The Immortal Heart's Mortality
The Immortal Heart's Mortality6 mins 296 6 mins 296
Year three hundred and ninety-two, day sixty-four and what she guessed was the hour twelfth.
Oh, what she wouldn’t give to feel the cool moon filled breeze on her face again. To feel the shivers of a cold lake in the middle of the night while pulling at the moss from her toes. Yet, if she could go back in time, there was nothing about that day she wanted to change.
She had not thought about that day in a lifetime. That one single act that had led to this, shackles around her feet and wrists, bruises that never quite healed, the constant sound of dripping, and the centuries-old bread that she never could quite reach. She threw her head back and looked up at the ceiling.
The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.
She immediately looked away from it. It was those lines that always got her trouble. Her mind drifted back to the day again.
She was being led towards the town square, being pushed by the viewers, for her trial. Different names were being muttered around her.
Blood- the traitor.
She ignored them all and marched forward with her head held high. At one corner, her family was standing. Her mother and father looked at her with sneers on their faces, and if she didn’t know better, she would have thought she saw sorrow on her sister’s face.
Directly in front of her, she looked into the unforgiving eyes of the king. The woman by the side started reading from a scroll.
“Do you deny the crimes done by you?”
“Depends on the crimes,” she said, pulling her lips into a smirk.
“Betraying your own blood for the blood of another?”
“I do not deny, nor do I regret.”
“Then there is only one thing that can save you.
‘The crime committed by you
Is the highest of them all
But everyone deserves a chance,
And you shall get one too.
In a pool of light
A needy creature arrives
Feed him your bread,
And you shall be restored to your full might.’”
The next thing she knew, she had been in this rotting place, with chains wrapped around her body, and here she was, after three centuries, a little less bound but bound nevertheless.
Three centuries she had waited for her ‘needy creature wanting the mouldy bread’, but her saviour had yet to come.
She had only her numbers and words for company, for she knew how much words mattered. Swords can cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves deep in our bones to make sure we never forget. It was mere words that took her strength away, it was words that brought it back. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence.
The words of the woman in the town square were what brought her here. The words of the people she had betrayed her own family for, their support was what encouraged her to keep fighting.
She stared into the darkness, occasionally squinting for a pool of light, but it never came. There is a strange kind of freedom in the dark that brought out the inner demon in her. The red sparks at her fingertips had died centuries ago, along with her will to live. But it was the feeling of the cold metal on her wrists, the clanging of the brackets around her ankles, which made her wake up every day.
But most of all, it was hope.
Hope that the mysterious stranger will come to save the damsel in distress. Or maybe, he would come, look at the monster that darkness had brought out from inside the witch, and flee.
“God, I hope he does that after he takes the bread away. That thing smells,” she muttered her first words in a year.
She took in a deep breath and looked at her surroundings once again. She was trapped under a shelf of rock, where the words stared back at her. A few feet to her left was a stone table of sorts, which had the bread on it. Right in front of her, there were a couple of trees. She had no idea how they survived, without sunlight or water, but they were there to keep her alive.
No, not alive. Just to make sure she didn’t fade away. You see, she was a witch. Witches don’t die, as long as they have a purpose in life. As soon as they don’t have one, they gradually fade into nothingness. Her train of thought was, however, soon interrupted.
The trees swayed in the wind and a flash of lightning lit up the entire forest. Suddenly, in a pool of light a strange creature with silver wings emerged. “Please… help… me…”
The witch lifted her head as she recounted the words of the prophecy in her mind. A pool of light.
“What do you need?” she managed to croak out.
“Who are you?” the creature asked, still bent over.
“Are you a needy creature?”
“Something to eat! Oh lord, just something to eat in the name of the angels!” he cried.
“Yes, yes. Would mouldy bread suffice?” she asked, indicating towards the stone table.
“Right now, I would eat anything.”
“But I cannot reach it. Can you move?”
He tried to stand up, stumbled, and fell face-first on the ground.
“You know what? Forget it. We don’t want you dying. Then I would have to wait another three centuries before another one of you arrives.” She huffed.
She pulled at her chains with all her might, even tried calling for some of her magic, but the iron in her chains had dulled her magic to almost nothing. She pulled and pulled and pulled and then finally, another ten brackets came free. She gave a victorious cry and reached toward the bread.
She gingerly picked it up and went to the creature. She gave it in his hands and said the ceremonial words.
“I give thee this grain to pledge myself free from these chains. I give thee this grain to give another token to humanity.” She motioned for him to eat it.
“Thank you, witch. This is an act of selflessness not expected from your kind, I am-“ he began, but she cut him off.
“Yes, we get it, you are very grateful, but eat.”
As soon as the bread touched his lips, she felt, more than saw, the vibration through the cursed chains as red lightning returned to her hands. Centuries of magic stored in those chains was too much for them and they exploded.
She looked at her hands, then at her feet, which were free again. She felt her sore knees, which were bruised from kneeling down for so long.
The witch slowly got to her feet, with a grace only an immortal could achieve and lifted her hands to her sides. She rose to her full might, raised her head and made her magic dance on her fingertips.
“I am Aloisia, and I will never bow again.”
The wait was finally over. The world would get what it deserved.