Conversations with Dead People

by Vicky

It was taking too long and she was beginning to wonder, as she lay slumped against the cold stonewall of the abandoned warehouse, if she hadn’t made the cuts deep enough. It could have been near an hour that she had lay there, the sounds of melee raging outside, and the sounds of a revolution ending. The boy, if he were lucky that is, was most likely already dead and soon she would join him. She watched, the life slowly slipping away from her body, as the shadows on the wall danced in the flaming torchlight, warping and shifting into the forms of those long fallen to sickness or to the sword. The face of the young Light Priest, Simon was it? The warped and twisted features of Sirius Panastra and the vengeful eyes of Francis De Courci. She couldn’t quite be certain whether this was an aspect of the delirium brought on by loss of blood or whether her close proximity to the realms of ash allowed her to see their faces once more.

Amongst them she recognised one face above all, one face whose gaze never shifted from her throughout.

“I’m sorry, daddy, I let you down, didn’t I?” She whispered into the dark. “Perhaps only if I had had more conviction. I know what you’re going to say but please don’t be angry with me. We all make mistakes don’t we?”

She gasped, at last the breath seemed to be leaving her body.

“I think I started loosing my way towards then end. I didn’t believe enough in what we were doing anymore. I was weak and I let that get in the way of doing my job. I let my feelings get in the way of the Light’s work. I’m so sorry. If only you could forgive me. Forgive me for being stubborn and not being able to forgive you when I should have.”

She paused, searching for the right words. Her fingers had started to grow cold and numb and her body was beginning to loose the last of its sensation.

“I hope the Lord of the Faithful will have the pity to show me mercy- I’d rather not have to end up in the Lake.”

She was barely aware of the loud crashing as the door splintered apart. Silhouetted in the firelight two figures stood in the doorway and regarded the Priestess.

“Is she dead?”

“Nope, a couple of healing potions and she’ll be fine. We should probably get her out of here, they’ll be people wanting to ask her questions.”

“Who was she talking to?”

She watched with intent as the young Priestess made her way home along the dark alleyways. It was hardly safe for a Shining Order Knight to be walking alone this late in the City of Crossroads, but the she suspected that this one was not too concerned about matters of personal safety. Poor, sweet sister and so predictable too. She would slave away each day at the soup kitchens and homeless shelters until her fingers became raw and calloused and until her hands were red with burn marks. It didn’t matter- that would never be enough to wash away all the guilt and this one knew all too well about Regret, after all she’d held it in her own hands once. She’d follow her a while, until she could be absolutely certain that no one else would see. Carmina froze in horror as she sensed a shape emerge out of the shadows. The hand clasped around her mouth was cold and lifeless but it was nothing next to the icy chill that ran down her spine. Something in her body knew instinctively who it was that had caught her unawares and she knew if she made a single move she would be dead without even a chance to think about it first.

“Hello sister,” the voice spoke from behind her, feminine, playful and instantly recognisable, “Don’t turn around- no, that would be a very bad idea indeed. I came because I needed to talk to you. I’m going away soon and I don’t know if I’ll be coming back. Perhaps the sweetness of oblivion will swallow me all up if we fail, who can say for certain? If I don’t come back I won’t be able to look out for you any more, and then who will care for my big sister?”

She felt the small form pressed against her back, as it rested its head against her shoulder.

“Now I know that sister did some very naughty things but I’m going to forgive you because that’s what sisters do.”

She felt a slight tug, as small hands wove their way unwarranted into her wild blonde curls and began playfully twisting her locks around her fingers.

“But maybe I’ll be okay. I think if we do survive something beautiful will happen. Something better than anything that’s come before. But if I’m going to go away I want you to know before I go that I love you, sister. Even if something bad should happen to me, I’ll always love you, big sister.”

The hand began to loosen its grip briefly and then its owner seemed to remember something.

“Oh! One last thing, I left a little present for you at home. I hope you like it.”

And with that she disappeared back into the darkness.

“Show them, Bill!”

Carmina took a few paces back, regaling from the sudden shock, as the dead goddess’s hand swept back Bill’s bandana to reveal the burned lightning bolt brand on his forehead. This couldn’t be happening. For all he was a blood sorcerer, an anathema to her faith, even, she’d always held a small amount of begrudging respect for the man. Time was she might even have gone as far as to call him her friend. When she had heard back then that he had given his own life to cleanse Redbridge, there was something deep inside that had said, “That’s so like, Bill, to give his life for the greater good.” And now this, a traitor, not only to his faith but also to his friends.

There was no time to let her emotions take hold of her, though, as the psychotic sorcerer was already striding towards them intent on their destruction.

She called on the Light within for its aid, feeling that all too familiar tingling sensation as she began to raise it through her physical form. Then it occurred to her to bind the man’s eyes instead, so that he would be unable to fight, so that they might be able to reason with their once comrade. At the moment she cast the spell she knew her error. She felt her blood begin to boil and the rage grow inside her stomach, as Bill’s vengeance lashed out against her. It seemed to tug and claw at her insides, like a burning hand with hot fiery fingernails, until there was nothing let of her but the anger and the pain. She gazed towards the face of the one who had tormented her, beautiful blue eyes framed in golden curls and she felt herself drawn towards him, sword pointed in his direction.

It must have in reality only been a matter of seconds but it felt like far more time had passed as the battle raged in the depths of her soul. It would be all too easy to kill the man and let herself be free of him forever. However, somewhere in the deepest part of her consciousness a small voice reminded her that she would never forgive herself if she were to do that. Eventually the voice won out and cold darkness overtook her as she crumpled to the ground.

When she came to Bill was gone, dead a second time, perhaps. His undead mistress imprisoned once more.

Carmina awoke with a start as the harsh vapours drew her out of the coldness and the dark. Her vision still blurry after her mind had been dragged out of the all-consuming oblivion; she saw a figure leaning over her. His voice soothing her and comforting her and calling her out of the emptiness. Carlos? No, it was his brother, Bairoth. The one who had tried to mutilate himself with the shard of the Princess of Tempests. She pulled herself up from the mud, her golden locks matted with dirt.

She took a while to reassess her situation. She remembered Sebastien screaming at her and, yes, there she was- Kit. No, not Kit, she reminded herself. By this time the real Kit had already been corrupted into the twisted form of chain and flesh that stood before her. What had the Velasquez done to the young woman who had once willing given herself to save her companions from Lemuel’s wrath?

She knew that the young woman was somehow important to the mission and had tried to restrain her, which is what had led to Sebastien’s onslaught on her. She reminded herself that even the others really didn’t know the true extent of what this woman would do in a few years time. Nevertheless the situation seemed to have for the time being returned to their control.

She walked sullenly behind the group, trying to keep her apprehension under control. She had no desire to return to the battlefield, the one where she had nearly died those two years ago. The one, where if she really looked deep inside, she sometimes wished she had. In fact she was beginning to wonder whether she genuinely had died out there and that this life was just some deranged nightmare of the past two years. She shook her morbid thoughts from her head and sidled up to the dream of the corpse that wore the face of Kit Fisable. She had heard something of the mutterings between and her and Sebastien and whether because of some warped duty to the woman she had once known or because she was still mad at his earlier actions, she resolved that she needed to know.

“He’ll let him go.”

“What do you mean, he’ll let him go?”

“Lemuel, he’ll let him go with three punches.”

And those would be the last words that would ever pass between them.

misc/fiction/condead.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/03 22:35 by osj01
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