Namine walked into the fortune tellers store again, her eyes searching for Talia, her eyes glancing over many of the items within the store. Voodoo dolls laid against a shelf on the wall to her far left, various jewels and trinkets lined the counter and display box, various gothic toys and clothing made a maze in the center of the store. Namine was in the store just 30 minutes ago but it seemed like the store morphed into something out of the medieval era.
“I knew you would be back child.” She heard Talia’s smooth voice echo, Namine turned to her right to see Talia was standing next to her. How did I not hear her she didn’t make a sound? Namine thought to herself as she finally decided to ask her what has been eating at her since she left.
“I need to know the truth; I know you wouldn’t make up such a dark past and future for us if it wasn’t true. Why do you think I am Melina? If you are telling me the truth why haven’t we gotten our powers yet, why can’t I trust Leon? Why-” Namine asked in one hurried breath before Talia placed her hand on her cheek and took a deep breath in signaling for Namine to do the same.
“Relax child, you have come to me for answers and you shall receive what I know. Come follow me.” She said turning and walking briskly to the back of the store her long and vibrant orange skirt twirling around her ankles the bells and tassels that hung off her hip chiming gently with every step. Namine followed quietly behind focusing on the dark brown luscious locks bouncing off Talia’s back just a few inches ahead of her. Talia finally came to halt and stomped loudly on one of the loose floor boards beneath her, Namine watched with a childlike eagerness as the floor in front of her began to make a wooden staircase up to whatever truths or lies hid above. Talia spoke no words as she walked up the staircase, Namine hesitated for a brief moment; she inhaled deeply and began her ascent. With every crick of the step her anticipation grew: What if she is lying what if she is leading me up here to kill me? What if I find out it is true? Than what, do I act like normal; do I have to train for the war that is said to come? Oh God, why did I come back here? They finally reached the top of the stairs which lead to a quaint little room that was adorned with dark purple and red velvet walls which made a canopy at the peak of the ceiling making the room feel like a tent. Once again pillows laid over another handmade Persian rug but this time there was a wooden Mahogany table in the center of the army of pillows. Talia motioned for Namine to sit down which she happily obliged.
“Namine what I tell you is what I know which is mere fragments, but I am going to see if I can contact your former self and see if we can find a way to bring back your memories-“
“If you can bring back memories, than why can’t you help my sister?”
“She is born of shadow and is set on the destruction of the human race, if we can prevent a war from breaking out then I will do everything in my power to stop it.”
“But Zira isn’t like that, she protects people, she isn’t capable of that-“
“People change Namine, and she will once she gains her powers, and when that happens . . . you have to kill her.”
“I can’t do that, she is my sister and my best friend, there has to be a better way.” Namine said her voice rising slightly with some anger and sadness.
“Namine child let me show you what she is capable of.” Talia said placing a large glass bowl down on the table, she slowly filled it with a concoction of water and an orange thick substance that she called a nectar aphrodisiac. She then motioned for Namine’s hand which she hesitantly provided when Talia pulled out a blade.
“Whoa! No you are not stabbing me.” She said yanking her hand back.
“It’s a mere slice and it’s the only way you can see what your sister has done in the past.” She said grabbing her hand again, Namine sighed and nodded that she was ready, she needed to know, and she needed answers. She saw her reflection in the blade as Talia placed it against her palm sliding it across her flesh right above the bowl. Namine winced at the pain of her skin being ripped open but it soon dissipated as her blood flowed into the bowl.
“Now drink.” Talia said filling a small wooden bowl with the mixture, Namine shook her head declining the offer; Talia sighed and pushed the bowl to her.
“You need to stop resisting child, if you do not do as I say than, I cannot help those who do not want to be helped. Now either drink my brew or get out.” She said angrily her brows pointing down as she glared at the contents of the bowl. Namine mumbled under her breath and brought the bowl to her mouth, the aroma of metal and honey filling her nose. She held her breath and swallowed it all in one gulp. The metallic after taste lingering on her tongue, she looked at Talia her body swaying slowly against her will.
“Let it consume you Namine, and you will see a glimpse of your past.” She heard faintly as her eyes rolled behind her head the only thing visible was the whites of her eyes, she felt herself falling back into the floor landing with a soft thud as everything went dark.
“Melina, I am sincerely sorry but I was called to join the armada-“A man with hair as white as snow stated in a melancholy tone his piercing sapphire eyes boring into her own. Melina reached her hand out and cupped his cheek gently, her eyes pooling with tears that she refused to let fall.
“You are joining the war, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to fight. You should stay here with me . . . I can’t lose you for a war that is my own.” She whispered her voice trailing off and cracking at the thought of Kai’s death. He placed his hand on top of hers and smiled pulling her into his broad chest breathing slowly, his heart rate beating calmly.
“Because it is your war, I will fight; I will do anything to protect you Melina: Ti amerò fino alla luce ci sostiene, e quindi continuerò ad amarti per l'eternità.” She smiled and wrapped her arms around him tightly his words resonating in her head: I will love you until the light claims us, and then I will continue to love you for eternity. Why did they have to go to war? What were they even fighting for, better yet what were they fighting against? She remembered her father saying the shadows were growing. She pushed the thoughts to the back of her head and inhaled deeply, the smell of his natural scent filled her nostrils, he always smelt of the woods not far from their home. She wanted to remember every detail of him before he walked out and into the armory. She took in his scent, his facial features she analyzed him to very core making a painting of him. A beautiful and perfect painting to keep for all of eternity; he was the love her life, her light in the darkness he was her friend, he knew her past, her secrets, her very aspirations and desires. The only other people who knew that, no, took the time to know her were her mother and sister. Which the ties of family have long been severed and cauterized; any hope of a real family was now a mere dream and is now just a broken and sad nightmare. “I must go my love, your father requested that I lead the army as their general, I will try and come home to you. Now I must take my leave.” He said formally placing a soft and gentle kiss on her forehead before letting her go and walking down the hall and into the armory. Melina mumbled under her breath and turned on her heel walking down the hall to the throne room: to her father. “FATHER, Open the damn door now!” She screamed banging the handle shaped like a phoenix against the solid oak door. The loud knocking echoing down the corridor.“Damn you girl, you do not use that tone with me; get in here.” He retorted as he swung the door open, she smirked and stomped into the throne room. This room was always her escape when the crowds would get to close and to loud, the light that entered the room was always extraordinary. The light always gave her strength in the darkest times but not this time. She was to emotionally charged to think about controlling her powers.“Why would you send Kai! Father he is the love of my life I need him here with me, not out there fighting YOUR war.” She screamed at him the light of the room slowly being encased in darkness, her father twisted his face into a smirk and walked toward her, his pale skin shining brightly in the darkness she just created, his face caved into valleys and folds across the smooth skin that showed aging, his cloak swirling behind him as he stood inches from her.“This war is yours Melina, I’m doing this to protect us, our race, our people. And your precious Kai is an excellent fighter.“How can you say this is my war, I have made no enemies! I barely step foot out of these walls because you have made me train relentlessly.” She said her sapphire eyes turning darker, her pupils slowly disappearing as the torches that hung on the wall slowly began to lite. “This war is yours because it is your sister and her pathetic race she calls her people, she threatens our very lives, she is cold, sinister and just evil. You know that! She killed the woman you and I grew to love, or did you forget that day completely! Now I beg you Melina control yourself now before I am force to put you in your place.” He said his voice booming and dark as he returned the room back to its pure light.“You told me we had a truce, you never said that she was their leader of this fight.”“Sorry to interrupt your majesty but General Kai and the first legion have left for nchi ya kuoza: Land of Decay. They are set to make ground within 4 days.”“Thank you, Josiah.” Her father said walking to the back of the throne room, his fingers pushing into his temples roughly.“I’m not waiting four days, I’m leaving to fight: tonight.” Melina stated her voice unwavering and stern as she began to walk towards the door, her shoes clicking into the grey stone blocks beneath her.“You stay out of this, you will stay here until I get a full report from Kai. If I need you than you may go.” He said sighing at the thought of letting his little girl fight in a war that broke out due to him.“I am sorry father but if this fight is mine than I’m not waiting four days for death to consume a cowardly king.” She spat her face twisting into one of hatred and disappointment, she continued walking slamming the door behind her.“JOSIAH!”“Yes your majesty??” Josiah the humble servant asked softly, briskly walking toward the king’s side keeping his stance low and in a constant bow.“When Melina shows signs that she is going to leave I need you to give her this.” He said grabbing the man’s hands helping him stand straight. Josiah’s chestnut hair fell over his almond colored eyes in gentle straight strands, Josiah watched the king, Melina’s father, place a small blue vile in his hands.“You want me to give her this discreetly?” Josiah asked looking at the royal blue substance that was swirling on its own in the glass container it was held captive in. “Yes, I can’t have my only heir running off and being killed, she needs to be obedient and out of the way. She is young and in love, she will do anything for her beloved, which will mean she will be reckless and oblivious to her surroundings. This vile holds the substance of paralysis, it will wear off only when I say the words-“ “Where did you find this my lord, this is very cynical and not the way of the light-““DON’T YOU DARE, question my authority and undermine my decision, I gave you a task now go see to it that it is achieved.”“Yes your majesty.” He said pocketing the vile and bowing as he took his leave.“Oh and Josiah.” The king stated watching the boy turn around nervously, he smiled softly giving him reassurance what he was going to say meant no ill will.“The words to break the serum is hidden within the castles study. If my daughter fights after she is given the serum than I need you and a trustworthy guard to drag her down and lock her in the dungeons. If you complete this than I may have a new position here instead of being the help. Now go.” He bellowed watching Josiah bow and walk hastily out the door and toward Melina’s chamber.“How dare he say I can’t help, I won’t sit and stay like some obedient dog, I am the princess of light and my people need a leader they know will fight for them. If I leave now I can catch up to Kai.” She mumbled to herself gathering her belongings when she heard a light knock on her door. She pushed everything under her bed quickly making sure nothing was visible.“Princess? It’s just me Josiah.” She heard a calm a familiar voice whisper, she let out a breath of relief as she cracked open her door.“Josiah thank god, you scared me!” She said opening the door more seeing he was holding a tray of her favorite pastries.“When I heard you fighting with your father, I thought you may need a snack that would lift your spirits.” Josiah said smiling at her, his light brown eyes looking at her briefly before turning his attention back to the pillows of dough beneath his chest. Melina returned the smile and grabbed a pastry and sat on her bed patting beside her. Josiah walked over to the spot she beckoned him to and sat stiffly, knowing a servant and royalty were not supposed to be so close together, especially in the bedroom chamber.“You are too kind to me, Josiah, but I thank you so much for it; I feel like you are my only friend I have besides Kai.” She said seeing the warm chamomile steam dancing along the edges of the porcelain cup, she finished her bite and drank the warm and soothing liquid down, she smiled at Josiah and licked her lips. She couldn’t feel them against her tongue, did she still have a tongue? Why was everything moving so quickly?“I am so sorry princess but this is for your own good.” Josiah said as Melina dropped her cup, the piercing shatter echoing in her room. She screamed and lunged at Josiah but her arms failed her, she felt like cement was running through her veins, hardening her blood, like a living statue.“How could you . . .?” She breathlessly asked as she collapsed on her bed, she couldn’t feel the silk against her pale skin nor could she smell the scent of chamomile and honey from the tea. There she lay helpless, motionless and vulnerable. Josiah cleaned up the mess, placing the broken shards back on the tray that he delivered. Could she still feel anything, could she still see? He thought to himself a glint of lust crossing his eyes as he stood up and walked toward the bed where she was laying. Even in absolute pain she is still beautiful, oh how I longed to hear you utter my name in love instead of friendship.“WHY COULDN’T YOU LOVE ME!” He screamed at her motionless body, his eyes welling up with tears. He inhaled deeply gathering his composure and wrapped his fingers around her ankle pulling her down the smooth sheets to the edge of the bed her shirt slowly riding up to reveal her stomach. Josiah’s lust was slowly consuming him. She can’t feel anything right? He asked himself as he put her feet gently down so they were hanging off of the bed. He spread her legs open so he was standing in between them, her warmth still radiating from her flesh. He slid his hands up along her stomach, his body pressing against her, as he stretched up pressing is wet lips against her now dry ones. A single tear slipping down her face as she could do nothing.