Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three: Two Gold LiliesMature

Dark fire pools in his glazed eyes as he stares, the blackening bulge of his vein-threaded face verging like a dry, bulbous fungus in a cave. 

The Valeshard’s teeth gleam like little candles as he grins. 

Then he presses his hand to her chest, and a char mark blooms over her Flesh hearts, in a butterfly pattern. 

Her limbs crumble off her, dusting the floor as they shatter in pieces. 

The last thing she sees before her head turns to hard clay and slides, is Flesh Susan’s little charred body, blowing away from the Valeshard’s freed leg in spectacular ribbons of blackened ash, like a movie vampire caught by the sun. 

The Valeshard catches her  shorn face, holds it in front of him like a mask for a moment, thumbing the back of the smooth porcelain charm of what’s left of her features; her alabaster eyes. Her mouth. Her thin lips. The nose he used to rub the wet from. Then he pockets the keepsake and walks straight down the hall, reaching up to rub idly at the burning bit of Susan that stuck in his tear duct.

The End

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