Secret Heritage

Beautiful, unparalleled , deadly 'creatures' are ruled By the unbreakable Loratalia and have done so since the start of time. Loratalia was strong, but one small mistake on an April morning, for just one moment, for the tiniest weeniest fraction of a second, she let her guard down.
Loratalia fell in love.
Now she has a secret, a secret so scary and dangerous, so poisonous and destructive, it threatens to crumble the entire structure and beauty of her society. When the secret is let loose, others will stop at nothing to tear it apart...

Ilse is an exceptionally talented, lonely seventeen year old girl. She lives with her horrible uncle and step aunt and two unpleasant cousins. However, one February morning her world caves in and suddenly, she finds herself questioning her very existence.
When two worlds collide, Ilse will have to decide what is real and what is an illusion.

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8. Afterwards

She chased the light, the tiny, milky glow thousands of miles away that blinked at her. She stared at it, and she chased it.

She heaved herself through the void of black, she navigated through the freezing world of purgatory, spurred on by the terrible yearning to get away, to escape. The real, alive instinct that tripped over itself in its desperation to warn her to run muffled her mind. She wasn’t aware of thinking, just of obeying the instinct, despite the enormous sense of tiredness that gripped her. She couldn’t feel where she began and the dark ended, she was the dark, her body scattered like dots in a dot to dot diagram.

Distantly, she was aware of slipping in and out of a conscience state, but each time she struggled to some kind of surface, the weak light grew stronger and her body felt ever so slightly revived.

It could have been years later that she became properly aware of herself, her body felt impossibly stiff and cold, her fingers were numb from both and her mind was cloudy and heavy. Her eyelids ached with a terrible fatigue and try as she might, she could not open them. After a few attempts, she began to feel what little energy she had escaping her, and she fell asleep, if sleep after death was such a thing.

Awaking once again later, Ilse found she could twitch limbs and crack her eyelids, after which she became more confused than ever; what had happened to her injuries? Where had the horrifying pain that had gripped her body gone? Why was it that she simply felt calm, if a little tight-limbed, instead of the immeasurable suffering she should have felt?

Ilse dared to venture the unthinkable; maybe she had survived. Perhaps she was in a hospital, perhaps Jules had woken from his statue state and...And what? And taken her to a ridiculously advanced hospital where they miraculously cured her of her smashed skull and cracked ribcage? No, Ilse had died, she had witnessed her wounds, her frightful, frightful death, from which there could be no chance of recovery.

So the question that remained was where on Earth was she?

Ilse had never believed in life after death. When she was small, Stacy and her brother Stephan had owned a dog, an excitable, lively border collie and one day, it died. They came down to breakfast one morning to find it still, on its side, dead. Ilse remembered its flat, spark-less eyes, she remembered how its body had become stiff and bloated, how its flesh was cold. There was nothing after. You just faded away, your body was given back to the ground, your consciousness recycled to make anew.

She pushed such thoughts away for logically, she was alive and therefore, logically, she could try to figure out a way to stay alive.

Ilse turned her attention to her body; her eyes remained clamped shut, as if she had just woken from a particularly deep sleep, and her body seemed to creak as she attempted to arise herself.

A low, gruff groan rumbled in her throat as she painfully struggled to the surface, her joints clicking as she flexed her muscles and eased open her eyes.

Ilse was lying on a square bed, the drapes were light blue and the sheets were white, there were no windows in the room which was built from stone, but it was lit with soft gas lamps. The door was heavy, and barred.

Ilse frowned, she was no threat, she could hardly move, let alone cause any harm to her captors, for that was what she supposed whoever had put her here were, captors, so why was the door locked?

Whimpering slightly, Ilse sat up, noticing that she was no longer dressed in jeans and a stripy t shirt as she had been when she died, instead she wore a tight, tough bodice over a billowing low cut white shirt that tied at her thorax. The leathery material was engraved and etched with gold, swirling patterns, and her wrists were supported with heavy leather cuffs that caught the dim glow of the room.  Fascinated, Ilse’s gaze travelled down the rest of her body, taking in the belted trousers that were held together with a criss crossing seam down her outer leg and the brown practical boots that rested atop of the bed.

She looked like she’d just jumped off a set of a period drama, she half expected Robin Hood to come bursting in, throw her a cutlass and set about avenging the poor and unfortunate.

As the thought of a cutlass entered her head, Ilse decided that that wasn’t such a bad idea; she needed a weapon. Hesitantly, she shifted her position to get out of the bed where upon several things happened all at once: firstly, an exhausting wave of nausea caused her to dry retch unpleasantly into her pillow, secondly she knew that she was for all intense and purposes bound to that bed pathetically paralysed, and thirdly, the large iron bolt on the door shifted noisily backwards and the door was shunted aside to reveal a tall, armed man who was pointing a long silver sword straight at Ilse. 

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