Chapter Forty: Overgrown
Escaping the house proved harder than they originally thought, Aveline had collected Tollen and they had made a run for it after Rowan put a bullet into Horatio’s skull.
Zack aimed back at Andrew who pursued them, covering Aveline who supported Rowan and the bundle of blankets comforting the babbling baby.
A loud bang clacked across the sky that soon fell dark, it was definitely not a gunshot though Zack and he was right to think so.
Firing again, he caught Andrew’s leg so taking the opportunity he halted his sprint and turned to face him.
Next to be hit was Andrew’s shoulder, then his other which slowed him down to the point he had fallen to his knees and breathed deeply as if struggling for oxygen.
Another crack erupted through the green clouds but when he turned to check on his two companion’s progress towards the van, he found them seized in place.
Rushing over, he noticed Tollen held in Rowan’s rooted arms, sprouting autumn leaves of oranges, yellows and reds, his entire body the same as if his flesh and muscle had collapsed away to show a rooty, bone structure.
Aveline’s body was the same, her hand woven into Rowan’s back, her body displaying Berberis darwinii and their deep green leaves.
Through his deafening grief, his hand having traced every individual stem of her face and her stemmed hand in which he held in his own for a moment of time that felt lost to him, his twinkling tears falling onto the luminescent amber petals, he finds the courage and heart to bundle Tollen into his arms.
Not leaving empty-handed, he collected a bunch of three flowers that had sprouted into the palm of Aveline’s hand before taking off to the van, forcing himself not to look back.
He needed to find the others, he needed to find Everette, Evan, Monty and anyone who might have survived.
He needed to get back to Evangelis.
* * *
Salatia, The City Of Embers, Crestfold and Evangelis all fell to the same fate, their lands grew out of control with nature as if the lands had been empty and uncared for, for centuries.
Sorin Ribaya, in her hall, surrounded by her council, sat at the rounded table with linked hands forming a circle of roots, her crown still sat perfectly upon her head, the Arden’s Ember and Verdite Cortice gradually becoming encased in vines before Sorin on the table.
The city of Embers fell silent, its streets crowded with figures of the fae that once lived.
Nerina sat at her fountain in the main hall with the High Council members, they all appeared peaceful as if their souls had been released and their lives fulfilled, all of their faces turned to the surface of the water that lay hidden with grown foliage.
The fae cities fell to the same fate as Crestfold, no matter how much they tried, they could not hold back the disease and ruin to come.
It was his birthright.
Kaydence Harkhallow, reaper of lives and bringer of death.
The lives of fae had ended, but the age of man was about to begin.