light of day. I hope you enjoy it.

This takes place during a moment in time…somewhere between the first Sending Yuna completes, and before she finds out about the truth behind Yevon. Imagine it as any random occurrence where the group may have stumbled upon another town ravaged by Sin. C&C welcomed.

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I do not think they can understand, or even imagine, what it feels like to send. The dance itself is not a complicated one. It is not that I think myself so graceful and talented that no one could perform the sending as I do, but I wonder if any summoner has experienced what I feel when I dance for the dead.

For what I feel is their souls, their lives. Thousands of experiences all encompassed in the twist of a hand, a sway of the hip. I step forward and feel the little girl who wanted to be a healer, step to the side and experience the birth of a couple’s first child…they’d tried for seven years to conceive. My staff traces one circle, and then another, and I experience the shy youth’s first encounter with lovemaking. The ghost of a grandmother anticipating her 98th birthday sweeps past me when I turn my head, and the ephemeral, garbled thoughts of an infant who knows nothing beyond light, sound, and touch chases after her. A shade whispers in my ear that he and his young bride had been saving to build their own hut; they found the perfect type of wood for the floor that very morning. The piquant touch of lips against my cheek belongs to a boy, who shall never grow older than seven years, who tells me sheepishly that I’m pretty. At the same time, a teenage girl slyly dances alongside me and reveals where she hid her diary; she wants her little sister to have it.

All crying out for my attention as they are called up and hastened forward. All wanting one last ear to hear what their last memory was, one last warm body to experience what they did. They rush to surround me and peer curiously into my eyes, wondering who this girl is who lifts them into the beyond with a dance still clumsy in its newness.

Funny, I remember them all. I’ve lived a hundred thousand lifetimes as I step over the water to perform my simple dance. My eyes catch the blue gaze of the blonde-headed man who’s joined our journey, and in their depths I see a slight pity for me as I flow through the steps…this dance summoners have performed for millennia for the dead. He does not understand; I want to tell him that if he could see the souls liberated by the movement of my feet he would understand that each pain and heartache that passes through me is beautiful, for it is all they have left.

Lulu told me, that first time, to try not to cry the next. How could I not, I wanted to say, when I had been born, raised, married, given birth, and had it all taken away in the span of thirty seconds? I broke my leg climbing a tree and found a pretty stone in the water and saw my wife with another man and celebrated my thirtieth anniversary with my wife and got married yesterday and got a new puppy who I named Niko and got drunk behind my parents’ back and was planning on buying a boat to go fishing and learned how to swim with my eyes open in the salty water and want so badly to be a blitzplayer and found the perfect secluded cove for me and my boyfriend and lied about eating the last sweet apple and bought a pretty new blanket and I hope he never suspects that I was the one and …

And died. Died so many times today.

So that is why, I think, dying for Sin would not be such a difficult thing.


I walk away amidst the sound of sobbing, taking care not to step on the lonely hands that reach for my skirt in passing. It reminds me of the historical pictures I have seen, where the populace line the street and kneel before royalty, hoping that by touching the hem of the purple robes they will find some benediction. The idea only saddens me further, for I am no saint and they will find no blessing by rubbing their fingertips over the rough serge fabric of my faded blue skirt.

Steps away from the fold of my awaiting guardians, my path is blocked by a child-- a pig-tailed girl with a gap-toothed grin that isn’t quite old enough to understand that her sister is not coming back. The ghostly whisper of divulged secrets still echoes in my ear, and I recognize the familial resemblance to the spirit of the girl who danced beside me with teenage abandon.

I stop, kneeling in order to frame the child’s face with hands that haven’t quite stopped trembling. She looks at me with undisguised wonder while I bend forward to whisper my message in the girl’s ear.

“Under her mattress, by the nightstand. The key is under the lampshade.”

She looks at me with solemn brown eyes, and then that gap-toothed smile beams at me before she rushes to what’s left of her home to check for treasure.

No, not so difficult a thing at all.

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The End.