#Nightgale Week 3
I signed up to do the #Nightgale challenge that Stevie McCoy of Glitterword has put together.
These will be 4 stories, posted over 4 weeks in January, a minimum word count of 200 words each.
The theme is immortality vs. mortality.
The prompt for week three is: To Die and become one with Nature
“Darkling I listen, for many a time,
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die;”
~ Ode to a Nightingale, Keats
Also, just a note for clarification: the story from the first week is in no way connected to week two’s story. This one is connected to week two, though.
“May I have writing utensils?” Sachi asked her guard. Her lip split open again and she winced. They had not been gentle when they captured her, but it had been her own dumb mistake. At least she knew that it was not because he had betrayed her. This was entirely on her own head, but now she would force his hand to bear her execution. That was what made her heart ache.
Her hearing would be in the morning. She didn’t even know if she would really be allowed to say anything, but she knew that at least she would see him.
For the first time in ten years, she had a reason to live. She still had more reasons to die, but just one reason to live was enough to give her hope, as futile as it might be.
The guard was staring at her like she had two heads, though. If she wasn’t so weary, she would have given him the same look back.
“We Rishka were educated, I know how to write,” she informed him, “I’m going to die tomorrow, we both know that. What’s the harm in some parchment and ink?”
The hard look in his eyes softened just a little. As much as the Kashtophim were inclined toward evil, they were still from the same ancestors, and it could be seen looking at them. The Rishka and the Kashtophim were all inclined to be dark-headed and tall. The eyes were what changed the most.
“You’re not allowed any requests,” his voice was brusque.
Sachi sighed and turned back into her cell.
She was the last Rishka. Tomorrow, there would be none left. She knew that for certain. She loved him, but even if he loved her, if he was capable of love, she knew that she would not win against the traditions and heritage he had been taught since his birth. He was also married. She would not ask him to leave his wife, and she would not allow things to go further than they already had between them. Adultery may not have been any problem for him, but she would not let the last Rishka go down in history for betraying everything they believed in.
Later, as the moon began to rise in the sky, after she watched the last sunset she would ever see, the guards would actually leave her alone. They had toyed with her, beaten her, when they took her. Only some ridiculous notion that by raping a Rishka they would be weakened had prevented that from happening.
When the moonlight fell into her cell, she stood and let the light fall over her, eyes closed. She had no cloak, but only wore a blue gown. The gown he had given her. It was a fitting gown for the ritual she must perform, though it would have been better if it were clean, instead of caked in her blood.
Opening her eyes, she let the moonlight fall into them, and began the ritual that every Rishka had been taught faithfully for the last three generations.
It was time for destiny to be repaired.
When the guards looked in the cell, they thought they saw her simply sleeping.
If someone with eyes to see had looked in, they would have seen her writing on the wall in her own blood, the irises of her eyes lined in a glowing ring of silver-white.
She wasn’t writing a spell, but simply a letter.