Monday, 12 March 2012

Losing a Friend

"The Chancellor is murdered!"

The exclaimation came from nowhere, amidst the chaos of trouble and conflict that seemed to haunt Tarrund on a daily basis the lone voice of the merchant guild master pierced through the shouts of anger and confusion.

Blaze looked up from the bloodied vampire upon the ground, her sharp tongue blunted in that very moment. All emotion was wiped from her in an instant, her face paling to that of a ghostlike appearance, raven hair flying behind her as she turned to seek the voice from the crowd in utter disbelief. Surely she had heard wrong.

Pushing through the crowd she sought him out, this speaker of tragedy, Ryder Braveheart, whom just moments before had been caught up in the confllict of a disgraced former guard. But no sooner had she got to him he had moved away. Again she tried, the gabble of people, spectators of brutality blurred before her eyes, her breath coming hard and fast, curious pulse beating in seemingly an echo of impending doom.

"Answer me!"

She whirled around and cried to anyone that would answer. Was there but a sliver of chance that her ears had deceived her? Those around her seemed to act indifferent, concerned only with there own. Were they fools who did not realise the magnitude of such a claim. Did they not care that one of her oldest and most trusted friends and confidants may have been slain and vanquished?

"It is true" came finally the answer with lowered head

She stepped away, devastated to the core of her heart, her body numb. She sought Alastair, for him to tell her she was dreaming, that still she misheard but though she felt him near in her growing grief she could not see him. With sudden desperation she ran towards the Chancellors house, skirts flying behind her. She was too quick to hear that suggestion that he may be still alive. She tore through the market place and through the twisted streets until she turned the corner shouting "Earendil!" but she came to a stand still. There lay his door battered and hanging from his hinges, dark crimson smeared across wood and stone.

She froze, a sudden chilled breeze whipping at her cheeks as if death himself lingered close by unseen. Gingerly she stepped forward, she knew no one was inside, the silence was deafening. She shivered as her desperate midnight eyes gazed over a scene of bloody destruction. Hesitating in the doorway she closed her eyes for the impending grief that would wash over her. No one could have shed such blood and survived surely?

She glanced down, something catching at the corner of her eye, a parchment torn and flapping in the breeze beneath her heel. Snatching it up she felt a tear snake down her cheek as she recognised Earnedil's elegant hand dried in blackest ink. It was his diary, or least a page from it. She read the words over and over finding it hard to let them sink in for all she could gain first was his gentle tone, thoughtful and optimistic, gentle in his judgements and musings on his day. She clutched the page against her chest then let it fall from her fingers.

Something compelled her to enter and she crept step by step, fear mingled with grief. The great hall that not three days ago she had complemented him on lay in tatters, furniture strewn about, splintered and shattered, paintings fallen from the walls and door pulled apart to highlight a trail of blood that seemed to never end. The smell flooded her senses and made her shudder with the violence that would have spilt it. She looked to the fireplace, cold and empty but for another parchment. She crossed the room and dropped to her knees, reading it over. More diary pages. She frowned looking over her shoulder as if she felt herself watched but there was only that cool sinister breeze that wafted through the empty house.

And so it went on, each room presented her with more pages, torn and scattered. She would not touch them though, somehow it seemed that these were Earendil's deepest thoughts, meant for his eyes only and it felt wrong to disturb them. Yet she committed them to memory, as was her skill. It seemed her dear friend had been uneasy these past weeks. Amongst them a hastily written note, his scrawl clearly one of panic. People in the house, two dressed in black. She felt her stomach turn that this may have been the last word he ever put to paper.

She stepped to his fine living room and had to sink to the sumptuous cushions as she felt her legs buckle. For here she had stood, she and Alastair sharing their secret, news of a small miricle with their most trusted friend. She remembered the emotion she had felt when he presented them with a gift, how touched she had been by his kindness. She rose from the seat in tears and crept down the stairs, getting as far as the doorway before she crumbled into a despairing heap of disbelief and shut the word away from dark sorrowful eyes with her hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment