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The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5182

Updated: 2018-07-11 19:03

'I love you Shawn' she said over and over again. 'I love you….I love you so much…'

Tears streamed down her red cheeks as she cried.

'…Why? Why do you have to leave me? Why do things have to end this way…?'

There were sounds coming from down the road they had walked, in the direction of the palace, and the prisons.

The guards had heard her, and were coming her way.

Annabel lowered her head again, kissing Shawn's forehead, before laying him gently down upon the earth.

'Goodbye….' she whispered, backing away from him, '…my love….'

She strode back down the path, towards the guards that approached her now.

They saw her.

Annabel threw her hands out, the trees on the road either side coming to life and flailing around.

The only thing that could describe what followed was a bloodbath, as Annabel proceeded to rip apart every man she saw, limb from limb, and splay their guts and bloodied remains upon the forest floor.

But more kept coming, flooding from the palace beyond sight. When she began to tire, she retreated into the woods, creating a great wall between herself and her pursuers. A tangled mass of weeds and thorns and trees and ivy, and by the time the guards managed to find a way around, she was long gone.

'Hey' one guard spoke to the other when it was all over. 'Look at this.'

They approached the body of a man, the only one in sight that had not been mangled beyond recognition. He was a handsome man in his early thirties, pale; the stab wound that had ended his life clearly visible now. The blood had smeared his clothes.

'I wonder who he is' said the other guard leaning forwards.

Annabel would wander the next few weeks alone. She began the long trek to the home Shawn one lived, to deliver the news, passing her own home along the way.

When she reached Shawn's village, she found his family home.

An older woman answered the door, a woman whose name was Alice.

Annabel took a deep breath, and explained herself.

Alice fell to her knees, crying into her hands.

By the time Annabel returned to her own family, many days after that, she was weak from hunger, exhausted, hair greasy and mud and filth covering her boots and dress.

Her father working outside in the field saw her, staring in utter shock and disbelief. He called inside the house for his wife to come out. Her parents ran to her, embracing her, neither could believe she had returned to them after all this time.

Annabel collapsed in their arms, sobbing hysterically.

Her father lifted her in his arms, and carried her home.


Forty Seven

The Seven

Talut returned, having been gone for only a few days.

'Talut' Arlen said, feeling a deep trepidation growing inside at the sight of him. 'I didn't see you there.'

As usual Arlen had wandered from the others to be alone. This is where Talut had found him, in the mountains where the men waited.

Talut advanced on Arlen, but Arlen stood his ground.

'The king is dead' Talut grumbled.

'Good job' Arlen replied flatly.

'He was already dead when I found him' Talut went on. He lifted a bag he was carrying, pulling out what was inside and throwing it at Arlen's feet. 'There is your proof.'

Arlen stared down at the king's head below him; then glanced back up at Talut.

'Already dead?' Arlen repeated.

'And I have freed the Weather Makers imprisoned in the palace' Talut continued, glancing behind him.

Arlen suddenly noticed faint silhouettes hanging back behind Talut, clinging to the dark.

'Come closer' Talut said to them.

He turned to face Arlen again as several women stepped forward, coming into view just behind him. Arlen looked to each of their faces. They were all young, about the same age Amaia would be or thereabouts.

'Amaia was not among them' Talut said. He spoke to the women behind him now. 'Do you see those fires before you? There is a camp; I want you all to go there. Now.'

The woman all obliged, walking with their heads down and clinging to one another. Arlen watched them curiously as they passed him by. Only one or two spared him a glance before rushing on.

'Tell me' Talut growled dangerously to Arlen when they were alone again. 'What is the poison inside me?'

Arlen hesitated.

'I fulfilled my end of the bargain' Talut spat, barely able to keep his anger back. 'Now you fulfil yours.' He gritted his teeth. 'I must save my son.'

Arlen took a deep breath, preparing himself for what would happen next.

'Sinful child' he said. 'That is the name of the poison.'

Talut narrowed his eyes, staring at Arlen hard as if to determine if he were lying. Then he bolted towards him without warning.

Arlen stepped back as Talut threw up his cloak to distract him, and suddenly Arlen felt hands around him. Talut had grabbed him from behind. As quick as the blink of an eye, Arlen felt something slide into his stomach and out again.

Talut jerked him back roughly, holding him tight.

'You are going to spend the rest of your short life in terrible agony' Talut snarled at him. 'There is no cure for this.'

He shoved Arlen forward onto his knees, wiping his thin blade clean.

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