The Bleeding Dagger

A girl, Angel, seeks to find something long lost... perhaps something that has been lost for far too long. After falling from a tree in the middle of the woods, she can't remember what she was doing, or even how she got there. As she stumbles into Canlagos by mere luck, she then realizes that this may be just what she needs to find 'herself'. Though quickly she comes to the conclusion that this town has more than what she first intended for. A mystery to be remembered for ages to come is about to be revealed to her. You, being the reader, will have the sole authority of deciding which of the two paths she will take at the end. (In other words: there will be two different endings that you can choose to follow.) Artwork and Photography by Mitchell Kile.

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8. Chapter 8: Two Souls, One Love

 

     Half an hour passed by, and I was still lying in the snow looking up in the gray snowy sky. Suddenly, a clump of snow fell from the treetops right into my face. I jerked away and quickly brushed the snow off. My admiration for the snow dancing in the wind finally came to a halt and turned into disgust. I rose from my feet, still brushing off the few specks of snow left, and decided to continue my fairytale.

     The snow that was falling from above made me cold, but every bud on the naked hedges and trees told me that spring was on its way... or at least I hoped so. I always was one to adore the winter, but things must change for the best to come. My footsteps crunched and sunk into the fresh snow that was starting to make a new untouched layer. My cheeks felt red and cold, and my fingertips were starting to lose their sense of the world. The refreshing chill crept up my spine as I went on, for nothing could stop me from walking deeper into the woods that welcomed me with its colors of white and gray. In some way, it actually felt like they asked me to join them.

     Every step I took, every last tree I saw, felt more and more familiar to me. I knew I had heard the sound of a chickadee singing from a nestled place within the trees sheltered by the teeth of the wind; I knew I had heard a mourning dove mock the call of the owl here before. A feeling of nostalgia came over me, for I knew that my feet had stood here once before. But when... and more importantly: why? How was it even possible to forget everything about my own self and who I used to be, while still knowing the slightest detail in the woods?

     A breeze made me halt in front of a random tree. Like any other of the trees in the area, it had no leaves, and it seemed to miss and groan for the coming warmth. I sighed and looked around. I was alone: completely alone. I could only hear the branches banging on each other as the wind passed by.

     I leaned my back on the trunk and bent my knees. It was getting to be later in the afternoon, and the shadows of the tall trees lie on the white snow. I turned my head and instantly my head was drawn to a peculiar tree. I walked over to it and placed my hand on the bark feeling the rough surface. My fingertips slid across the tree as I started to circle the tree, until oddly my hands sunk into snow. Curiously I looked over and noticed the tree had a carved knothole in the shape of a heart. I brushed the snow aside with my jacket's sleeve, and when most of the snow had made a pile on top of my shoes, I could finally see some engraved letters.

 

Raguel and Rosangela

* *
Love knows no bonds

That are known to man

 

     I couldn’t help but to think of the only Raguel I knew. But the Raguel I knew, the sweet, nice, strict (in a good way, of course), the pastor of the church, and the man who took care of the orphans and the travelers, had no wife. Well, not anyone whom I was properly informed about at least.

     Standing in my own thoughts and fascinated of the new turn my fairytale had taken, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I flew a step back in fright! Right in front of me, I saw some extremely familiar blue eyes looking at me with reassuring comfort, and when I realized that it was just Ben, my heart stopped racing and I was able to breathe normally again.

     “Ben!” I exclaimed with a hint of anger, “You scared me!”

     He let out a smirk, “I’m sorry, Angel." Pausing for a moment he scratched his head and then leaned against the tree not noticing the engraving, "You know, you shouldn’t be in the woods alone at this time of the evening. It’s never safe out here this late.”

     “Oh,” I answered, and went straight after him when he led the way out of the woods, which held its many shadows and secrets. After walking with only hearing our feet crush the snow for a while, I said sympathetically, “Ben, I am sorry for how I reacted. I know you were just telling me what you knew; it wasn’t fair for me to react like how I did.”

     A short moment later, Ben looked over his shoulder and forced me to meet his eyes. With that, he replied, “Don’t be sorry. You’re not the only one who doesn’t believe it.”

     “What do you mean by that?”

     “Are you really sure you want this conversation, Angel?” He smiled the usual smile at me, which I couldn’t do anything but return. “The last time I told you some nasty stuff about the loyal pastor, you ended up running away. I mean, I could end up chasing after you for another couple hours than what I really wanted to stay out for in the first place.”

     “Ben…”

     I sighed and looked down at my shoes, but without having the chance to continue, he asked, “Are you sure you wanna know it? I can tell you if you want.” I looked up again, full of eager, and then eventually I finally forced him to say, “My older brother, Michael, once told Isabella – Henry and Eleanor’s daughter – the exact same thing, that I am telling you now. A couple of months later, Isabella died.”

     A breeze of coldness embraced me; but not because of the wind of the winter and the evening, but because of the words that unexpectedly got swung into my head.

     Scared, I looked up at Ben, who had halted on the middle of the woods looking for the easiest way to get to town. He glanced over to me and saw that I was feeling cold and uncomfortable. Hastily he added the words, “But of course, it's probably just a coincidence.”

     “Yea…” I nodded with plenty of questions scampering through my head, “I guess you’re right.”

     “And by the way, Henry asked me to invite you to dinner tonight,” He quickly changed the topic and began to walk again, after he laid his jacket around my shoulders. I didn’t feel like having to listen to what all he had to say. The only thing I heard for sure was when he said: “Raguel is invited too. And so am I.”

     That was when I officially thought to myself, that that was the end of my fairytale.

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