The Stranger

At first, I was simply shocked. My whole life was shaken, and now this man comes in. And what a strange man he was- cloaked in dark materials, a prim suit with a belladonna flower in his breast pocket. On his head was a fine black top hat, that doused the unruly tresses of the same colour. His pupils were huge, his irises may have well been black, and the eyes themselves echoed those of a cat's. As did his smile, and his manner of graceful and silent movement. After all, he had crept in soundlessly. My mind lumbered back on that point- how had he got in...?

Who-who are you?”

The stranger held up a finger, then paused, biting his lip. I waited for his response, and collected myself as he did. I must appear a positive mess, knees dusty from the floor and eyes wet from sorrow.

Hm, I suppose an introduction is in order. I go by the name of Hare- Sylvester Hare.”

He twirled his fingers and in a smooth movement extended his long fingers for a handshake.

Unsure, but not wanting to appear impolite, I took it. His hand was cool.

He retreated with another swoop, then moved his weight to his back leg, watching me the whole time. To me, it seemed he was weighing me up.

I had prayed for a distraction for hours, and here it was now. Yet now it was here, part of me wanted to hide and guard my emotions- to lock myself away in the dark and embers, my eyes brimming with flame and salt. There was a storm within me, but as well as the throbbing wound of loss, there was the numbness. Palpable injuries could never be forgotten, but mental scars could heal in bouts. Anger raged within me, sadness drowned my soul, but in this moment I was simply quiet and embarrassed. Was my face ruddied? Had he found it strange to find me crying on the floor?

I decided to jump wholeheartedly into this distraction.

My name is Umber.”

Yes, yes I know”

How do you know?”

It does not matter. Look- do you even know what necromancy is?”

He was impatient and jittery. I searched my mind for it's meaning- but there was none.

No”.

He cursed to himself in some foreign tongue, and looked to the floor as he did so.

M- Umber. I know this is a hard time for you. But if I may, do you mind if we sit down?”

It was time to start burying the sadness. I couldn't live with it, I couldn't do anything- I had to repress it.

Yes. Here, have a seat.”

Thank you”.

They sat at the kitchen table, Sylvester lowering himself gingerly into the chair.

We have a lot to discuss, my dear Umber. You see, moments before they came for her...”

He cringed, shifting in his seat.

...she came to me, and ordered that I set this task for you”.

The End

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