She was happy.

She remembered that much, at least, in those last, precious few moments.

Her mind was wide open, free and clear. She could see love, and felt it, she could feel the sun on her face, and the laughing dance of sparks on her fingertips. The newly grown fire, banked and now burning with a merry warmth within her. 

But the light of fire in darkness always called in moths, didn’t it?

It was like that, at first. A whisper. An annoyance. Little moths to her internal flame, but in her joy she was not heeding them. The fear had ebbed. Aunne was here. Aunne was all that was cool, and strong, and fierce. She gathered up the flowers and the little seeds in her apron. Aunne would like these wildflowers. She wasn’t sure if they were medicinal, the usefulness didn’t enter her still healing mind. But they were pretty and colourful. Distracted by her joy, by the colour…

A whisper. Then another, then another. Then the chill on her skin, or the heat…it was hard to tell. She always burned inside, and there had been almost no difference between the twisted fel fire, and the…

She froze. Whispers. Moths to a flame. Whispers. STOP. SHUT UP.



Was her own awareness now her curse? She could see, feel, hear…oh, she could hear them returning. Could see them for what they were when before she had been a poor, mad girl with no understanding of what they meant. But…he had promised. Aunne had promised. She was safe shutupshutupshutupSHUTUPSHUTUP!

They would not.

She swayed on her feet. Dread grew. Fear grew. She couldn’t fight them. She tried. Command, Miss Esre had said. Obey. They laughed at her. We know you, they said. We know this soul. We own it. We own you. You are ours, daughter. The Light may have banished us but we can always return. You do not have the strength. You. Are. Ours.

She let out a scream, shrill, blood chilling, terrible, and fell to her knees. Flowers and seeds spilled out around her. Clutched her temples as the rank smell of fel fire drifted on the air. As lights of green and stinking energy flared up in the distance. Screamed. In the scars of her mind, they came crawling back, then walking, then striding and SHUTUPSHUTUP the fire the fire STOP PLEASE don’t don’t don’t the Light cannot help you now PLEASE STOP!

She fell backwards, twisted, spine arching, screaming. Fear. Panic. You are ours. FEAR FEAR FEAR PLEASE…. No. All was lost. They were here they were HERE. FIRE. Burning, burning, burning. Her mind was burning and in that terrible moment…

She laughed. 

Laughter, mad, twisted, spilled out between the screams as fel fire took her blood, her mind again. They had her. THEY HAD HER SHUT UP SHUT UPSHUTUPSHUTUP. HA!  The madness, sweet and terrible, a place to hide in shadows and weep at her own weakness. She was not free she was not FREE please, Light, but there is no Light, child. That fool could not free you. You are OURS.

Screams and laughter as she twisted on the grass, burning the flowers black around her, the ground turning a wretched, stinking fel green and scorched. 


Author Wallaroo
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