Indra’s eyes gazed out the window, searching for something that wasn’t really there. He could still remember every freckle in her eyes, and the smile that made his tiny heart nearly beat out of his chest. He had been ‘alive’ only a few years, but Earth was a wondrous place, filled with hidden treasures and dazzling landscapes. Man-made creations towered above him or stretched out as far as his eyes could see, and he was thankful his Master had brought him into the world in this day and age. But there was one thing he had discovered that his Master had never really spoken of, and when he had gone into his library to research this new sensation, he could find nothing on it in any alchemic or scholarly reads.
Feeling ever more curious, he turned to the poets and authors, and it was there he found the elegant words and soft hearts on tidal shores that resonated with him deeply. It was here he discovered that what he was feeling was love, and he found no higher purpose or emotion than this one. He felt doubly blessed that his love was also immersed in the pursuit of alchemy, for she was one of his Master’s apprentices. He found her strikingly beautiful, though he had heard his Master call her ‘stuffy’, and he enjoyed their conversations that often stretched much further than anyone else in the lab took pleasure in.
When he had been given permission to explore the world, the apprentice and Indra promised to write each other whenever possible. He took heart in this while he traveled the world, reading over her letters in sub zero weather, scratching out his discoveries and small inventions in warm breezes. When he finally took root in the forests of Europe, he enlisted a raven to be his messenger and take their letters between each other, for a small fee of course.
However, the apprentices letters gradually began to slow, almost to a stop, and Indra wondered if she was alright or if something had gone wrong in the Master’s laboratory – until that morning.
A rapid tapping on the front door made Indra shoot out of bed, racing down the stairs and flinging the door open. The raven sat there, massive looking as always (though everything was massive to him) and perched just outside the door, the branch swaying ever so slightly with its weight. But what made his heart leap was the letter that was in its beak. He went to reach for it, but the raven gave a muffled caw, and he remembered himself.
“Right you are, apologies. You know how it is when she sends me letters.”
He ducked inside, not noticing the raven’s eye roll, and returned with a small bag of crackers and dried fish.
“I hope this will suffice, the cheese isn’t quite ready yet.”
He set it down carefully just outside the door, so as not to drop it to the ground below. The raven leaned over and allowed the homunculus to take the folded letter from his beak, before grabbing the bag. It shuffled it around carefully, getting a proper grip, before taking off once more. Its leap into the air shook the house, but Indra had long since flight-proofed his home. He scurried back inside, shutting the door and leaning against it, hugging the parchment to his chest. It had been weeks since her last letter, and he could just barely catch the scent of her perfume and the Master’s lab buried in the parchment.
He plunked himself down on his couch, pushing things out of the way eagerly to unfold the human-sized letter. His eyes scanned the page, and his face grew hot. He read it several more times, before pushing it away from him with force, and slumping against the cushions, eyes on the ceiling as tears fell from them.
By now you must have noticed my letters have become infrequent, unlike when we used to write during your travels. I must confess that I have fallen out of love with you, and I apologize for the blunt words I use here. I am not used to writing so directly in terms of emotions, as you know. But I must say what is on my mind.
It has occurred to me that a homunculus and a human should never partake in such relationships outside of friendships, perhaps even acquaintances. How would we ever live together? I am so much taller than you, it would be hardly fair to you and I with our respective powers and abilities. No, it must be this way.
I hope you will call me friend in the future, for though I do not love you, I do care for you. And I hope you will forgive me for any hurt or pain I have caused you.
I am to be wed in the winter. I would love to see you there, if at all possible.