|Any Mortal Can Bear
Author: ilysia PM
He looked at her- queen-killer and mother-slayer and serpent and enchantress- and the only doom he could pronounce was his own. Rilian meets the silver chair.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Drama - Rilian & Lady of the Green Kirtle - Words: 876 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 5 - Published: 10-15-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5445801
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Disclaimer: I own nothing, alas!
Summary: He looked at her- queen-killer and mother-slayer and serpent and enchantress- and the only doom he could pronounce was his own. Rilian meets the silver chair.
Any Mortal Can Bear
Darkness, darkness pressing all around him. The chill of clammy hands and frozen, tangled webs pressed all about him, blinding his eyes and stopping his ears and filling his minds with mocking laughter. He convulsed, felt his body buck and strain against the rough rope that bound him hand and foot and waist and mind to the unyielding silver.
There came another laugh, lower and softer, and this time it assaulted his weary ears from without rather than from within. He felt an icy finger trace a pattern on his cheek and he shrank from the intimate touch, loathing himself for the fear he could not stop from rising within him.
The laughter grew merrier and the finger turned into a hand, burning cold, pressed against his face. "Rilian," a soft voice whispered tauntingly, "Rilian, my prince, awake."
And he did, recognizing the command for what it was. He awoke, if pulling himself from the endless cycle of enchantment could be called an awakening, and he forced his eyes open. The world slid in and out of focus, dizzyingly, like the storm-tossed sea or the world as it appears from a great height.
But she was there, never blurring, never shifting, resplendent and terrible in her lovely visage and her kind expression. Her green gown held in it all the colors of summer- the colors of poison and death and the last days of his freedom- and he knew her for the first time.
Many nights he had thought with mad anticipation of the day when he would finally discover his mother's killer, finally find the serpent which had stolen the life of the Star's Daughter, the Light-Bringer, the King's Joy. Many nights had he rehearsed what he would say to the creature, what challenge he would give and what doom he would pronounce. Now she was before him, and in her eyes he could see his mother's dying moments relived, could see his mother's pain and could feel the absolute joy this monster had taken in the queen's last, anguished breaths.
He looked at her- queen-killer and mother-slayer and serpent and enchantress- and the only doom he could pronounce was his own.
Even as the word tumbled from his lips, he loathed his own weakness.
But she, serpent and murderer, only laughed, and slid her hand over his face and through his hair, a vicious mockery of what she had stolen from him. She ran cold, gentle fingers through his hair, smoothing out the tangled, sweat-soaked locks, smiling as she did so.
"What is this, now?" she asked in amusement, raising her perfect brows in feigned bewilderment. "What does my prince fear? Does he no longer desire to live in my kingdom, where he can be truly free?"
Truly free… free from pain and sorrow. Free from remembrance and suffering. Free from life and living and light and hope and freedom and joy and peace and… Aslan, save me from this.
"Aslan cannot hear you, my prince," she said silkily, but there was anger behind her voice now. He was unsure if he had in his distress spoken aloud or whether she had taken everything from him now, even his thoughts, even his mind. "Nor would he want to. You chose this, little prince. You chose… me."
No, no. Everything raged against that thought, ever fiber of his being struggled against the truth in those terrible words. The silver of the chair was cold against his back, cold as her hand that had tightened in his hair. He could not have chosen this, he had not known, had not guessed the truth behind her falsehoods, had been taken in by her wondrous web.
"Please." That word again, weaker and full of supplication.
"Ah, little prince, do not plead. The night has only just begun, and it is but the first." She knelt so that she was face to face with him, her expression a horrid parody of that which a lover might wear. "But know this: you are mine, and I do not relinquish that which I own. A thousand nights, and a thousand thousands, you shall endure, for you are mine, little prince."
So saying, she kissed him, her lips burning him so that he could feel nothing but the pain and the fear that raced through him with every second. It was too much, too much, Aslan, too much for any mere mortal to bear, and he was falling, oblivion reaching out for him and any second now…
And then she stood, one hand pressed modestly to her lips, and departed, leaving him with an agonizing memory of her gentle smile and her victor's eyes. She let the door fall softly behind him and he was alone, alone with the dying fire and the cold chair and the terrible knowledge that this was to be the first of endless nights.
And in the gathering dark, Rilian submitted to the madness.