Everything dies

He was standing on the beach at the foot of his father's castle, looming up black above him. The sea pounded at the jagged rocks and lapped at the sand. It looked stormy and dark. There was supposed to be something special about the ocean, something to do with unicorns but he couldn't remember. He had thought they were trapped but there was one standing right in front of him on the sand with a girl at its side.

Lir frowned in confusion. The two seemed to shimmer and melt together until he couldn't tell one from the other, and yet they stood separate.

The unicorn was dazzling and beautiful because she was so white. Beauty in perfection. Everything in the way she held her body indicated a gentle nature, a fluid gracefulness and almost deceptive fragility.

Lir looked at the girl next to the unicorn and his heart thundered in his chest.

"Amalthea," he whispered in shock.

Her skin was pale as the moonlight and her hair, as white as the unicorn's mane, tumbled around her shoulders. A white dress of silk covered her delicate form, tugged occasionally by a sea breeze. One fragile hand rested on the unicorn's neck.

She said nothing and her eyes were sad. She seemed meek. Slowly she removed her hand from the unicorn and the light turned red. There was a blast of heat. Lir covered his face to protect himself and when he looked back he saw the unicorn dead on the ground. Silver blood pooled on the suddenly black sand. The Red Bull stood over the body, silver blood staining its horns. The sky had darkened.

The girl stood apart from the creatures just staring at them. Tears glittered on her cheeks.

"Amalthea, I'm here."

She turned to look at him with such a haunted look in her eyes that he halted.

"Am I truly the last?"

The whisper broke from her lips with the sound of silver bells, strange and eerie.

"Come with me," Lir offered and reached out a hand to her.

Amalthea gazed at him sorrowfully.

"Everything dies," she uttered and crumbled to dust.

------

Lir awoke with a start in a cold sweat. Groaning he ran a hand through his already ruffled hair and over his face, shaking away the last threads of the nightmare. Already it was fading, the shreds disappearing with the dawn light creeping in through the window. With a sigh he threw off the covers and stepped out onto his balcony, letting the cool air fresh him, and glancing up he saw the girl, the beautiful vision, doing the same on her own balcony further away.

In that second Lir decided that whatever she was running from, whatever it was that she feared, he would protect her from it, whatever the cost.