Chasing Memories

“He remembers me,” she whispered.

The room had been still before her quiet outburst, the angular structure crusted in frost. The crystals of ice threw the light of the sun all about, illuminating the cavernous space unevenly. The rays of light passed through the translucent wings of the white moths that flitted about, their small limbs never allowed to alight on the cold ice.

“Milady?”

She answered by simply smiling. The silence was much too uncomfortable for the soldier, who shifted in his silver armour nervously.

“The ringing of your pauldrons betrays your mood, my child,” she said at last.

“Milady.” He whispered the word as if it were a confession.

“I’m no general, but,” her voice trailed off before picking up again. “At ease, my child.” She laughed after these last words, a laugh almost as delicate as the crystals of ice clinging to the walls.

The words, though, had the opposite effect of the soldier, who quivered and clutched his spear all the much tighter. She never laughed, never made jokes. But her contentment showed no signs of stopping.

“Milady,” he finally ventured. “Is everything alright?”

Another laugh.

“Perfect, my child. Everything is perfect.”

Silence fell once more. Time marched on. The moths continued their ceaseless circling.

When the moon hung outside the windows and its light replaced that of the sun, the woman offered a question:

“Do you remember him, my child?”

“Remember who, milady?”

“The Guard who fell.”

Momentary silence, followed by, “Fell?”

“To the earth below.”

“I don’t understand, milady.”

“I sent him down to do my work, but his journey was too much.”

She paused, but the soldier didn’t try to fill the silence.

“He forgot things as he fell, though I was with him the whole way.”

“I’m sorry, milady, but I don’t remember a Guard. Not one who has fallen, as you say.” His words came slow, carefully calculated and chosen. His lady’s mood had struck him as odd, so it was best to watch his words. Small things had set her off before, and he knew that she was a woman of secrets and daggers.

A frown furrowed her face and brow.

“You speak the truth in fear, my child.”

“N-no, milady!”

“No?”

“I mean, yes! I speak the truth, milady.”

A grayish moth landed on his left pauldron, folding its wings up into a tall tower.

“Leave me, soldier. You men are terrible to talk with.”

Aghast, he bowed and shuffled from the room, armour clacking as he went. The moth went with him, unnoticed.

As the large doors closed behind him, the woman’s face betrayed a slight smile.

“He remembers me, and I certainly remember him.”

Moonlight still flooded the hall, and the moths left to go catch it.

The End

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