Short Stories

Grove’s Daughter: Prologue

He was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

She stared into his warm, brown eyes and watched them crinkle a little as he smiled. Their wedding day was sunny, hot, and full of joy. They made their vows on a beach next to the ocean, the faintest hint of a breeze tickling her skin and she had to slyly blow a few strands of loose blonde hair from her face, hence his smile as he noticed and squeezed her hands a little tighter.

Their wedding night had been equally memorable as their limbs tangled under a full moon with the waves of the ocean crashing near their cabin. She could never forget his earthy scent, or his soft touch. He was everything she wanted, and they were going to have a life together.

She opened her eyes and stared out the window of her cabin, watching the snow fall as she silently hugged herself, alone with her thoughts, her memories of things that once were, and never could be again. She saw him everywhere. He encompassed the very air she breathed, he was ever-present and it brought her constantly to the verge of tears. Sometimes the dull ache inside her made it difficult to breathe, and she had to close her eyes and calm herself before she could make even the smallest of movements.

She turned and went downstairs to fix herself a small meal, her thoughts once again with her lost husband. She had not heeded the warnings of the family tome, and had chosen her ambition over her husband. Because of this, she had lost him forever. She had to steady herself as her mind replayed the night. The red and green flashes, his body still, face frozen in deathly surprise. Her negligence had ended his life, and she had given up everything she had ever cared about in order to atone.

She missed the warmth of the sun, the cool, clear water, and yes, even the abrasiveness of sand, but it had been necessary. She could no longer live in that same world she had known with him, the world of hot days, warm nights, clear skies and open windows and doors. Her world was a snowglobe, a barrier wrapped in furs to protect what was left of her heart.

She looked down at her hands, her palms stained a faint red. A mark of the magic she had once wielded, and a constant reminder of who she had once been. Ambitious. Driven. Powerful. Careless. Irresponsible. Negligent. She closed her eyes and concentrated, a blue glow emerging from her hands. Opening her eyes, she sighed deeply as the glow hid the redness, but it soon faded, reality before her once more. No matter how much she atoned, the red would never leave her hands and the chill would never leave her heart.

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