Monday, March 25, 2013

~~STONE GATE: Chapter Fifteen--Endings~~

Obviously, the world doesn’t end. Obviously, the world goes on. But it will never be the same again.
We reach the Stone Gate. It’s rather ordinary—made of carved stone, not even adorned with gems.
But there’s something about it that makes you just know that something here is not right.
Liandros stops in front of it, and asks, “So, how do you want to do this?”
I raise my right hand, angle back my hand, and a single beam of red light shoots from the bracelet and straight into Liandros’ heart.
I eye the Stone Gate behind him, cold and emotionless. There’s no change, no sign that anything has happened.
There’s the smell of pine drifting from behind me, and a soft mocking laugh. “You always were a na├»ve fool, Kelree….”
I turn.
She smiles at me, and walks forward. “That attack doesn’t kill, Kelree. Let me show you how it’s done.”
Her hand raises, and fire blasts from her hand, blasting into me. I fly back into the Stone Gate, and as I slide down it, I hear the sound of it cracking….
Or at least I think I do, over the mocking, victorious laughter that roars through my mind.
The world was about to end.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I only know what comes next from the tales of those that survive. I was dead for most of the events that follow Nalika blasting me with fire.
But I’ll do my best to tell you what happens.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There are some moments we don’t understand. Some times that have too much meaning, too much power, to ever comprehend.
This was one of those moments.
In an instant, Nalika is laughing, watching the Gate crumble.
In an instant, Liandros is opening his eyes.
In an instant, he is understanding everything that has happened.
In an instant, Sourcerors land all around, but they can do naught but watch the world end.
And feel sickened by their feeling of relief.
In an instant, the Sourcerors are chaining Nalika, holding her still with their magic.
In an instant, Liandros is pushing himself to his feet, and looking at me.
Liandros is by my side in an instant.
In an instant, the bracelet is off of my wrist and onto his.
In an instant, sharp sudden power is blasting into my heart.
In an instant, Nalika is breaking free.
Nalika is running forward.
Shoving Liandros away.
Blasting me with fire again.
But it’s too late.
My heart has started beating again.
The Stone Gate has stopped crumbling.
In fact, it’s started to rebuild itself.
The Sourcerors are pulling Nalika back, halting her before she kills me.
I open my eyes.
Liandros is there, kneeling by my side. He hands me a knife, and asks softly, “Do you still want to do this?”
I look at him, my best friend in the world, the man who I would have to kill if I went through with this. And I shook my head, no. For once, my mind was clear, free of madness.
Liandros’ lip curls. “Too bad—I still do.”
And he slams the blade into my chest, piercing my heart.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’m dying a lot lately, aren’t I, Liana?
Ah, well.
Obviously I’m not dead.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Back to the stories I’ve heard from those that survived.
Liandros was shot in the chest, two elves sprinting to my sides, one limping along on a cane. Larind and my father collapse at my side, and wrench out the knife. A few Sourcerors come over to my side, and pile their right arms on top of one another, Keys touching.
They press the gold onto the wound.
Power surges from it, and the wound on my heart seals, and so, so slowly my heart begins to beat again. Once again, the Stone Gate halts in its crumbling.
I wake, blinking.
They ignore my pleas to go and heal Liandros.
I run to his side, take back my bracelet, and try to heal him myself.
But I can’t.
I am not trained.
I am uncontrolled.
Tears fall onto his chest, and I press my face against it. Wishing I could hear his breath. Wishing I could hear his heart beating.
But I can’t.
And I never will again.

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