There existed a room. It was a vast, empty room that emanated silence as though it permanently held its breath. On one wall, two large ceiling-to-floor windows demanded attention. They were boarded up messily, blocking light from getting in. The floor was bare and cold. In the opposite corner, a small form shivered violently. It curled up while bracing itself against the hard walls.
The shadow of a being let out a shaky breath, and began an endless mantra, "No. Why? No. Who? No," a small gasp, "Go away. No. Why?" Then the barely whispered words began again. The lonely chant would grow louder and stronger with time, but it could be weeks, months. How could something so frail keep going? Said thing uncurled slightly and gazed around with large, doe-like eyes. They were rimmed with dark circles and stood out against the rest of the lean face. Her features were gaunt, but delicate, and tauntingly feminine. The white folds of cloth hanging off of her body were actually tattered remains of a grand dress. The small frills and expensive lace looked odd against the dirty, stained state it was in. She stood up, and the sight was almost comical. She looked like a young corpse of a girl dressed up for her funeral.
Taking slow steps, she continued whispering, "Why? No. Who?" She reached the center of the room and drifted gracefully to the floor, "No. Go away," the creak of tired bones joined the chant, "No. Why?" She placed her hands, folded over each other, carefully in her lap in a mock gesture of a proper lady. The string of words suddenly broke and she glanced around frantically. Shadows flickered on the edge of her vision, and suddenly she could see them.
There, she sat clutching her knee when she was barely ten, trying hard not to cry. Two boys her age bent down to help, but she pushed them away. With some effort, the small girl got to her feet and limped off, her chin in the air.
Even though the skeletal girl could see this clearly, she could not hear anything.
There, one of the boys, the red head, grinned impishly at her and ran away. They were slightly older now, preteens, but she still cherished the doll the boy now had. She chased after him, but he was too fast. Suddenly he tripped and fell. The second boy, who had short black hair with blond, sun-kissed tips, came into view. He picked the first boy up by the collar, grabbed the doll from him, and gave it to the girl. While he chastised the red head, she smiled softly to her self as she gazed adoringly at him, a small blush painted her cheeks.
Again, there was only silence to accompany the vision.
Over there, a young lady pressed the same doll to her chest. Tears slowly streaked down her face as she gazed at something unseen. Her pain and sadness was almost tangible. It leaked off of her like poison. A form slowly stalked up to her from behind. A tall man stared determinedly at her back, his bright mop of red hair sitting awkwardly on his head. His lips moved and she whipped around, guarding the doll behind her back. The motion was obviously familiar, and the woman cracked a small smile that didn't reach her eyes.
Suddenly a rush of sound filled the ballroom and the scene became blindingly vivid.
"I knew you would come to me. Speak your piece so I can be left, alone, with my grief," she almost commanded in a guarded voice.
"Come now, Iana. You know I had nothing to do with this. He was dear to us both," the man paused, "I would have saved him, if it was within my power."
The lady took a step back as she scoffed loudly, her brows furrowing in disapproval, "Oh, you could have saved him. It was well within your…power," she spat the word out in disgust. "How could you do something so…so," a shaky cough, "Evil?!" The last word came out stronger and with more confidence as she flung the question at him. For a second his eyes flickered with sadness and sincerity, and she was reminded of the little boy she used to love like a brother. Yet as soon as the emotion graced his face it was gone, and the stony mask returned.
"How could I?" he asked softly, "I did what was right." Then the man shot a question back, "How could he look at you like that? He touched you and held you-"
"I let him!" she replied forcefully, "I let him touch me and comfort me. I…wanted him to."
In two large strides he was much closer to her, staring her down. "But you were mine. You are mine now."
"I. Am. Not. Yours," she grounded out the words between her clenched teeth.
"What?" he was truly puzzled, "Your father gave you to me. He knew of my feelings for you."
She stared defiantly into his eyes, "He also knew of my feelings for Jayden," she paused for a second before going on, "and my lack of feelings for you."
The pair glared at each other as the moments ticked by unnoticed. Suddenly the lady turned around, gazing into the distance. She walked forward a few steps and the wind whipped unruly hair around her face. A few more moments of silence passed and then, "I gave my heart to him, you know. He took it with him when he di—when you killed him."
"Now I have a hard stone in my chest to prove it. It's a weight I live with everyday, and I don't want to. I wanted us to hold each other's hearts together, forever." Silence reigned again as she hugged herself against the chill, "I'm alone because he's gone," she glanced back at him with a glare, "You made him go."
"You will not change your mind, will you? No matter how much I try to dissuade you, you will cling to his memory and the illusion of love he showed you."
"It was no illusion, and yes, my mind is made up, Lucian," She finally used the name she used to say with respect, "I love him, and I will only love him for eternity."
Lucian nodded grimly and stated, "I see," as he pulled his sword out of its sheath in one swift movement.
At the sound of a sword being drawn, she spun around just in time for the sharp blade to plunge directly in the middle of her chest. She looked down, dazed, as blood poured out between her breasts and covered the hilt of the sword. With a ghostly smile on her face, she whispered, "My love, Jayden, I'm coming." Then she fell to her knees as violent coughs wracked her body and blood spilled out of her mouth.
Lucian pulled the sword out, observed the blood, and stalked away. He never looked back.
The dying woman's eyes drifted closed as she slumped to the ground and didn't move again.
The phantom scene drifted away on an invisible breeze. The small form lay convulsing on the floor and she seemed to shimmer and morph. Her legs and arms elongated, and her hair grew long as her body went forward in time. The tattered dress disappeared, leaving her feeling foreign and exposed.
The scenes of her memories continued to play out. They all jumbled and mixed in her mind. To her right, she was eating daintily while secretively passing small greens to the dog beneath her chair. To her left, her father lectured her earnestly.
"No." She didn't want to see this.
"Why?" Couldn't they just leave her alone?
"No." She didn't want to relive the lies, deceit, and horrors she had experienced.
"Who?" What sort of higher being would put her through this torture?
"No." She was forced to relive the consequences of her forbidden love. Death, everywhere, and she had to watch.
"GO AWAY!" Burying her head in her hands, she clenched her eyes shut.
It was too overwhelming. All of the sights and emotions she had buried deep were ripped out and placed before her repeatedly.
Then the sound of footsteps reached her ears. The footfall was deliberate and clear, unlike the torrent of sounds from the visions. Suddenly reminded of her nakedness, the shaking woman wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to cover her body. It was futile, of course, but it kept her grounded. She focused on this sliver of her humanity: humility.
Strong, familiar arms wrapped around her and soft chuckling permeated the air. Unable to resist anymore, she turned around and gasped in shock.
The person behind her was a tall, nimble man with black hair. Flecks of gold gave it a shimmering illusion. His features were gentle and his eyes danced with a mysterious light and good-natured humor. "Iana," he whispered into her ear.
"Jayden," she leaned back into the embrace, "I'm so scared. What happened? Where am I?"
He came around to kneel in front of her and took her hand. Raising it to his lips, he kissed her fingers, then her knuckles, and then he turned it over to place a lingering kiss to her palm.
"Welcome to Eternity, my love. Will you spend it with me?"
Well there it is. It was a lot of fun to write and I'll probably revise and lengthen it someday. I might even make a prequel with more details about their affair and Jayden's fate. Let me know what you think! All you have to do is press that convenient little Review button. I appreciate all feedback.