She sat, staring at nothing. 

There was no cloud this time, no golden light, no warmth.

But there was a type of bliss, lost in ignorance, safety within the thick folds of madness. She was safe, here. The scars on her mind had been ripped anew, and it was too scary, too raw, too…terrifying for them to heal. 

Nononononono don’t think don’t think DON’T THINK.


She blinked slowly. Once, twice. Peace. The voices in her head were gone, but it was so empty. So still. Quiet before the storm. Would they return? Probably. Don’t think about it. Safe. Treasure the silence. Don’t think DON’T THINK. 


The spark was gone. The fire banked and then buried under the weight of the furious fel, their rage, their frustration, and what had once burned bright and fresh again simmered in low, pained coals within her. Dying slowly. Cold. COLD COLD COLD.


Aunne was cold. Aunne was hurt. She had hurt Aunne and nonononono that wasn’t her, wasn’t her, she didn’t know didn’t remember WASN’T HER.

Silence again. A slight rocking, back and forth, on the bed. Cold.

They would come back. The coals sparked. They’d come back. They returned and took a terrible vengeance on her. A mind lay shattered, delicate as flower petals scattered on the hearth. The flame lived. The flame was strong. Empty. She was empty. This was good. She could live like this. This was good.

Aunne was her shield. The cold is our shield, child. She would be safe. She blinked. Again. Fire and Ice. The cold was her shield. Aunne was hurt. She will forgive, child. Fire and Ice. Coals. Sparks. Something bright and white and so hot she froze. Not a…not a voice? Something else SOMETHING ELSE and it was stirring and it was her and it was…

Aunne is my friend. Aunne is hurt. Aunne will be angry.

Fire and Ice. The wood around her began to char, the blackening circle held back by a sudden ring of glistening ice crystals. Gentle. Something in her head but gentle. It’s okay. It’s okay. She could let the flame speak. The flame was still there. The flame would keep her safe. Safe, child.  Yes. Aunne…Aunne would understand. 

Ygraine sank deeper, smiling faintly, as she let her mind go. This was…better.

Author Wallaroo
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