I open my eyes to see her head fall down onto my shoulder. She struggles to breathe but forces her head to turn towards my left ear. Her heartbeat speeds up, fear makes us both tremble, and I finally notice the blood. A bullet lodged itself in her rib cage after piercing one of her lungs.
“I forgot to tell. . .you why I came here. The royal army. . .sent their new. . .regiment to kill. . .the Mystical Veil. People who believe in religion. . .practice magic. . .aren’t deem human. . .will die. I wanted. . .you to. . .be hap. . .happy.” Her breathing stops but she kisses my cheek.
“I am happy! Don’t go before you know that. I was extremely happy that you came here to save me! You never let go of your promise to be there whenever I fall apart. I don’t want to leave your body here. What’s the purpose of all this? Please I need to hear you once again! Don’t die!”
“Ru..uh..n. . .” She rolls off of me with her failing strength.
My heart drops to the bottom of my chest while tears flood my eyes. I struggle getting my feet underneath me. The world spins around me and my stomach feels uneasy. I can’t hold it back. I never found myself shy to blood but this is far too much, too personal, and too real.
I get myself steady after the queasiness passes. Her last word repeats in my head. Run. Run. Run. Run. Shouts of men can be heard in the forest before the cliff. I can’t get pass them and I know that. I look to the sky beyond the cliff to see the Sun setting. My heart beats faster and faster until I begin running headlong towards the edge.
“I’m not worth your bullets! I’ll end this for you! Don’t go looking for me because the ocean will be my grave unless fate has something else in store for me! Let’s place a bet! If I come back I won’t be alone and we’ll take back this land for the memory of all who died to your destructive beliefs!!!” Gunfire sprays from the forest but not a shot hits me as I leap off the cliff.
I feel like I’m flying until gravity pulls me towards the rocks. Regrets cry out from within but I can’t say a word as I fall like a spear into the sea. I’m sorry I couldn’t get away. They weren’t going to talk and I wanted to die next to you. Why did you tell me to run? Run to where? Save me somebody! My silent screams dig themselves into my spine forcing me to feel this unrelenting, crawling chill.
Today is the worst day ever. I let my emotions get in the way and I almost killed myself. I killed the one person who made this life bearable. Her blood is on my hands. What God would. . .no this is the act of indecent men. If there is a God I need you now. Do whatever it takes just let me live through this day. I want to live on to be a thorn in the hide of evil so I can show light even in the dark. And if that is too much to ask then let her take my place in Heaven. I know she never believed in you but she never judged me for believing. She encouraged me to love you and if it wasn’t for her I’d be lost in my own sorrow. A life for a life is fair trade. I can’t ask for anything more.
I close my eyes in anticipation of the end. The whole world shrinks to this place in the way a tragedy highlights the death of the protagonist. A single man isn’t wholly good or wholly evil but today one takes the stage. I am saying my last rights in my head as a wind touches my back as I am flung forward into salty water. My eyes open in my confusion to see a light above my head.
“A little wisp? They hide from people. What is it doing here? Did you. . .” I reach my hand towards the ball of light. “Who are you?” A familiar warmth startles me. “Is this even possible?”
“Run.” The small wisp moves ahead and waits for me. I float in the water in a breathless daze while I look at my hand. “Run.”
I swim towards the light. The wisp keeps moving into the open ocean. Night descends upon us, the wisp leads on, I follow, and my heart feels her presence all around me. Whispers can be heard somewhere off in the distance but I can’t stop. My life is still in the hands of fate. The freezing water is slowing me down. My sense of touch fades away.
Suddenly the wisp rushes off into the night without me. Cold stiffens my joints and stings my throat. I can’t move. Did I follow a random wisp for no reason risking my life in the process? The warmth was so real like Olivia’s. I miss her. I grasped at the first thing to remind me of her. An old love found in the warmth of another. I’m truly pathetic if I seek her so badly. Love is a great thing until the day it falls from the hands of whoever holds it. I still feel her love although she’s gone.
My eyes begin closing. A lot of little lights come into view in front of me. My body starts shutting down. Darkness covers everything once again. I could float endlessly in the tides like a rocking chair lulling me to sleep. Pinholes of warmth spread across my body letting me open my eyes once more. The wisps fade into my skin, they sing a song as they come to me, and magically my life recovers.
The world we once loved,
It has been made different and changed.
Some point we fell from our life
And found ourselves under a scythe.
Together we sing of light
To break us out of this endless night.
Our tears can flood
But no more do we have blood.
Something holds us to the Earthen soil
Although we left this mortal coil.
Every light fuses with my body except for one. It floats in my reach as if waiting for something. Olivia’s light hasn’t touched me yet. Can this be her? What should I do? I reach my hand out towards the light only to see Olivia materialize before me. The whole world feels right once again.
“I can’t stay long Rayne. I came to give you a final goodbye in this form. I’ll follow you endlessly as a wisp though. I heard you blaming yourself. Dumb ass! I did what I wanted to do because I love you. If I didn’t I would’ve let you get impaled by those rocks earlier.”
“Do you have to criticize me even when you’re dead? I thought maybe this could be romantic but. . .” she kisses me quickly.
“I do love you and that’s why I criticize. A ship will be here soon. I’ll be a wisp by the time they reach us. These people hunt a rare fish that breeds under the light of wisps. Go with them to wherever. You’ll have a good life. Forget about the past, keep me near, and move forward. Rayne, babe, I need you to promise me that you won’t ever come back to Dragacia. A horrible genocide will begin. I can’t handle the thought of losing you to those soldiers. Please promise me.” her body begins to shimmer and fragment.
“I promise. We can be together forever this way. I’ll never let go of that as long as you’re around.” I kiss her back just before she turns back into a wisp.