A Short Story
The chiming of cold shackles resonated with the wind across the soundless town square. My chest became trapped in heavy throbbing, rendering me useless.
Lifting my head, I gaze upon the scenery before me. My ruby red eyes glistening in the mercy of the sun. A sea of people waited at the base of the stand. Many flocked from afar to witness the spectacle; the merciless humiliation of one’s death, the execution. My blood line condemned me. No one was coming to save me. No one would disobey the Elders’ order, especially not the ruthless murderer whom I am disgraced to call a sister, ever since that incident years ago.
Under the cover of night, I had run away. I could no longer stand all the fighting the rebels had initiated, the murders that my sister had committed. I had crossed paths with another travelling group. Their gaze never left me as I strolled past. In fear, I had reached to my raven shaped birthmark.
“It’s a Red-Eyed Raven!” one of the travellers exclaimed in delight, pulling a seal encrusted dagger from his back. I recognised the seal, the government seal. Hands pushed upon my body forcing me to my knees, the dagger poised, ready to plunge its cold blade into my flesh.
Ching. The familiar chime of a small bell resonates through the thick air. Red sprouted from the men. A figure stood behind them sheathing its basket-hilt backsword. A bell attached to the end. Darkness shrouded her face only revealing the raven beneath her eye. Her red eyes gleamed in the dark moonlit sky.
“Hide the birthmark,” she ordered turning away from me, “we are no longer related.” I had remained kneeling. My mind was blank.
Had she not come to save me?
Had she not care for me?
Had she not loved me?
The gothic clock tower tolls, signalling my demise. Warm tears roll down my face, dragging out memories and encasing them in the moist crystal beads that soon to shatter upon the tainted earth.
Ching. My attention snapped to the familiar chime, a sound I’ve heard many times before. A chime that relieves my soul of anxiety yet burns me to my very core.
Silence coated the scene only breaking for the wind that carried the jingle. Sheer terror paralysed the executioner for he too recognised the sound. Audience members jeered, egging the executioner to swing his mighty blade, but he dared not to move. With a strangled cry, red blossomed from his thick neck. Tangled red briars crawled its way from the heart of the flower to the earth followed by yet another jingle.
A figure appeared by my side, shielding the almighty sun from my eyes. Shadows cradle the figure as the light begins to claw its way through the shadows’ groping fingers. A backsword rested at its waist.
Our eyes met.
Those eyes, eyes I haven’t seen in so long, those blood red eyes.
She clutches my arm, dragging me to my feet. We leap into the crowd, severing the sea of people in two, dashing to the streets.
An arrow whizzed across my limb, I froze, clutching my grazed shoulder, red dying my clothes. From the balconies, archers readied themselves. Their response seemed too prompt.
Almost as if they were expecting... someone... to show...
My eyes searched frantically for those familiar red eyes. I spotted her figure up on the balcony her backsword at the ready, and plunging it deep into an unfortunate soul.
A glint caught my eye. I turned towards the distraction. A metal arrowhead meters away.
Then I heard two soft pangs.
I heard a muffled cry. My sister stood before me, red spilt from the corner of her mouth. Behind her, two archers lay motionless. Fear entrapped me. She staggered towards me, her pain stricken face painted with a soft smile. Her black hair caressed her face drawing out her vibrant red eyes glittering with tears. She pulled me closer and whispered.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you. Don’t cry,” her coarse red-clotted voice rasped, “I love you, so live. Please...live.”
Her broken body slipped off my shoulder and fell to the earth. Red trickled from her wounds dressing the desolate pavement with a stream of flowing red. I stared in disbelief as an explosion of tears erupted from my eyes.
I had hated her yet she loved me enough to sell her soul to the darkness. My heart ripped in half by the unsettling turmoil. My distorted sobs echoed throughout space, cleaving any other sound that chose to intervene.
The sound of another pang cleared my mind. Pain spread across my body, I fell beside my sister. The tears remained warm against her skin, her peaceful face fixed with a smile and the raven birthmark.
“I…will…live…for…you..,” I stuttered until the darkness consumed me.
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