Author: 19Answers PM
The war has ravaged both lands and peoples. In the midst of all the suffering, one particular person has a pair of wings torn by more than just the fighting. R&R PLEASERated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 18 - Words: 26,925 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 11-25-12 - Published: 02-17-08 - id: 4079019
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The specters were back. With eyes that held only hate and blame, they crowded around her. There had been a time, when they had first started appearing, that Danica would have panicked, getting close to insanity; but now she knew that all she could do was wait for her subconscious to be replaced by her consciousness. She hoped she would wake up soon or that Andreios or Marin would know to wake her up. It had been awhile since she had been visited by the nightmares, but she was pretty sure they still checked on her. At least she hoped so.
One of the apparitions brushed her cheek and she felt it like a freezing cold slap knowing that more were to follow. Right now they were just demanding her attention. As always.
Bracing herself she faced them head on as she had always forced herself to do. It's not that it made it easier, but at least this way she didn't feel such a coward. Slowly, each and every single one of the shadows with familiar faces slightly skewed began to howl at her. In that howling she heard the accusations, the begging for help, the last moments of their death. Something wet began to slide down her face causing them to become even more frenzied. She knew that crying just made it worse but as always, she couldn't help herself. Suddenly, the ones directly in front of her began to move to the side for one approaching alone.
No. She couldn't take this. She was never able to take this one. This one figure that was enough to bring her to her knees stopped right in front of her and reached out what was once a hand to raise her head so that Danica had no choice but to look at its face. Even if she had closed her eyes in this dream, the face of the father she had loved so dearly would have still shown in her mind's eye. The father that night after night made her remember everything. And that's when the nightmare really began.
Time ceased to mean anything. It never did when she was being visited. It was always the same except usually with more and more people being added. That knowledge still didn't make it any easier. Eventually, she began to drift in a state of insanity, no longer knowing what was real and what was part of the dream. She couldn't even remember if what was the dream was based off of reality or if it was just created by her own tortured mind and the ramblings of Father Cremont.
The voices must have been there for awhile before Danica actually recognized them for what they were. When she did, she clutched at them with weak desperation. Slowly, ever so slowly, they began to drag her back to reality and consciousness. She had no clue what they were saying or whose they were, but at that moment, neither of those things mattered. All that did was that they were pulling her out of the mire of her own mind. She could tell that it was only going to be a brief respite though because already she could feel herself being sucked back under. She had just enough time to open her eyes and see two distorted faces when they shut again. With the last bit of her strength, she managed to get out, "The mirrors-" Then she slipped back into the darkness where the howling accusations of the ghosts consumed her once again.
"What did that mean?" Zane asked Andreios.
For the last three days both he and the guardian had been keeping a vigil over the princess. In that time, Zane had increasingly started to worry that she wouldn't be waking up again. Even Andreios had expressed some anxiousness over her complete lack of movement. To pass the time, the two had gotten to know each other, both through their conversations and through their silence. They had actually just been arguing about whether or not King Kimsha should be informed or not when Danica had finally shown some life. For just a minute, she opened her grey eyes without seeming to see and said something about mirrors before she promptly fell asleep again.
Andreios sat gazing at the princess for a moment. Since Zane had grown somewhat accustomed to him, he had become able to discern his expressions a bit better. Whereas before, Zane had thought that the Avin nobility with a few exceptions were all expressionless, he had come to realize that wasn't true, one just needed practice in dealing with them. At this moment however, Zane was once again having difficulties trying to interpret Andreios' face. It was almost as if he had become overcome by a weary sorrow but was resigned to grit his teeth and bear it.
Suddenly he stood and strode over to pull the rope that would summon one of the servants. Seconds later, the princess' maid appeared in the doorway.
"She is fine," Andreios assured her. Instantly the maid, Marin, visibly relaxed. "However," Andreios continued, " she might be like before."
They stared at each other with grim expressions. Then, as one they moved. Zane watched in equally increasing confusion and irritation as they began to take all of the mirrors out of the room.
At length, he could no longer hold it in and barked out the command, "Stop."
Both of them turned to look at him with watchful expressions that did not do anything to decrease Zane's ire.
"Would one of you be so kind as to inform me why mirrors have suddenly become an issue?"
Again, the two shared a look. It was Andreios that spoke.
"Do you remember the story I told you of when I first met the princess?"
"Of course I do."
"We are ensuring that there is nothing that might distress her when she wakes up for good."
Zane huffed in frustration, "But why would mirrors bother her anyways?"
"That," Andreios said turning to continue his work, "is not our story to tell. You will have to wait for when the princess is ready to tell you."
Normally, Zane would have expressed how very little he liked the waiting option, but Andreios implying that there was a chance that a time would come when the princess would trust him enough to speak of her past to Zane stopped him. On the one hand, he wanted to know what was going on, but on the other this was the first sign that he could potentially have something better than the cold excuse of a marriage that he had right now. Also, he wanted the princess, Danica, his wife to tell him. He had no idea when having a marriage that was something other than a peace treaty had become so important to him, but it had, especially with Danica. So, in silence, he watched them finish gathering up all of the mirrors in the room, close the curtains so that even the glass of the windows could not be seen, and empty the water from the basin beside the bed.
When they had finally left, he turned his attention back to the still figure of the mysterious princess that was causing so much to make so little sense.