Tainted Saint, Chapter NineMature

When kings and queens and other nobility died, they were buried with pomp and ceremony.

When middle class citizens died, they were given a sizable funeral and a place in a graveyard.

When lower class citizens died, they were mourned, buried, and honored as much as they could be in their low position.

When prostitutes died, they were burned and forgotten.

As Emi's "unholy" body caught up in flames, Cassandra held Lizzie tightly and tried to support her friend as best she could. The smell of burning flesh wove its way through the air to Cassandra, making it hard to keep her dinner tucked away in her belly.

Few stood around to pay respects to the deceased Emi, for what respect was there to give to a woman who sold her body? Certainly none of Emi's customers appeared. They had probably forgotten her.

Lizzie's voice cut through the silence. "This will be us one day," she whispered.

Cassandra pulled Lizzie a little closer. "Don't talk like that," she replied. "We have friends because we're nice to people, Lizzie. Emi wasn't nice to anybody, no matter how much you adored her."

Lizzie shrugged and averted her tear-stained face.

But Hadrian says he'll take me away from this. "Lizzie, if Morris were to return and offer to run away with you and leave your profession behind, would you do it?"

Removing herself from Cassandra's touch, Lizzie shrugged again, not saying anything.

"Lizzie, please, don't let Emi's death affect you this way."

"So I'm supposed to stand by and coldly watch one of our sisters get burned without any respect at all? I don't want to end up like her. I want to be honored when I'm dead. I want to leave more of a mark in this world than dirty sheets!"

Lizzie's frankness affronted Cassandra, though she had been thinking similar thoughts herself. "You'll leave more of a legacy than that, Elizabeth!" she exclaimed, calling her friend by her full name.

"If you only knew, Cassandra!" Lizzie shot back, tears filling her eyes. "If you only knew what I've gone and done!"

Shocked, Cassandra tried to grab Lizzie's arm to keep her from running away, but it was no use. Lizzie ran from the scene, the sound of her weeping reverberating through the thick air. Oh, Lizzie. What have you gone and done this time?

The End

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