For a moment, nobody moved. The afternoon sky was bleu, and the only sound to be heard was Ella, sobbing uncontrollably. The small woman had her arms wrapped tightly around the girl's body, and one hand was holding Amethyst's head close against her shoulder. She was in desperate grief.
This woman had raised an orphan child as her own… adopted a little girl and given her a whole new life… Ella loved Amethyst as her own daughter, and now, in the blink of an eye, her daughter lay dead in her arms. It was terrible to see her so heartbroken.
"Amy?! Amy! Sweetheart? Please! " Ella whispered, crying at the same time. She stroked Amethyst's hair like she was hoping the girl was going to wake up.
"It's a shame it has to end this way," murmured D, barely audible.
He began to glide forward on silent feet. As Leon watched, he went over to them, circled behind Ella, and stood perfectly still.
Mr. Love, Hope, and Dreams guy, huh?
"No. No… My Amy! My sweetheart! I don't understand!" moaned Ella, tears streaming down her cheeks. She was trembling all over, rocking the girl back and forth in sorrow.
"Amethyst is an exquisite creature," said Count D very quietly. "I have seen into her soul, and she is pure."
Ella continued sobbing. "I don't understand."
"She has no desire, no greed, nor malice," continued D smoothly. He smiled. "A creature such as that… should be protected," he purred in a tone like silk.
Leon moved closer to them uneasily. He recognized the expression on D's face. That was the same look the guy usually had whenever he was about to pull one of his magic tricks.
D knelt beside the girl's lifeless form and looked straight into Ella's green-gold eyes.
"Please, help me!" Ella whispered to him.
"She lives for one purpose only, and that is music," he murmured. "And if that purpose is taken away, her spirit dies. Do you understand?"
Ella bent her head, kissing Amethyst's hair gently. Ever so softly, she began to sing, and the words were unrecognizable and in a foreign language. The notes were sad and sweet and tender, and the melody built slowly upon itself as she sang to a dead girl.
She softly hummed a lullaby over and over, but officer Orcot could have sworn there was something else.
He could hear it… a melody, far away… just faintly, so faintly that the harder he tried to listen to it, the less he could hear it at all. Yet, impossibly, there was music woven into the air all around them. The melody was one that he had never heard before and could never repeat again, elusive, and yet so strong that he could feel it like a force of wind.
This music shimmered like golden light, sweet as nectar, and clear as a thousand bells. It sounded like birdsong, but what a most incredible bird it must be to sing a song like that! The music was magical and piercing, and it came from everywhere. The notes fell like rain from the sky and seemed to descend upon the dead girl like falling flowers.
"Amy!" gasped Ella. She leaned back in joyful shock, and the girl slid from her arms.
Amethyst took a soft breath and turned over, lying on her back on the sidewalk. Her lavender hair spilled around her face. She smiled and opened her eyes, slowly, blinking against the sunlight.
And from far away, the magical birdsong ceased.
Count D was kneeling over her, silent and spooky in his black robes, and his face was the first thing she saw. She stared upwards into his mis-matched, jewel-like eyes, completely trusting. She seemed unable to turn her own eyes away. She squinted at him, struggling.
"I remember. It was you!" she whispered faintly.
He regarded her emotionlessly.
"I saw you, in the house… and then, I died," she whispered.
Count D blinked and shook his head slowly. "No," he said quietly. "You do not remember."
He touched the tips of his long fingers to her forehead. She blinked and looked around as if she had woken up from a deep sleep.
She looked at Ella and smiled in confusion. "What happened?! Where am I…" she asked. Then, she blushing as she realized that she was lying on the ground in the middle of the street. "Did I faint?!" she stammered nervously.
"Amy! Shh! It's okay! It's okay, now," cried Ella in relief. "Come on, sweetheart. Let's go home!"
She flung her arms around the girl, overjoyed, and Amethyst, still a little confused, giggled like a child.
"Unfortunately, I've spent far too long, here, and must be returning."
Count D's voice broke in on Leon's thoughts.
"I'll give you a lift," he offered automatically.
Then, he ran both hands through his hair, beginning to freak out.
"Damn, how am I going to record this…" he moaned, exasperated. "Ghosts, mermaids, dragons, freakin' multiplying rabbits…. we need to have a bureau for the supernatural. Shit, just how the hell do I get myself mixed in with this crap! D, who the hell are you?!"
But D had already walked half-way across the street. He stopped and looked back, smiling secretively. "Would you care for some tea?"
~ END ~
Glistening stars are a mere reflection, the sky a darkened mirror.
Some hidden flame illuminates the golden thread,
The melody that stretches far and ever farther beyond,
Hold the last note (hold the last note),
Don't let it end, don't let it die,
Don't let the rest of me fade away,
Until all those stars are gone.
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