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Rachel Anderson, 14 Aug '12

When the images in the crystal ball stopped moving, my father lay on the ground with his blood pooling beneath him. In the background, the environment kept changing. In one second they would be in the park, and one eye-blink later they were in his office. The future that could not be predicted juxtaposed with one which was inevitable.

“She wouldn’t do this. . .”

“But she will.”

“I can’t kill her.” But my pleas fell on deaf ears. “I won’t.”

“Kill her, or she will kill him.”

The full force of what she was asking me to do hit me in that moment. That she had asked me so calmly to kill the one person who had been my rock throughout some of my hardest times brought out the temper I had been so successful in controlling.

“You’re wrong. I know you are. This crystal ball only shows you what you want to see!”

“Then why is it that you can see what I saw, Liam? Answer that question.”

“You are making me see this. You want me to see what you saw – no, wanted to see. You want me to kill her so her blood won’t be on your hands. Just admit that you don’t like her – you said as much from the moment you met her!”

“You think I could be so petty, or such a coward? If I wanted her dead for selfish reasons, I would have done away with her from the moment it entered my mind. Why would I ever ask you to do me a favor like that?”

“Because as much as you would like to think that who your father is makes you special, you’re still a scared little girl who wants what she wants but doesn’t know how to get it.”

The second I said it, I regretted it. Layla’s eyes widened in shock and her nostrils flared. She possibly would have reeled if she had had the impulse to show shock, but she only showed anger. I watched my own death in her eyes before anything even happened. I had seen her like this before.

Her irises spread out and covered the whites of her corneas in darkness. She inhaled deeply and I felt the air being sucked from my lungs faster than I could possibly take it in. Her eyes pierced me like a sword and my knees grew weaker. She lifted an opened hand with her palm in my direction then balled it into a fist.

“Look away” my conscious mind screamed, but my eyes wouldn’t obey. My body was no longer mine. As she lowered her fist, my body was lowered to a position of weakness. I was on my knees before her.

I lifted my hand to shield my eyes and was met with a sight that caused my soul to quail. My entire arm had faded from a healthy tan to a leathery gray, and with the health went the muscles.

I would have screamed if I could but I had no breath left. Horrors upon horrors; I watched as my flesh shriveled up and cleaved to my bones before falling off as chipped and worn paint would.

I could see my bones; I could feel my blood drying up and falling from my body like dust being beaten off an old rug. I could feel death approaching as she came closer.

“Who is the ‘scared, little girl’ you were insulting? This is my power in the weakest stage. What pain could you inflict on anyone that could be worse than what you feel at this moment? You forget your place.”

She was standing beside me now – towering - with unfeeling eyes that never looked away from my own. In her eyes was death. She was Death. She knelt by me and I became aware of an impossible warmth in her.

“You have to trust me. I care about him as much as you do. All you have to do is eliminate the threat.”

She touched my face gently. Her fingers gliding over the leathery gray restored it and I was able to breathe. But the pain did not stop, nor did she alleviate it any further. She tilted her head and for a moment it seemed that she felt my pain, but her eyes gave away no secrets and her faced was an impenetrable mask. It was a threat as much as an olive branch.

“It can’t be her, I won’t kill her.I love her.”

I didn’t think it possible, but her eyes grow colder with an intense flash of hatred.

“Then die for her!”

Comments · 6

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  • Rachel Anderson said...

    Just a hint of background:
    Layla is the daughter of Hades. Liam is a demi-god-type descendant of Thanatos, and his father is a close friend of Hades. The woman who isn't named in this excerpt is Serene, Liam's girlfriend. Yup, it's awkward.

    And also, hi! :)
    Feel free to be critical, I've been attached to this piece (this is a short version of the real thing) but I haven't done much to tweak it in a while.

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Welcome to Burrst Rachel :) I enjoyed your debut (and your invite request). I'd definitely be interested in reading more if these turned into something longer.

    P.S. I noticed an extra word "All you have to do is *get* eliminate the threat."

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Joseph Means said...


    Very good story! I think you could do well with it. The longer version with the background would be a good read. Maybe you can section it up put it here. I am doing some of my work in sections.

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Rachel Anderson said...

    @Anthony Blackshaw, thank you!
    I must have overlooked that one .. I was messing with the dialogue before I posted - that line was "get rid of the threat" at one point.
    Fixing it now.

    @Joseph Means, thanks! I really hope it turns out well - I'm trying to flesh out the story and give my characters more substance so I'd be happy to upload what I write on it here.

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Trevor Jones said...

    Agree that a little background would be interesting but - is it essential in a short piece. Good mood created and interesting enough to make me read it all. A little disturbing, but I'm sure that was your aim. Well done

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Rachel Anderson said...

    @Trevor Jones Thanks!
    Imagine having this as a dream - except you're in Liam's shoes ... yup. That happened to me. I just wanted to get the feeling across, I'm glad you felt it! :)

    • Posted 8 years ago