The Cloak Of Black Fire

Black Fire Vale is the last place you will ever visit. It is where Death himself reigns. But Birch is born of Black Fire and is tied to it. Maybe that's why he want's the cloak so much but however he tries to get it someone will get hurt, sometimes power is best left to those who know all the answers instead of those who ask all the questions.

Entry for the 'Hidden Power' competition.

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3. Three

He just left, in a swish of his cloak Death disappeared leaving Birch to cower with fear. 

There was one place left, only one where Death could go now. Park was becoming too much of a life support, this was the only place Death could go to be alone. In reality though he was not alone, not when his eyes could only see the grave and flowers that died many years ago. No matter what people thought about him Death could not deny he had feelings even the cloak could hide. And Death had tried to hide them many times. 
    ‘I can’t stop this Oswin. He’s going to find out.’ Death said to the gravestone. As he fell to the ground and clenched his hands in mud the cloak flew back like a veil behind him. Over the years and the thousands of passing’s Death had grown to fit the cloak perfectly and let the sleeves billow in just the right breeze. All those first days came flooding back, the days when Death could not remember why he had done it all. The moments when he wished Oswin had stopped him and the seconds when the power blinded reason. Back then Death had been no older than Birch when he had broken the bind of his own father and been condemned to the cloak. A complete opposite to his siblings. Maybe that was why he had been so sure to ensure Birch would never know anything different, or maybe Death was too frightened that his son would lose the ignorance he wished he had kept. 
Death closed his eyes, trying to picture her and the way her eyes sparkled under the Black Fire flames. Oswin was lost to him now though, because while Birch remained the sight of youth, Oswin had been lost for nearly three hundred years and nothing could even bring back a glint of a memory. Death knew all too well the consequence of crossing the veil. 
    ‘She was only trying to help you know?’ An all too familiar yet far too distant voice swam over the grave. Death’s eyes flew open to a face almost the same yet full of colour and life. While Death had a cloak of black and tattered souls his twin brother held the staff of light and the sphere that held the biggest secret stood atop it; the secret of life. 
    ‘What do you want Arbotine?’ Had Death seen his brother over any other grave the words would have seeped blood and hatred but the purity of Oswin forced only exhaustion at the sight of someone unneeded. 
    ‘Brother, dear brother. Why would I want anything? I’m merely telling you that she meant no harm.’  Arbotine reasoned calmly, a languid smile playing at his soft lips. Death looked at his brother and saw Birch in each line of his face; still alive, still full of hope.
    ‘Cersei always causes harm though, doesn’t she? Whether she means it or not.’ Death rose to his feet so he could stare into his brother’s blue eyes with his own black pupils and iris’s. Looking at Death you could not imagine anything more frightening or powerful but the sight of his brother, a near mirror image in white, shook the trees and quickened the wind. 
    ‘It was one mistake Callid, can’t you understand and forgive her?’ This was the first time Death had heard his name spoken since Oswin had passed. The letters didn’t fit together or sound real anymore, just another thing Death could never get back. 
    ‘How dare you!’ Death’s voice rose and the anger bubbled deep inside, ‘How dare you ask me to forgive that woman when we stand over her grave.’ 
    ‘That woman happens to be your younger sister.’ Arbotine replies.
    ‘She is nothing to me. She became a stranger to me the day she led Oswin too close to the Black Fire flames.’ 
    ‘Cersei was young, she didn’t know what would happen. None of us did till it was too late.’ Arbotine tries to reason, Death was not one to listen though. Arbotine stepped around the headstone and dead flowers till he was directly in front of his opposite, his brother. Holding out an arm to pat Death on the shoulder Arbotine was almost clutching the thin shoulder bone when Death stepped back and flew the cloak away leaving his brother, the Order of Life, stood by a grave. 

Death arrived back in the same old darkened place. Watching the river of Tramar bubble and slide over rocks and through the waste land. In the distance he could watch half bodied figures wade through the mists of Algrath and behind him stood the Entrance. His kingdom as it lay before him did not render him pleased at the power but sickened by the greed he could no longer conjure. That’s what the cloak did, pull you in and then seep the hope and the will from you till it started to infect your mind and control your every thought. Death had always imagined the cloak as a symbol of the power you owned but centuries had taught him that the cloak was the only real power now. Someone didn’t know this though; and that same someone was getting restless and lusting after the cloak. 
Birch had stayed, waited for his father to return, sensing that the shock would be an ideal chance to reclaim what he thought he deserved. Time had flown, the dead had come and gone in the blink of an eye but the hooded figure didn’t return. Birch had tired of playing by someone else’s rules and the anger that had built over months and boiled after Cersei’s revelation pushed Birch from the ground till he towered over the steps leading down to the waste land. He measured his step with his desire and scanned what would finally be his to control. Eyes gracing and following black water that looked like a moving mirror caught the sight of a float of cloth. The faint hope of the flowing faith that Birch held onto. Death had come back, and Birch was ready to take his birth right. No matter what he didn’t know about his birth, answers could be taken later. 

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