Like a proofreader, picking out every flaw of
the city before her, she looked over what used to be her beloved home.
Every color seemed abased. Every turn of the street and every building
outline felt oppressive. The bleeding sky bathed the back of her hair in
it's paint, her features were sillouetted against the backdrop of finality.
She had left that place, the tangible reminder of it, and the teeming fragility
of her echoes of wraithlike joy.
She left Delium behind her, blissfully behind. Now
she had entered a land as black as her heart. Even the trees had
blackened trunks and the streets seemed to glisten with obsidian stone.
Ennui settled around her like a fine mist. If she could not die, then noone
could make her live. She was tired, so very tired. Circles deepened around
her eyes like rings around Saturn.
Eyes sprung open at the same time the gasp
escaped. Warmth trickled down her belly, a growing stain upon the cotton.
Clutching her mid-section, Toralea buckled over with the burning bluewhite
pain that seered through her.
It couldn't be him, why would he do this to her?
He loved her. The cloak disappeared around the corner as her consciousness
teetered on the edge of lucidity. A last glimpse of her beloved was
the heel of his boot, before she sucumbed to the blackness of sleep.
Her crumpled body slid along the side of the shopdoor, and her cheek
was marred by the rich earth that recieved her body into its cradle.
The vision of the flowing cloak and the boot
of her lover were seered into her thoughts, it was hardly within
her ability to realize, that the boot was that of a woman. Her body
ached, it was that alone that told her that heaven hadn't been her reward,
perhaps this was the hell everyone has promised her? Eyes squeezed tightly
closed, she didn't think she wanted to see what her punishment would be
for loving a man already taken.
The silence got the best of her finally, that, and
the odd sensation of being warm, but not entirely healthy. Her hands roamed
over her old wounds. The nightmare had been replayed yet again. Surely
she was dead, but why could she still feel her toes and her body? She opened
her eyes to a deep baritone, her fingers slipped over her throat as she
looked upon the man towering over her crumpled form.
She could hear the night sounds of the
kingdom, and smell the fall fading into winter. She must have slipped
to the cold ground in her exhaustion. Could it be she was yet amongst
the living? Could this one before her be some angel sent to heal her so
that her agony would never cease? What punishments more was she to bear?
What else was there for her to withstand because of her evil? She turned
away from his face, she felt as if she was awash in warm liquid, blood
perhaps? Her own? She didn't know, she wasn't even sure any longer that
she cared. She just wanted release from feeling, release from the horrifying
love that was once her salvation.
"If you will hurt me, please do it quickly, the agonies
I have suffered will go on long enough." She sounded pitiful. She knew
it and she didn't care. Any thread of self-worth she had retained had been
cast away like old waste when her lover's dagger had been lifted over her
breast. Her breast, that had cradled his head, then ripped in two by his
hand. She could hardly fathom it, hardly understand what change had overcome
him to have turned like a rabid dog on her.
"If I am in hell, then what you do will make
no matter, if I am not, then do what you do quickly so that I may swiftly
She allowed the man to pull her up. What matter did
it make now? What did anything matter ever again. Leeching warmth
from his hands, she stood on her own finally wanting no more than to be
left alone. Blessedly horifically alone, yet she was not alone. Lifting
her face to the one who held her doe-like eyes awaited her punishment.
A rodent scampered across her toes. She watched
it in dejected curiosity. It reminded her of someone. The spindly
tail and rounded twitching ears. The whispers that were in constant motion.
It made her sad. Lifting a toe surprised the creature and it disappeared
out of view. Seeing her own naked toes reminded her once more of the boots
she had seen leaving her. His cloak, and she thought his hand, but those
were *not* his boots, she was certain of that. Something strange
was at play and it was not but the abject agony that tortured her. A thin
pinprick of memory painted a ribbon of hope across her bleeding heart.
Could it be possible that it was not Senir who had attempted to take her
The night was swallowed by day. Eyelids fluttered
and unveiled contracted pupils. She ached all over. Cursed humanity,
she stretched out her stiff limbs. Sleeping outside against a doorjam
was far from comfortable she decided. Funny how things looked different
in the stark daylight than they did at night. She thought back to the past
few evenings like there were somehow no more than a dull dream. .
A stab in her chest reminded her too quickly of her past experiences. Despair
threatened to rush in at the least provocation as she looked out across
the room. Wait, she was in a room. She sat up quickly. The
tantilizing scent of soup reminded her that she had not eaten in too long.