The sun flickered into life upon the horizon, soft golden rays of light creating a grand landscape of shadows upon the still, snowscape below. The night had passed, the receding darkness seeming to take the clouds with it, the blizzard dissipating into a slight winter breeze that swept through the trees, rattling their frozen branches, shaking icicles loose from there holds. The building sat still and lonely amidst the snowscape, a crouching monolith surrounded by forest, the windows dark and all the halls were silent. The once pristine architecture seemed ancient now, the stained glass worn and broken, the intricate carving worn down to a blank slate of stone, the door rotted and dilapidated. It stood as a lonely reminder, a mere shell of what it had been, a tombstone if nothing more.
Outside at the front of the construct she lays, body crumpled and broken as warm orange rays flow over her fallen form. She too, now merely a shell of her former self, uninhabited as the crimson silhouette formed around her body, staining the once innocent snows. She had breathed her last breaths as a free beast, free from evil, free from innocence, free from the world, her empty blue eyes staring out at an indiscernible landscape, everything a brilliant white with glorious freedom. It had been a few days since the blizzard had enveloped the lands of Mossflower. It had been an event to remember, one to twist before it would fade into obscurity, just as the building itself soon would, save for the spirit hidden with the shadows of its corridors. It waited there, weakened greatly with no real source of sustenance; it was beginning to starve slowly, but surely, just as they were supposed to, just as their design demanded
Existence brought about for the sole purpose of ending in such a short time . . .
What a silly little concept . . .
The silhouette wondered to itself silently, drawing on the thoughts of beasts long since past, their memories comprising its consciousness. It waited there in a state of limbo, trapped within the shadows upon which it existed; a mere shadow of the gates it had been forced from like some unwanted child.
The seasons passed like this, the silhouette living on the occasional unfortunate soul that wandered into the church, biding its time until it could move on from the prison, Saint Ninian's. Summer turned to winter and back to summer, but none mattered to the shadow, it waited. It became more careful over time, allowing for small families to inhabit its domain, to share its cell as it fed off of the young, slowly and cautiously, inducing some sickness, but never enough to scare them from their supposed 'home'.
The time shall come . . .
The moment of destiny will come . . .
These were the only thoughts that calmed the silhouette as it rationed its 'food', clinging to the pathetic existence it had come to know and cherish. Only thoughts of retribution kept it going until the day came and they came . . .
It had been a good season for the shadow; a flock of jackdaws had taken what was left of the building as their roost. Far too stupid to leave at the silhouette's inconspicuous signs, unwilling to give up one sort of safety for another. A sick fledgling here, a missing one of their flock there didn't seem to much matter to them. Never did two and two come together, but then they came on that day. A small group of beasts, voles and mice the shadow believed, and the jackdaws, true to their nature, had attacked them. They had slayed one of the smaller beasts, a young mouse maid to be specific, much to the silhouettes pleasure. They had left and it had almost seemed as though it would remain that simple, but then they came, bearing torches, their intentions clear.
This is the day, isn't it?
This is that day of fate I have sought . . .
The silhouette thought silently to itself and immediately it leapt into action with what little strength it had conserved over the seasons. It disappeared from the shadows as the flames took the building, the sound of crackling wood filling the soft evening air as tendrils of smoke curled from the ancient structure as it seemed to breath its last before collapsing into a fiery wreckage, a final resting grounds for those lost over the many seasons.
However the silhouette lived on, prepared to bide its time for as long as needed, reducing itself to a mere voice in the back of an otter's mind, a whispering echo of the past. It would wait there, it would makes its journey to the homeland, the end would come and the shadow would be there, smiling as the Dark Forest fell before its newfound wraith. Such a day would come; it would find retribution . . .
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-'Thank you' s-
Thanks to Neri Scathe, clara200, Fabulous Flamer, Dr Flareon, Waterflash Arrowotter, Bunny Hooded Bombchu, Red Ferret, Aubreta, Kirjava Deamon, one who says too little, Agent D and Shadow Of Silver for their reviews.
And special thanks to Red Ferret, Neri Scathe and Aubreta for their support and help on this story as well.