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Sandman Vol 2 49

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"Brief Lives part 9": Keeping his promise to his son, Dream visits Orpheus in his temple. Though he is scared, Orpheus has asked his father to give him death. HE has lived for years as a disembodied head, protected by the family of Andros Rhodocanaki


Quote1 He's humiliated me. He's been rude and boorish. He's stuffy and stupid and thinks he knows everything. And there's just something about him that gets on my nerves. But I can't help feeling sorry for him. Quote2
-- Desire



Appearing in "Brief Lives part 9"

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Synopsis for "Brief Lives part 9"

Keeping his promise to his son, Dream visits Orpheus in his temple. Though he is scared, Orpheus has asked his father to give him death. HE has lived for years as a disembodied head, protected by the family of Andros Rhodocanakis in the temple. Reluctantly, and with sensitivity, Dream picks his son's head up, kisses his forehead, and then takes Orpheus' life. The act causes his hand to be coated in blood.
Dream wanders out of the temple, his bloody hand dripping into the grass underfoot, and sprouting new blood-red flowers where it lands. He joins his youngest sister Delirium outside, and they are then joined by their sister Despair. She asks after Destruction, and she is pleased to know that he spoke fondly of her. After Dream takes his leave, Despair confides in her younger sister that she regrets not having come with them to find Destruction, and she regrets not having seen him again - as befitting her name. Delirium soon leaves as well, with her canine companion Barnabus in tow.
Despair returns to her gallery, bringing with her two of the red flowers. She finds her twin Desire waiting there, and offers her one of the flowers. Desire is somewhat melancholy; perturbed by the fact that Dream will have to pay a great price for seeking out Destruction. While she had warned that she would one day see Dream spill family blood, she had not expected it to feel this way. She admits to her sister that she is scared, and Despair admits that she is too.
In the Dreaming, Dream sends a message to Andros Rhodocanakis that his last task as guardian of Orpheus should be to bury his head safely, but erect no marker. He returns to his castle, where he recognizes the pendant around his faerie friend Nuala's neck as having once belonged to the woman who left him. He realizes that perhaps he has finally got over her. Afterwards, he instructs Lucien to find a way to thank and reward all of those who helped him find his brother.
In the privacy of his quarters, Dream finally washes the blood from his hands, and in the basin, he sees an image of his son. He tells the boy that he should have gone to his lover's funeral to say goodbye to Eurydice. Having done this, Dream sits down and laments.
Elsewhere around the world, all of those who were involved in his journey deal with the repercussions thereof - positive or negative. Meanwhile, Andros and his family bury Orpheus' head, the old man knowing that he will not live to see the nearby cherry tree blossom again.



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