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The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 5189

Updated: 2018-07-14 12:03


'What will happen to me?' Charles asked. 'Am I going to fade away and die like the rest?'

'You mustn't think like that' Emma hissed sharply at him. 'No matter how we all live' she said, 'we all go to the same place when we die. That is…if we follow Ena, if we be loyal to her, and trust her word.' She paused. 'We must never lose faith in her' Emma shook her head. 'The earth maiden will take us to a new life when we die, whether or not we have had the sickness. We will all go to this new world together.'

Charles did not reply. He simply watched her, returning her gaze sullenly.

Beside Emma, a young girl called Polly, just four in age, huddled closer to her. Polly's parents had both been lost to the sickness. Their bodies blessed by Ena's magic before they departed, before they left this world. Polly had been told that her parents were already in the new world, and were waiting for her in the afterlife. Polly's time was short. Her symptoms were worse than Charles. It was only a matter of time.

'Everything is going to be alright' Emma said to her. 'Trust me. Just stay with me. I'll look after you.'

The child held back a sob, clutching tightly onto the skirt of Emma's dress. She didn't speak.

'I'm going to sleep' Hector spoke up.

'How can you sleep at a time like this?' Charles asked him with a scowl.

'Because I'm tired' Hector grumbled sharply back, lying down on his side with his back to the others. 'Wake me up when its morning' he mumbled.

'Perhaps we should all be getting to sleep' Emma said, reaching down to Polly and lifting her in her arms, holding her close.

'I couldn't…' Charles moaned. 'Not at a time like this.'

Emma watched Charles move away from her through the crowd then, going to be alone. Emma thought that perhaps he felt as if his time was near, and that he wanted to be alone to die. Perhaps…

She bowed her head, sitting back against the rock behind her and closing her eyes. Cynthia shuffled up to Emma as she became still, holding her close as she once did her own mother. Life was hard for the orphans that were here. But there were always those to care for them, elders, the soldiers that would fight for them, and the mothers who would offer them comfort, many of which had lost their own families and children.

Emma hugged the children tighter to her, Polly on her lap, and Cynthia by her side. She gritted her teeth, fighting back tears as she remembered the way she once held her own children, before they were taken from her.

I love you she thought. I love you all. But she did not speak the words. In

stead, she became silent, and allowed herself to sleep, the two children close to her, and Hector nearby.

Their camp fell silent, as calmness spread, and those that feared the darkness were silenced, one way or the other. Things became peaceful. Until morning came.

In a place, far away from anyplace known, was a woman.

She sat alone in her manor home, wearing a stunning dress of deep emerald. Her long straight black hair fell about her as she leant forwards on the desk, crying into her folded arms.

The room around her was silent, and dark, and she was completely alone. Save for one, her dog, a hybrid with a stray wolf. It had a wild look about it, but was as domestic and loyal and tame a beast as its mother had been, but was as fierce as the stray wolf that had fathered it.

It sat on the other side of the bedroom now, watching its master with concern. But the woman ignored it. In her mind, she was in another place entirely, a darker place. One of misery and grief.

She pushed herself up from the desk, eyes heavy and head throbbing.

She had cried so many tears, that she had no more left in her.

'Why?' she whispered to the air around her. 'Why did this have to happen? It isn't fair…'

She bowed her head, body wracked with sobs, but no tears fell.

'Why did you have to die Freya? It should have been me.'

Gerald strode through the bustle. All around him the guests were having a good time, and the golden hall was beautifully lit in all its colours. It seemed sometimes that the room itself was glowing in a gentle and warm light. The darkness beyond the large windows outside could not penetrate the ambience, and everything was comfortable.

Gerald weaved his way through the crowd, following the silver patterns painted into the floor. All around him was the rolling and continuous noise of many people speaking over one another, laughing and joking as they drank and danced and ate and socialised. But he paid attention to none of this.

'Where is she?' he asked in an irritable tone, speaking to the young male servant who followed after him.

'I don't know' the servant replied hastily, moving quickly to keep up as Gerald made his way through the party, the people all beautifully dressed around them. 'One of the guests says she saw her leaving the building. She looked upset. Perhaps something was wrong.'

'Perhaps' Gerald copied.

He left the crowd, ascending the tall stairs that led to the higher floors above them.

Halfway up he turned. From here he could see over the heads of the guests as they enjoyed themselves.

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