Chapter XXVI: The Power Within (14/18)Mature

'It's over, Sapphire,' said Carmen, standing and facing her bravely. She'd always felt proud that she could stand up to Sapphire, she would continue to do so. 'You'll never get the Power, not with my brother to protect her.'

'But I wonder...' Sapphire walked towards her bed and pulled a silver dagger from beneath her pillow. She looked up at them with a dark smile, her voice smooth and maniacal, 'I wonder how much he'd be willing to protect her whilst mourning the death of his beloved sister.' 

Fear struck her frame, Carmen stood firm but felt her heart throbbing in her chest. Sapphire stepped towards her, the dagger raised, the blade seeming liquid in the light.  Then, she raised her over hand over her eye, and with horror, Carmen saw that it was tattooed with the Evil Eye. Her forehead stung, but not as much as when she felt like something had broken her skull apart and was reaching inside her brain.

She screamed, seeing torturous images of Karn'el, lying dead in a pool of scarlet blood, Will with all of his bones mangled and dislocated, his eyes wide and staring at her. Carmen was standing amongst her dead loved ones, looking at her hands, soaked in blood. She looked back up and saw Sapphire standing opposite her, kicking her brother's body aside as she strode towards her, laughing insanely, the sound reverberating in Carmen's head. She came back to reality, Laguna shaking her and calling her name as she clutched her head and screamed. Sapphire continued to slowly walk towards her.

'I've always been able to watch you, Carmen. Even when you think you're safe in your dreams, I know what you've feared,' Sapphire said, wearing a sick grin. 'You're so afraid of being alone, you found your family and now you're afraid you'll lose them again. But don't worry, they'll be the ones losing you. They won't miss you very much, I'll comfort them.'

Over and over, Carmen saw images of shadows across a wall, the silhouettes of somebody stabbing Karn'el, his hands reaching out desperately for help, growing stiller with each thrust, until he was unmoving.

'Stop it! You're killing her!' Laguna shrieked, holding Carmen against her chest, stopping her from writhing and shaking.

'When I'm finished with her, she'll wish she was dead. You see, Carmen, I can get into your head whenever I want. I can make you cry, I can make you wish you could cut your own throat. I can make you scream.' 

Suddenly, there was a metal clang, and Sapphire's smile was wiped from her face. The dagger fell from her hand, clattering near Carmen and Laguna. Her hand fell from her eye, and the visions of blood and death disappeared like a light switched on. Her thoughts free, Carmen slowly uncurled herself and looked at Sapphire. Her eyes shot closed and she fell to the ground, revealing who stood behind her.

'Tayna!' Laguna shouted joyously, 'you're here!'

Tayna stood with a satisfied smirk on her face, holding the dented water pitcher triumphantly.

'Conway should teach us how to wield these.'

The End

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