So. Brushing my teeth. And writing this short story. Enjoy.
By me. Readwritelivenikki.
The luscious red flesh tempted me.
In my hands, lay a perfect red, ripe, apple. I sat on the ground, tears streaming down my face, the cause being only a few seconds ago. When I lost Henry.
His handsome face was still on the ground, his eyes, so full of caring, staring into the great beyond. But it wasn't just his death that hurt my soul. He had betrayed me. I remembered his strong arms that encircled me, reassuring me that I was the only one. That he didn't love Petra. But he did.
I pulled my legs close to my body, trying to keep warm. But the endless sea of corpses in front of me chilled my blood. Fastening my rose red cloak on my neck, I wandered around, a lost sheep among dead wolves.
The apple in my hand was warm to the touch, despite the bitter cold and icy snow. It had stayed in my box for so long, and i thought I'd never eat it. Because it only took one bite. And it wasn't necessary. No one was hurt. At the time.
I looked up, seeing the tall spires of the castle. My parents were up there. But would they welcome me back? After the trouble I'd caused? I continued to walk, my feet dragging more and more each step. Life almost pulsed through the apple, being one of the only living things left.
Tears threatened to reappear as I saw Marshall. My best friend in the guard. He was still holding his sword, and it gave me goose flesh as I saw the deep wounds he was given. The snow upon the ground was bright red around his body.
But I noticed something. The crest was on his sword hilt. When I saw it, I knew hope was not gone. I had entrusted him with it, casting the darkest spells to keep it safe. With the crest, I could prove my self innocent. I grabbed it, and waved my hand over it, just to be sure.
The surface of what looked like a hilt bubbled and melted away. A shining silver, Darcey coat of arms was revealed. My heart leapt, and my pace quickened
I could finally return. I was in a dead sprint, when I saw another corpse. No, two.
My parents. Their regal robes stained with blood, hands bound with coarse rope. On my father's cracked lips, I saw his last word. Perennial.
I shuddered. I hadn't heard my name in a long time. Much less by ones who actually loved me. My heart grieved, because I knew they had died for me. And they knew it. The apple grew heavy in my hand. Just one bite.
This will make it go away. They can come back, for sake of your soul.
I bit the apple, savoring the juicy flesh. Far away I heard a high, clear laugh of Melinda. She had won. But nothing happened me. But the bodies stirred. For one, perfect, fleeting moment, I thought that they would come back to me.
"Mom? Dad?" I whispered. With blank eyes and rough movements, the living dead identified their target, the reason for their death.
And they would stop at nothing to kill me. Or worse.
The dead did come back alive, but much worse. They came back for revenge.
"You lied to me!" I cried to the sky, hoping Melinda would hear me. Hoping that she would take away this terrible curse. But all I heard was the whistling of the cold wind, and the groans of the undead. Their flesh rotted off their face, eyes glassy and unfocused. Limping, in an unnatural gait, they targeted me, stretching their hands out to touch me.
I ran to the woods, but there was an army of them. All trying to hurt me. One brushed their hand against my flesh, and I shuddered. Clammy and cold, like touching the vilest thing you could think of. Dead flesh, slimy and fresh with blood. But not even that described it. Rolls of skin peeled of the arms of a dead man next to me, revealing his muscles and veins. Their skin bled prominently. I tripped, landing in the freezing snow, crimson with blood.
And one grabbed me. All the heat in my body was gone in a second, and I was frozen. But still alive. Their spongy, twisted, demented flesh pawed at my skin. Hordes gathered around me, their bodies disintegrating before my eyes. But they couldn't die. The couldn't feel pain. I had to close my eyes to stop myself from seeing the horrible faces.
I felt a searing pain in my leg, and I opened my eyes to see the reanimated corpse eating my flesh, bit by bit. They drew it out as long as they could.
"You brought this upon yourself," the silky voice of Melina cooed in my head. "Join me. This can all be over... Just give me the heart of hearts."
The crest. It grew warm in my pocket. The hope of mankind. But a witch could only take it, if it was bestowed upon her by royalty in the line of Rayna, my ancestor.
Strip by strip, my flesh was eaten away. But I withstood it. I would save the future of humans for the pain. With my last breath, I opened my eyes. The sight of the undead sickened me, but I cast a spell. A spell that would affect the future. I'm no witch, but it was no witchcraft. I cast a spell, of hope. The thing that would live in every human after me. And the ability of love.
With the dream, that one day, someone might not make the same decisions I did.