The rocky edge of the cliff digs into her bare feet beneath her black billowing skirts. A salty wind dances around unable to soothe her.
Her head aches with the tension and toll it takes to not shake. Inside her heart cracks and breaks.
From beside her someone places a bow and arrow into her hands. She cannot see them, she only has eyes for the horizon and his ship.
Great white sails appear like clouds moving towards the setting sun.
A tremble escapes her as she sees the sails rise and fall in the shifting winds as if the ship were breathing one final time for him.
Hands steady she steels herself as she holds the bow and knocks the arrow. A flaming torch sets fire to the tar covered arrow head.
As she pulls back the arrow she watches as the ship is embraced by the setting sun.
Releasing the arrow it felt as if it had come from her heart, instead of her hand, leaving behind an unfillable hole.
Finding its mark the sails catch fire, the ship and sun finally become one.
“He always did enjoy sailing with the sun…” someone whispers.
Pain wrenches through her chest like a knife. Her hand searches for the weapon but finds only her leather corset and vest.
Unable to watch anymore she turns and runs. Freeing her long dark hair from the tight knot is a small comfort as it flies out behind her, much like her Hawk had once done. They would run through the castle without a care.
Trying to ignore the pain of the memory she runs faster, down the backside of the cliff, she does not feel the pain of the rocks biting into her feet. Over the beach, she runs the salty sea striking her bleeding souls but still, she does not feel anything other than the pain. Through the castle, she runs not even stopping to look at the smoldering torches now in mourning.
Many call out to her but she is deaf to them.
Deep into the forest, she runs, her legs burning with exhaustion, gasping for breath still she runs.
Only when a root catches her foot does she fall. The ground rises up to meet her rather rudely.
On impact, a sob escapes her in the form of a whispered word. “Nogard.”
The ground shakes and the leaves of the nearby trees quake softly whispering shush.
Hands stinging, heading pounding she struggles to rise. Gathering her skirts and her composure she finds both torn. Still, her gaze rises even though she cannot. Black claws sheathed in silver scales dug into the ground before her. “Make it stop, I can’t do this, not again, make it stop…please.” She begs, her voice strangled by the tears that fight to rise.
Black and silver wings fold upon his heavily scaled back while his head snakes down to meet her. Mismatched eyes, one gray the other blue hold, sympathy? Can dragons feel sympathy for those less than themselves?
Opening his mouth he breathes warm intoxicating air over her, a brief comfort.
“You know I cannot little one, this is your life, your doom. A creation from a loveless coupling, pain is all you will ever know. Face it, embrace it and maybe one day it will set you free. It is quite sad the loveless lover can feel so much love for others and yet never feel loved.”
He blinks slowly then breathes upon her again after hearing her gasp in pain from the truth. Such soothing warmth she wished to stay like this for all time.
Without warning reality’s cold wind rips through her. She cries out as a fresh wave of pain seizes her.
“Hold onto the love you have for others, and maybe one day you will love yourself,” Nogard growls softly. His wings caress the top of her head as they unfold…
All too soon she is alone, again.
It was a year, as is custom before she rose from the forest. Returning to her reign, once again.
The pain subsides but the hole remains.
With a whisper from Nogard, she is given a purpose, a new task. “Find the Worthless Wizard and the Fallen Star. Only when they are found will the hole be filled and you will know who you are, breaking the curse for all eternity.”