48,682 (I lost 3000 words that I wrote over the weekend due to a faulty circuit board yay... :/ Still gonna count them, even if when I rewrote them it was rather rushed, as seen below...
Elias called for me from the hole in the ceiling displaying a long thin hand for help. I blinked away my thoughts, deciding to focus on the present today and try not to dwell on the future. I raised a hand and gripped on the stone trying to find my balance and was lifted up into the room of the gateaway.
Zephina was shooting arrows happily from an alclove, the xana punched a number of the soldiers and myself and Elias used our daggers. I tried not to think of what they would have had in life as they each dropped down one by own bleeding. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help but notice the wedding band or the threaded bracelet or even the engraved swords. I couldn’t help it.
We were tremendously outnumbered, around 100 men to 3 and a ½ (I wouldn’t count the Xana, but he was displaying a degree of helpfulness). But then Elias and Zephina were skilled. They knocked each of the layers formed in circles around the gateway like cattle for slaughter. I tried to help by spraying what I had left of the black bombing powder we had stole from the storeroom but the soldiers almost always escaped unscathed.
“Go.. Go to the door, open it and we will leave. Wouldn’t want to kill everyone, would we?” said Zephina between breaths.
I pushed away two bodies and thankfully, the remaining handful of trained killers were preoccupied. But just as I was about to place my cold hand on the even cooler stone surface, I noticed a knife aimed behind Elias who stood beside me. Before the knife could release I did what I thought to do and ran over with speed I had never experianced to distract the thrower. It was too late. The dagger hit straight through my kneck (where Elias’ heart would reach), blood streaming down the pretty grey gown I had borrowed. I gasped, with one last thought. I will go to the gateway and I will open it. I chanted aloud and leant forward collapsing with my hand straight upon the refreshingly cool door.
I didn’t see what happened next. I was too busy with the ravens. I was too busy remembering.
I had decided, I didn’t like dying if this was what I would face each time. If all this woe and hurt and loss, was what Ximena created, I didn’t want to know her. I would tell Elias and Zephina that when I awoke. When the raven stopped pecking.
But for now I had no choice but to see the images flashing with each peck of the black bird. There was a boy. I loved the boy. I would do anything for that stupid boy. Move mountains. Defy the boundaries. Nothing would stop me.
I loved him more than anything in the world, even more than the ever increasing love for myself. He was my ice for my fire. He was my light in my darkness.
And he needed me just as much as I may have once needed him.
That stupid, stupid boy.
He was younger than me. I was there at his birth ceremony, I ate the sweets the cook sneaked out, I saw him wake and I saw him laugh, I was there when he first walked and when he said his first words and we he felt his first kiss. Well of course, I was there.
The stupid stupid boy.
I was there when my father and his father disapproved of our love. I was there when we engaged when my father died out of spite. But on the night before our wedding, I disappeared.
I wasn’t there.
It all became clear. That stupid boys guilt.
It was all his fault. He was the only one to blame. It was refreshing as the ravens continued to peck under the hot dessert, refreshing to think I was not the only one who would have to face this hell.
He would too. I hoped.
I hoped the whole damned world suffered this lonliness.
I shot forward from the grass and thick quilts, the pain in my lower stomach being increasingly more evident. Zephina held my arm and pulled me up.
I let out a groan.
“Shhhh..” said Zephina.
“Where are we?” I asked through moans and grunts.
“The magic lands,” said Zephina , “The magic lands.”
I took a look round, the statement becoming obvious. There were the silent Xana trailing round the lake of the lost souls and the trees and the bounties of trees enclosing the area.
“Where is Elias?” I said, searching around for his cowering pale figure.
“Sulking around somewhere. The usual,” she said with a smile. I nodded, though still not quite at ease.
“Well,” I said pushing myself to my feet at the same time as grunting in a very unladylike way, “There is no time to lose. Lets go there.”
I looked for Dai through the ghosts but he found me first, tapping on my sore sholdour. He didn’t say a word as Elias and I and Zephina formed a circle as so and let the magic take its way.
We fell like leaves upon the roots of the tree. Then there were little buds upon the twigs and branches. It must be spring. That would mean.
“How long have I been asleep?” I asked, facing the first person I saw who in this case was Elias.
“The stab, it hit you in the stomach. It would have killed you.. “
I interrupted, “How long have I been asleep?”
He looked up and blinked with his long eyelashes upon his eyelids, “3 months and 2 days.”
I choked on my breath. 3 moths 2 days, that must have been forever. Forever and ever. Time was time and loosing time was priceless. How did Zephina manage to stay patient? My stranger, the impatient. She must have turned down each every bit of this hellhole in frustration. Poor stranger. No. Poor Xana
I seemed to be loosing time like my hair and nails. But then, I did have an eternity. Zephina didn’t though. I had to live in the present for her.
The conlaw ushered us towards them, the woman in the amber dress taking the speaking role again.
“I want to know about Ximena,” I said in my fake regal voice.
“Then you will. She was a queen at the age of 17, father died from grief of her mother’s death. Her rule was... stern. She engaged the cook at the age of 18 and just when she was about to marry the boy she disappeared leaving her kingdom to the line of her old and decrepid uncle.”
Zephina interrupted, “We know that. You know. Now tell us what the hell she was doing here.”
“The queen was a strange Fygol. When the fighting of the fygols and us became worse and we were about to win and take back this damned land that was ours, they trapped us. The democracy trapped us with our own magic. When the Queen visited we were foolish in our hate and our poverty and deaths. She promised us that we would get a ¼ of Earth (what we still demand) for some information. Ximena took what we gave her and sent more troops in where we had been penned like sheep to kill until nothing but a handful remained. We used to be mighty, far larger and populous than the humans. But they were afraid. Rightly so. Angered and we are monsters.”