Her Fated Haunting

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 11

Her eyes blinked open from her restless nap. Vision still foggy, she looked around, ignoring the painful darts shooting in her pounding head. Legs awkwardly crossed over each other, Elyse was uncomfortably lying on a makeshift cot, in what she recognised to be Alora’s messy tent.

She massaged a hand on her temple and shakily stood up. Something had happened that afternoon. Something that still made her heart constrict agonizingly in her chest. Despite the nausea, she fought to remember.

She had gone out of the orphanage. Alone. Probably lied to Madame Tildi yet again, offering the now overused excuse that the kitchens ran out of potatoes. It had been just another ordinary trip to the market. She recalled seeing Samuel’ sparkling eyes smiling at her from across the stands. He had been crossing the main road to get to her when...

It all came back like a flash, making her double over in pained realisation.

The carriage. All that blood. Samuel’s closed eyes. Alora’s soul-crushing verdict. Her own hysterical sobs hearing it.

“He is dying, Elyse. The wound is too deep. He is dying.”

Elyse remembered now. Samuel’s aunt had to force a sedative potion down her throat to quiet her. That explained the headache. Ignoring the crutch laying next to the cot, the girl limped her way to where she knew Samuel rested.

She hoped, gods, how she hoped she was not too late.

In her rush, she impatiently pushed the flowing veil at the entrance. Elyse stopped. The chamber was so dark, so tragic in its silence, as if welcoming death already. Her frantic gaze immediately found Alora’s red rimmed eyes. Samuel’s aunt was watching over him, seated on the wooden chair right next to the bed.

The woman had been crying. A tiny shock ran through Elyse – the entire time she had known the fortune-teller she had never once seen her anything less than joyful and serene. But it was not everyday her only family was in coma at such a fragile age, struggling to hang on to his life. And Elyse feared the fight was coming to an end.

No, she shook her head, dismissing the last errant thought.

“I-is he...? Did h-he...?” Her voice caught in her throat, refusing to finish the damning question. She inhaled a breath of relief when Alora shook her head.

Samuel’s aunt headed to her, a heavy burden slowing her once strong gait. “I will give you two a moment,” the woman whispered. “It won’t b-be long now until,” a sob shook Alora as she left.

It was just her and her friend.

Elyse hesitated for a moment before inching closer to the bed where he laid. So quiet, so utterly still. Those were two traits she would not ever dare associate to reckless boisterous Samuel. She voiced them out loud, waiting for his indignant response. It never came.

“Samuel, buddy,” she whispered.

Covered by a thin sheet, his lanky form hid any signs of the deadly wound. If not for the pallor in his cheeks, he just looked like he was sleeping.

“Samuel, you have to wake up, you hear me,” she tried again. Her soul was crying, but she had no reason to feel like this. He was just sleeping after all, wasn’t he? Of course he was, her sanity refused any other reason behind the utter stillness in her friend.

A slightly annoyed sigh escaped her lips. “You always liked taking naps a bit longer than proper. Alora would always give you hell over it. But, now it is time to wake up, alright?”

His eyes remained closed. She swept her hand to remove a dark lock resting on his forehead. Her eyes burnt when she realised how cold his skin was. It must have been the blood loss, but a delusional part in her mind made her forget how much blood had soaked the sheets when she had first brought him here.

“Here, let me give you my shawl,” she quickly shed the soft material resting on her shoulders and carefully tucked it around his body. “There now, you will get warm soon, you will see.” Unsure of whom she was assuring more, herself or him, Elyse took one of his limp hands between hers and started furiously massaging it.

An unexpected sob lodged in her throat. His pulse was so slow. She let go of his wrist, watching it fall lifelessly back on the sheets.

The emotions in her threatened to drown her. “Samuel, enough games now!” she whispered harshly, shaking his shoulders. By now, countless tears swam in her eyes which she wiped angrily away. If she acknowledged them, the tears, the pain, it would make everything real. It would make her friend’s death imminent within hours, if not less.

No, he was just sleeping. Just sleeping.

“You have to wake up. There are so many secrets I have not told you about yet,” a pair of eerily beautiful green eyes and cinnamon flavoured echoes flashed in her mind.

“So many dreams that are waiting for you. You wanted to travel the world, maybe even join the circus again. You once told you planned to kiss each girl in the capital at least once, making me swear I would introduce you to everyone in the orphanage,” her eyes crinkled remembering her then thirteen year old friend cockily announce this one day. It had been a torrid evening and they had both been exhausted from their exploration of another morally questionable corner of the capital. She had attributed Samuel’s words to sun fever. “I laughed at you then, but I swear I won’t now. I shall personally bring every girl in front of you here and invent stories to make you appear like a knight in shining armour.”

“You just have to wake up,” her chin wobbled. “Please.” She laid her head on his shoulder, allowing the tears to flow.

Samuel continued to rest, his complexion appearing more ashen than when she had come in. Elyse watched his chest rhythmically rise and fall. Every breath he drew seemed forced, each slower, more dragged than the previous. Despite this, it was a proof he was still among the living. A small eternity passed just watching this confirmation of his still beating heart.

Inhale and exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale ...

Her head jerked upright when she stopped hearing his laboured breathing. Mindlessly, she licked her finger and positioned it under his nose waiting for the answering exhale. It did not come.

“No, no, it can’t.”

Filled with panic, she tried to feel his pulse. Nothing again.

“No no no,” she repeated in a broken mantra. She refused, he could not die. He was just fourteen. Her eyes lifted to the senseless array of exotic face statues, wooden crosses and rosaries gracing the tent above Samuel’s bed. His aunt was a woman of many beliefs and Elyse was willing to pray and sacrifice to each one of her gods if it brought back her friend.

She sobbed. Unfortunately, there was no time for that. Samuel’s clock was ticking and it had just struck midnight. Elyse knew only one who could help in this moment of need. Price be damned.

Her hands clasped tightly together in supplication and she whispered his name.

“Azrael, please, I need your help,” she sobbed.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.