Leaving Things Behind
Leave the ghosts that haunt you in the past,
step into the future with me.
After Aaron found what triggered my sudden abilities to come forth, he appeared the following day with a plain obsidian ring, of which he slipped onto my finger; and to my horror, the second it left his touch, it disappeared. Or rather, turned invisible. I could feel it’s slight weight against my skin, but whenever I tried to take it off, it would shock me nearly senseless.
The following days revealed to me its purpose.
Apparently the old silver ring I had been wearing before had been charmed to hide my ‘special gift,’ and when it came off, the power it had been guarding opened itself up. Now, because it has been dormant for so long, it will only work when I’m either on the brink of death, or when I’m under extreme emotional influence. So, in finding this out, the Queen had a special ring made and charmed so that she can put a lock as to when I can and cannot access my powers, and unfortunately, I have not yet been able to successfully call upon it without excessive force or fear.
The future is feeling grim.
I wince as Aaron grips my bruised forearms, pulling me to the training room. It’s been this same continuous cycle for nearly three months now. I’ve been bruised, cut, thrown, and hit, all in an attempt to flare up some magic inside of me lying beyond my reach. It has sparked up a couple of times, but it always leaves as fast as it comes.
Entering into the room, I support myself up against the wall, closing my eyes while waiting for the next dose of agony to hit me. It doesn’t come. Curious, I crack my eyes open and look at Aaron. He’s next to the window, seeming to be in thought. When he speaks, his words catch me off guard.
“Your sister is alive.”
“Wh-what,” The word barely escapes my lips.
Aaron chuckles as if he was expecting my reaction. “And,” He pauses for effect. “She’s here in the castle.”
I register myself sliding down to the floor, but I’m too shocked to care. If he’s telling the truth, then all these years, Elara’s been here, so close but so far. As the idea flows through my thoughts, I don’t even notice when my vision changes and a piece of the flooring cracks.
It’s only when a rich and flowing voice comes into focus that I pay any attention to what’s happening around me.
“Well done, Aaron, I see you’ve finally made some progress.” The Queen says. “That progress however, is nearly nonexistent in value unless it begins to give real results. I trust you understand?”
Aaron bows and replies, “Yes, my Queen.” His posture stiff.
“Good. I expect an updated report within the next week.” Her ruby lips turn upwards in a sweetly threatening smile before she turns out of the room. Dread numbs my limbs, and I’m almost glad because it stops me from feeling the painful bruises covering my skin like patchwork.
Slipping under my bedsheets, I think of a distant memory. Something akin to a dream. I was too young to understand or to remember things well, but I remember enough. Men in muddy grey cloaks and horses had ridden into the town, carrying glowing torches in their hands, and as they rode, they slipped those torches into houses as if they were throwing sand to the wind. The hay burst up into roaring, crackling flames, sending loved ones to the afterlife with nothing but the fiery kiss of death to see them off.
The day the Queen ravaged her husband’s life and throne and let darkness loose on the land.
The day my mother died and we lost everything.
For the first time, I find myself falling asleep with something other than dread. Something more dangerous.
My eyes crack open to the sound of a creaking wood, but the thought of moving makes my head hurt. I cast a glance out of my dismal barred window and meet nothing but stars and shiny moonlight. Curiosity, and caution begin to slowly take of my mind as I step out of the bed.
I draw in a quick breath when my feet brush the icy floor, but I steel my senses and step hastily to the door. The iron knob is cool in my hand as it twists, allowing me to crack open the door. Nothing. Nobody.
My stomach lurches with surprise as a gloved hand slides across my mouth, pulling me against a darkly dressed figure. The person shifts, locking me under his grip. Thinking quickly, I bite him, hoping to loosen his hand from over my mouth, but the man just sucks in a breath and doesn’t move a finger. Before I can do anything else, I’m shoved against the wall, my body screaming with the impact. Daring a look at the figure, the first thing I notice is a pair of oceanic blue eyes looking back at me as the he pushes back the hood of his cloak, bringing his face into the dim light. My eyes widen as I take in Lukas’ features.
He raises a finger to his lips before slowly uncovering my mouth and says, “I’m not here to harm you, but I need you to be quiet. I promise I will answer your questions, just not right now, alright?” I nod, though uncertain of the level of trust I hold in him.
He tosses me a servant's’ uniform and a pair of worn out boots.
“Change into these, quickly.” He directs.
I stubbornly order, “Answer one thing for me. Please.” Lukas nods. “What are you planning to do?”
He responds hesitantly, “I’m going to sneak you out of this castle.”
Fire and forgery and vengeance are the sinews of her existence. She lives for their suffering, for their pleas of mercy. However, what they oft don’t want to see, is that killing them is more merciful them letting them live. She saves them from the reality of living before the world manages to rip them into bloody strands with its bony claws.
Giving a quiet sigh, the Queen looks across the map set before her on the table. Nothing but worn out drawings and illegible incantations and markings. Useless. For now at least, she thinks. She taps her finger on the edge of the dark oak table, metal claw clacking , clacking, clacking. Shutting her eyes, she takes in a smooth breath, senses coming into sharpness as a vision creeps upon her mind.
Shadows slink through her hallways. A watercolor splash of blue eyes and burgundy hair.
So Lukas, It seems you’ve decided to reveal your hand after all, she deems.
“So be it,” The Queen whispers beneath her breath. “But you would do well to remember, that nightmares can be more powerful than dreams, young prince.”
Lukas takes me down a shadowed corridor, slipping us into a room, and silently shutting the door behind him. He steps over to the the far wall, and lifts the edge of a tapestry draped across the stone. Passing his hand across, he comes to rest on a single stone, fingers brushing over an almost invisible engraving smoothly chipped into the rock. I watch with astonishment as he gives the stone a hard push and a narrow stairway opens. Silently, I follow him into their depths.
“Your Majesty,” Aaron whispers, breath short. “The girl, she-”
“I know.” The Queen says unfazed. “Let them go.”
“But without the gir-” Aaron is cuts off when he sees the settled and composed demeanor of the Queen.
She takes an inaudible breath and asserts, “Send out a Specter after the girl with the task of following the pair to their destination. Then have it return promptly with the information.”
Aaron hesitates before answering. “As you wish.”
He sweeps out of the room.
The room sits still with a semblance of patience, and fierceness.ns 188.8.131.52da2