The Gods created the Unity Powers to help humans cope with their fallacious natures. Union was a hard and rare bond to achieve, so the Gods bestowed upon each couple that committed to Permanent Union a single supernatural ability. The power was bestowed upon the couple during their Unity Ritual. Their capacity to absorb and maintain that power was determined by the purity of their intent, and the Ritual proved their worthiness of such a power. The brilliance of the Gods was apparent in the successful care and nurturing the Joined had bestowed upon their communities for thousands of years.
Moira and Chance knew they were headed towards Union the second they met. They saw each other across the table at a dinner party for a mutual friend’s job promotion. Chance was meticulously eating his vegetables one sequestered morsel at a time, and Moira caught his eye as she shoveled a forkful of rare steak, potato, and onion into her mouth. They smirked at each other as they chewed and then made out in the coatroom while dessert was being served. The only thing they agreed on the entire evening was that the wine was awful.
They floated easily through their Ritual, two years later, fitting each other’s moods and beliefs with the clicking ease of a well-oiled lock. The Gods handed them the Power of Reversal, a Power that had been ten years dormant since the Joined couple previously wielding it had passed away. Moira and Chance, Bonded for life by the grace of the gods, were given the responsibility of Undoing mistakes. They placed their hands on the God Stones and let their souls blend with the sliver of divinity allotted to them via their endowed Power. The Power glittered gold as it entered their hearts.
Wielding the power came easily to Moira and Chance. Their characters and beliefs were so diametrically opposed that mistakes worthy of being Undone shone like the rare agreements they were; the opportunity of a second chance was never squandered because the nature of their relationship would not allow it. Such was the genius of the Gods.
They found themselves teasing each other about mistakes they could Undo just to make things easier. Chance’s spilled coffee had Moira twirling through the kitchen screaming, “POOF! NEW COFFEE!!!” Moira’s ripped shirtsleeve had Chance wriggling his fingers over it with incantations about righting the wrongs of the world. The burnt lasagna, bent fender, forgotten meeting, and missed alarm clock became the triggers for routine jokes that eventually led to a real fight.
Chance was rawking about fixing Moira’s X-rated text message that she accidentally sent to a client rather than to him. Moira was cry laughing at the horror of it when she realized,
“You know, though, my mistakes are me.”
Chance stopped and stared at her. “I mean, of course they are. We’re not really Undoing this. What?” He gazed at her, mentally replaying the hundreds of times they’d acted out this very same joke.
“What difference does it make if it’s this one, or something bigger? My mistakes are always me. Changing any of them changes me.”
Chance’s jaw dropped. “The Gods gave us this power. Not all repercussions fit the fault, Moira!”
“That’s not even remotely what I’m talking about.” Moira glared at him.
“Maybe the Gods didn’t realize their power doesn’t just undo mistakes. Maybe they didn’t realize how much of us is because of our mistakes.”
Chance gasped. “The Gods don’t make mistakes! The Gods are never wrong! That’s why they’re Gods, Moira!”
Moira shrugged. “I don’t think taking away people’s mistakes makes them better people; just different. We’re human. We’ll always make mistakes. So why are we doing this? We change who people would have been because we have the power to do so, not because that’s who they should be. And don’t say the Gods did it! We wield this. This is on us.”
Chance shook his head and looked at the floor. “The Gods never make mistakes,” He repeated. Then he went to his study and shut the door. Moira sat on the porch till it was dark and the lightning bugs came out to mock her woes.
Moira and Chance couldn’t undo mistakes without working together. The Unity that had been so perfectly balanced was jagged and misshapen; hewn from its nest of stability. The Power the Gods had given them grew dense and restless from disuse. They could feel it go from bubbling eagerly in their veins to a throbbing, burning, sear that ripped through their arteries to the tips of their extremities. It grew so thick that they began to see the map of their lifelines rise underneath their skin, like the angry retorts of a duty ignored. They could feel the Power crackling in every movement. Actions that used to be simple became fraught with the effort it took to rein in their unspent ability.
Chance and Moira stood facing each other before work, skin bruised and misshapen from the swollen lanes of divinity-laced blood running the course of their bodies. They sighed, the tears of their mistakes in the aching of their breath. Moira spoke first, her voice cracked from regret.
“Let’s Undo us.”
Chance nodded at Moira. “Let’s Undo our Bond,” He agreed, as was custom at the beginning of every Undoing.
Moira clasped Chance’s hands in hers, and raised their laced fists to their chests. They released the angry ignored Power from their blood and into their souls. The fury of its exodus ripped their skin and left bloody streaks across their arms and legs. Their Bond unraveled, pulling at the seams of their individual hearts. Their chemistry dried, the magic that used to be their relationship naught but dusty crumbles in between their breaths. A glittering gold streak erupted from their chests and disintegrated, just as their intimacy had a moment before. The Power was destroyed. Their Bond was null.
They dropped hands and stood quietly. When the ache of that spent fury had faded a bit, Moira went upstairs and packed a bag. She slung it over her shoulder and walked downstairs. She nodded at Chance, once, without nuance, and without breaking stride. She left. Chance locked the door behind her and made himself a cup of coffee.
The Gods snickered.
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