This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
They didn't know it yet, but these were their last good-byes.
It was something that they should have seen coming. The woman was old, she'd had a good, long life, but it was over now. Surely they have to know how frail their hopes were. But it was easy to forget how blind humans could be, how determined they were to believe that they were the ones in control. I knew better.
I hovered just inside the bedroom window, toes barely touching the floor. Completely invisible. There were only two others in the room now, the old woman and her adult daughter, sleeping in a bedside chair with her head resting near her mother's hand. My job was easy: get in, mark them, get out. Still, I lingered, waiting for the daughter to wake up. Not out of compassion—the woman would die whether or not I hung around—but from curiosity. When she woke up, would she be distraught? Would she sense my presence and try to make the most of these last moments? Or did she care? Maybe she'd be one of those just waiting for her mother to die and leave behind a large sum of money. Judging by the run down state of the lamp-lit room, I was betting that this one would be a touching farewell, unmarred by finances.
The old woman sensed me before her daughter did. Her vacant stare suddenly cleared, and acceptance touched her eyes for the briefest second. She knew what was coming. Gently, she rubbed her daughter's hair, bringing her out of unconsciousness.
The daughter blinked and then started upright, searching the room in confusion. Then she remembered where she was and she rubbed wearily at her eyes. "What time is it?" she mumbled.
Her mother shrugged. "I don't know," she said in a deceptively strong voice. "I can't see the numbers."
The reminder caused the daughter's forehead to crumple. She leaned forward and read the bedside clock out loud "Eleven-fifteen," She grasped her mother's frail hand. "It's late. You should go to sleep." It always interested me, the way the roles of children and parents became reversed in the end.
The woman ignored the suggestion and again, I saw it in her eyes. She knew that if she went to sleep, she wasn't waking up. She reached her hand up and brushed her fingers across her daughter's forehead in a way that felt like a long-held tradition. "I'm proud of you," she said.
I knew it. Humans were so predictable.
The finality of the words scared her daughter. Panic flew into her eyes. "That's good to know," she said, attempting a brazen laugh.
"I'm serious," the woman scolded.
"I know," the daughter hung her head, hiding budding tears. "I know you are, you've never made me doubt that you're proud of me."
The woman laid back on her pillows with a satisfied smile. "Good."
The tears were flowing freely now. "You're the best mom, you know."
They both laughed, watery, half-hearted chuckles.
"Just do me a favor."
The daughter nodded emphatically. "Anything."
"Be patient with Tyler. I know you want to kill him sometimes, but he's a teenager, he'll grow out of it."
Her mother pointed a stern finger. "You have to learn to be patient. I did. Why do you think you survived past sixteen?"
More forced laughter.
The mother looked suddenly to the nightstand next to her, where there was a pitcher and an empty cup.
The daughter took the hint. She picked up the pitcher and attempted to pour a glass of water. The pitcher was empty.
With a frown, she stood up. "I'll fill it up." She copied her mother's gesture and ran her fingers across her forehead. "Stay here."
Her mother nodded. All of us knew she wasn't referring to staying in bed.
With the daughter gone, I made my move. I floated toward the bed and reached into the leather pouch strung onto my hip. Inside, the consistency was like very fine sand. I ran it through my fingers experimentally, enjoying the texture. Then I clasped my thumb and forefinger around some of it and withdrew my hand. Very carefully, I sprinkled the Dust over the woman. It landed on her nose and cheekbones, staining them with a glittering blue that was already starting to fade. Through it all, the woman never even flinched.
I spun in mid air and flung myself out of the window on powerful wings. She would be dead by morning, but I didn't need to stick around any longer. It wasn't part of my job description.
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...
bhodges11: I like the concept of the story, but there were things that I felt could use more detail. I like the back stories created, but was left wanting more from parts of the story. I like the cadence of the author's writing style - it was a very easy, enjoyable read. I felt like it ended on, not a cliff...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
KC_Ward: Black Mark was one of the most interesting romance novels I have read. I really enjoyed the fact that Mora has such a strong character and held her ground. Each character had a background story that gave clues as to what shaped their personalities. This novel was almost like two books rolled into...
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...