Monday, April 13, 2009

This is a short character piece following Alexa and Samuel. Plot bunnies are hopping around, and they're finally forming a coherent sense of where it wants to go. Maybe there will be a plot, maybe I'll work it up someday into an actual book, but for the moment they're still just two fun people in my brain that pop up in wierd ways.

Feel free to review and comment.

She doesn't remember how she got here, to the middle of the gardens in the darkest hours of the night. Her dreams were full of the torches again, ears ringing with the beat of her heart fluttering like a trapped cat. We've been here before, she thought. The trees were bare against the sky. Leaves crunched under her feet. The dirt was wet with frost and it seeped through her stockings.

The moon is wrong, she said. The stars are wrong.

It should have been the Silver crescent, not the new moon. It should have been the southern cross above her, not the northern hammer. How did I get here?

Not even a blanket around her shoulders. Her shift was too thin for the cold. She didn't notice it. The shivers had nothing to do with it. There's blood on her right shoulder and she doesn't know how that got there either but it fits. Somehow it's right that she should bleed.

There's someone coming towards her now. Slow, deliberate. Darkness following. She looks around, finding neither statue nor bush to hide behind. The trees are all too thin to mask her. Heart beating faster. A rabbit now, caught in a snare. He's here, oh gods, he's here, and she's being caught up in a solid grasp.

Wrapped in a blanket. Scratchy wool, warmed by his heat, and it holds her arms. She hides her face in his shoulder. No blood. No smoke. It's a scent she used to know. One that is recognized, deep down, that slows her heart and makes her breath catch in a sob.

"Alexa," he says. "Come back inside. you need to rest."

"Did you see them?" she asks him. "They came for me. I had to hide."

"You don't need to hide anymore," he tells her. "It's going to be alright. Come back inside and let me warm you back up."

"They'll find me if I go back inside."

"They will not take you, Alexa. Word on it. Come back."

She let him lead her, then. Back to the Keep. Back to a room where there was warmth and light and the dreams didn't chase her.

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