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My twin brother Alinius.  For most of our lives, the only family we had were each other.  Our parents were away on Thalmor business.  We were mostly raised by our Bosmer caretaker, Anariel.  She was more mother to us than our own mother.

We did not have sibling rivalry.  Perhaps it was our twin bond.  We felt we were male and female halves of the same spirit.  We were constantly trying to best each other, but not in a jealous or malicious way.  We strove to make each other better.

My name as pronounced by the Altmer dialect was az-ur-I-ah.  The Cyrodiilians pronounced it, ah-ZAER-ee-ah.  The Nords seemed to pronounce it ah-ZEER-ee-ah.  My brother called me “Zeri”.  I called him “Alin”.

Handsome, intelligent, and popular, Alin’s one fault seemed to be his vanity.  He rather lavished the attention and fawning of his many admirers.  The way they’d giggle and blush as he walked by made my eyes roll and stifle a gag.  He actively encouraged this, which would be proceeded by me lecturing him on courtly behavior.  He’d probably kissed half the girls in the Imperial City.  They didn’t even have to be pretty.  We moved to Alinor (Summerset Isles) before he could finish the other half.

I dreamed of his folded hands at his desk.  Long and slender fingers.  A male mirror of my own.  Nails neatly cleaned and groomed.  Privileged hands that had never seen a day of hard labor.  Perfectly chiseled, almost like a sculptors marble.  Flawless, except one scar that ran across his left knuckle that was caused by…

Wait.  Something was odd.  I wasn’t dreaming of his hands.  I was looking at his hands.  Incredible.  I wiggled his scarred finger.


“Zeri?” My brother’s voice.  Wait, it wasn’t a voice.  It was a thought.

“Alin?!” I said.  Err…thought.

“Good Gods, this isn’t exactly how this was supposed to work,” he thought, distressed.

“Alin!  What have you done!”

“Well, I thought it would be a telepathy spell.  But it seems I have pulled your consciousness into my consciousness.”

“You’re saying that…my mind is in your mind?”

“A situation that I probably find more disquieting than you, little sister.”

“How did you do this?”  I asked, a little awed.

“I found an old scroll with markings from an ancient Aldmeri dialect.  I deciphered that it was some kind of telepathy spell, but the language is too archaic.  I probably got some of the nuances wrong.  I think instead of reaching you telepathically, I pulled your conscious telepathically.”

“Can I get out?!”  I did what can only be described as trying to “push” my way out of my brother’s mind.

“Stop struggling.  You’re giving me a headache.”

“Alin, why did you do this?”

“I never believed you were dead.”  I felt his love, and warmth.  I felt his relief and joy that I was alive.

“It…it probably would have been better if you had.  I am not going back.”

Since I was in his mind, I felt his emotions as though they were my own.  He was pained, and saddened.  Heartbroken.

“If that is what you want.  It is enough to know that you are alive.”

“Alin, you can’t tell anyone.  Please.”

He hesitated.  “No, I won’t.  But you must know that I am not the only one who was not convinced by your ‘corpse’.”

“Mother.” We despaired.

“Her scrying techniques are bound to better than my own, little sister.  If you do not wish to return, then know that it will be difficult to remain out of her sight,” he warned.

“Why does she even care?  You’re the darling.  I was the mouthy troublemaker.  I thought she’d be glad to get rid of me.”

“She was apparently planning on marrying you to the Supreme Commander Justicar’s son.  Your disappearance and ‘death’ have inconvenienced her.”

“Gods, so that was the fate that awaited me if I stayed!”

“Plans are being made for me too, I’m afraid.  She’s holding out for the best ‘deal’.  Being bargained with like a stud,” he thought with a smirk.  I detected a hint of flattery.  I mentally rolled my eyes.

“Come with me to Skyrim, Alin.  It’s not so bad here.  It would be just like when we were little in Cyrodiil…”

A thought occurred to me.

“Alin, can you…’shout’?”

“Pardon? Did you say shout? Has Skyrim frozen your brain?  I’ve been shouting at you since we were in the womb, no doubt.”

I wondered.

Just as I had managed to wiggle his finger earlier, I took control of him and made him say, “FUS!”

Papers, quill and ink went flying off his desk.

“By the NINE, Zeri!  What in oblivion…?!” he shouted aloud.


I was disoriented.  My eyes opened, but I was staring at the blackness in a room.  Yes, I rented a room in Solitude.  The Winking Skeever, I recalled.

I blinked groggily and recalled my dream. Or hallucination.

Was my brother also dragonborn?  Or was the power of the shout because my ‘soul’ was in his body?

Was it a dream? Did that really happen?

I wasn’t sure.

I thought it must be what going mad must feel like.

Published in: Story Blog on January 8, 2012 at4:41 pm Comments (0)

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