Elaine and Eveline spent the next few weeks in a nice little countryside cottage. It had a small servants quarters attached to it. It was the perfect place to unwind. Within the first few days of them being there Eveline saw a change in Elaine. She was calmer, happier. She was starting to act like her normal self again.
They spent days relaxing in the sun, playing around, shopping. Life couldn’t have been better. Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end sometime, and this time wasn’t any different.
Elaine and Eveline were relaxing in the shade under an oak tree, when they saw a horseman riding quickly in their direction. Eveline and Elaine stood up and went to greet the horseman as he swung himself off of the horse.
“Jordan?” Elaine cried, “What are you doing here?”
“The king sent me to get you,” he said.
“Serephina has taken a turn for the worst, and they don’t know how much longer she has.”
Jordan tied the horse to the post and walked around back to get the horses saddled and ready for the girls. In less than five minutes they were ready to go. Harper was to stay behind and pack their belongings before joining them back at the castle.
The trio rode faster than they had ever rode before. People watching them would think that monsters from the depth of hell were chasing after them. They made it back to the castle just as the sun was sinking into the horizon.
Elaine and Eveline jumped off the horses, and without even bothering to unsaddle the horses they ran into the castle. They burst through the door to Serephina’s room, breathing heavily. The king and queen looked up at them in surprise as they came into the room.
Serephina was in the bed. Her face was pale, drops of sweat beaded up on her forehead giving her a fever shine. Every breath she took caused her so much pain. The queen was holding her hand, stroking it gently.
They sat together in a tensed silence. The whole room seemed to be holding its breath. They were just waiting for something to happen. Suddenly, Serephina opened her fever glazed eyes and stared at the group around her vaguely.
She took one more, pained breath before her eyes once again closed and her whole body went limp. Eveline ran out of the room. The doctor was down the hall, talking with another man Eveline didn’t recognize.
“Sir,” Eveline said.
“Yes?” the doctor said, looking at Eveline.
“What happened?” the man asked.
“I don’t know. She opened her eyes, and then suddenly she went all limp. I don’t think she’s breathing.”
The doctor and the man pushed Eveline out of the way and hurried into the room. Eveline slipped into the room, and watched as the doctor examined Serephina. He swung his stethoscope around his shoulders as he turned around. His face was grim.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “But she’s gone.”
The news covered the room, weighing on everybody’s mind. Pain-filled silence filled the room. They seemed frozen to their spots, unable to move or think clearly.
The air was bearing down on Eveline. The air was so thick that she couldn’t breathe. She was getting dizzy. She started feeling weak, and shaky. She had to get out of there before she started trembling.
Silently she slipped out of the room, and made her way weakly down to the parlor, and plopped down on the couch. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, filling her lungs with pure air.
Eveline was asleep in the parlor when a sound startled her awake. The room was pitch black, except for an unsettling white glow hovering in the air next to the couch she was lying on. Eveline swung her legs off of the couch so she was in a sitting position.
“Eveline,” the glow said, looking more and more like a figure.”
“Yes,” Eveline responded.
“You have now seen the history. The next parts won’t be as easy. They will gradually get harder and harder.”
“Okay,” Eveline breathed.
“Do you still want to continue?”
Eveline thought back to the scene in Serephina’s room. One of her sisters was dead because of this curse that was on her family. She had to do something to stop it before she ended up losing any more of her sisters. She had a way to stop this and prevent any more deaths in her family, and she had to take it. She had to continue.
“Yes,” she said, finally, “I want to continue.”
The day of Serephina’s funeral arrived. The sun shone down happily on the town. Birds were chirping their happy song, and the flowers were in full bloom. It was a beautiful day. It was almost as if the day were mocking the grieving party.
The casket was placed in a carriage draped in black velvet cloth. The king and queen were right behind them, with the princesses in the last carriage. Other royals followed behind them on horseback, while soldiers led them to the graveyard.
The little troupe followed the coffin-bearers to the gravesite that was covered with flowers. They stood around the open grave while the preacher gave a sermon. Then they lowered the casket into the ground, and one by one each of them grabbed a handful of dirt and dropped it onto the casket, and left the graveyard.
By the time Eveline had her turn, most of the people had left the graveyard. She grabbed a handful of dirt, and slowly let it pour out of her hand. As the dirt fell into the hole, Eveline saw sand in an hourglass.
“I’m sorry,” Eveline choked out as the last of the dirt fell out of her hand, “It’s all my fault. I should have done something.”
With tears in her eyes, and determination burning in her soul she left the graveyard.