The Eride Ruins
Creature sat on the path for some time. She thought of her life with Sitome; sharing meals, following him through the garden as he gathered his herbs, lying in his lap as the sun set. She’d felt loved, protected and content for the first time in her life. She loved Sitome and thoughts of a life without him were unbearable.
She let out a small trembling meow and walked into the forest, following Enucel’s scent to the Eride ruins. She entered through a broken archway which lead into a large hall that was opened up to the night sky. At the back of the hall Enucel was waiting for her, his face lit by candlelight.
“Come, sweet Creature,” he said. “My quarters are below. We can eat and I will tell you how you can save Sitome.”
Creature was wary, but followed, walking a few steps behind Enucel. He led her down stairs made uneven by erosion. The walls shimmered in the candlelight and Enucel’s robe billowed as the wind whistled through the decaying palace. Creature sniffed at Enucel, smelling the dust from the crumbling building and the comforting scent of jasmine, reminding her of summer nights in Sitome’s garden.
Enucel led Creature into his quarters. At one side of the room there was a fireplace and at the other there was a huge bed piled high with intricately woven covers and embroidered cushions.
“The old woman, Hirtef, from the village to the south, gave me these beautiful covers and drapes,” he said, running his hand down material hanging from the wall. “I offered her blood in return.”
Creature froze and Enucel smiled.
“Don’t worry, Creature, I won’t be offering your blood. It is my own that I sell. It is precious.”
Enucel’s black eyes reflected the flickering flame of the candle.
“Rest, sweet Creature. We will dine together, and I will tell you how you can find your friend.”
Creature settled amongst the silk covers, enveloped in warmth and the scent of jasmine. Enucel lit a fire, illuminating the drapes, awakening their lustrous colours. Creature looked more closely at Enucel’s face and saw that the silver rivulets were scars. They wove their way down his face from beneath his eyes to below his chin, some snaking onto his neck. The scars shimmered like silver jewels in the light of the fire.
“I will explain the scars, sweet Creature. I will cook for us, and then we shall talk. Rest for now.”
Creature pawed at the covers, finding comfort in their warmth. What seemed like only a moment later, she was wakened by the smell of cooked meat and a gentle stroke from Enucel. They sat by the fire, eating. Enucel told Creature his story.