No Choice but to Die
I was born on a beautiful morning, a good omen on the day of my birth. As I entered the world, my born Sister accompanied my mother in a small blank room at home. Where I was born into the hands of a young midwife. The only outsider allowed in our home at the time.
It was until I was carried along by this Midwife when the fates decided to show their true colors. Upon touching my small hand, the midwife dropped dead and was left to decay in one of our many rooms.
My Mother told me this story when I first began asking questions, questions on the rules she placed above me and my sisters heads. I was four years old, innocent and unknowing of my own monstrosity. I did not fully understand what she meant. I did not know the meaning of this Death she spoke about. Her face was stern as always, several inches away from my own. But her eyes a piercing raw Gold as if she saw through my very soul. It was in that moment that I realized my own existence and became self aware, if you may.
I should have screamed and cried, like a normal child. Or maybe prayed to whoever would listen, to the Goddess Morticia or her son Helios. Hoping in good graces she would bless me with a new life. But I did not. I simply looked my Mother in the eyes and shed not a single tear. Managing to ask
”Why me? ”
In which she responded with ”Its because you were born a Fare. ”
Its been a few years and my eighteenth birthday is soon to be. My mother has since then given birth to a traveling merchants daughter. My younger sister Bitter Fare, who will be turning twelve twenty days after mine.
”Star linked skies that fill the sea-
With your reflection
Why must I crave your touch-
my Darling Parted Key ”
I sing a light harmony as the shadows in the hall bounce back and forth. I quickly pick up my speed in response to the windowless halls, endless locked doors and flickering candle lights. I reach the end of the ornately patterned hall to a beautiful blue door, engraved with a scene of a young girl dying. My elder sisters door, a horrific reflection of my sisters own gift. I catch myself distracted by the artistry and move myself along. I knock three times to let her know Im there, and by the edge of my eye I see her creak the door open, just enough to let me see her presence-less shape.
I stare at her colorless green eyes, waiting for her to let me in.
”There you are, Marigold, your Two minutes and 46 seconds late. Hold yourself accountable. Be wary of the hallways Marigold. I told you, I need you to be attentive and on time. Yes you need to be on time, something might happen. Something always happens to those who aren - ” she says irregularly.
”I am very sorry. ” I cut just in time before a mountain of her thoughts fall bare before my feet.
She stands crooked, yet beautiful in the hallway light, pulling me in and shutting the door quickly behind her. I am thrown into her room, a small quiet room cluttered with keys. Beautiful keys, Rusted Keys and Keys with no end. Filling each and every crevice of the room.
My sister interrupts my view, her dress matching the color of her eyes shift, reflecting the dim light hanging from her star sky Painted ceiling. Her tan skin and wild dark gray curls wildly frame her youthful face. I enter the room, just as humid and uncomfortable as my sisters suspicious eyes.
”Umm..Holly, do you think I can..not attend class today?…. ” I ask.
”Oh, Well yes, well no, well maybe. Just one second. ” Holly counters as she steps on a high sturdy oak table in the middle of the room, and reaches for the bulb before turning it right. The bulb burns brighter and the room itself brightens with delight as Hollys mood lifts. ”One less maintenance, one less thing to do….. ” she mumbles.
I shift my feet, and kick some of the now illuminated keys out of the way to sit at one of the three chairs circling the table. Awkwardly sighing as I sit and wait patiently for Hollys attention. Her fickle mood shifting in rhythm with the house.
I sit still scanning her room, a small bed in the corner and shelves reaching the low ceiling with strange nick-nacks and books.
Holly looks through a small shelf leaning against the wall when she reaches for a small journal, flipping through the pages, while fiddling with something in her hands. Humming her regular tune ”…..my Darling Parted Key. ”
I close my eyes and listen intently to her voice. Each crisp word lingering in the air. I open my eyes to find her leaning over me. Carrying the small book and holding it in front of me with intent. A secretive smile tugging her lips as if shes playing a game, no one else knows about. She sits right beside me and holds my hands.
Taken aback, ”Wh-What are you doing? ” I stutter.
”Look, look, don worry, Relatives and more, you cannot hurt me , that is for sure. Look at the book, when day leaves in fright… ” she reassures me. Holding the book she places in my hands holding hers over the cover ”A gift for you, child of night…. ”
I look back at her kind face, confused. In which she replies by pushing me out of her roo, as I adjust my shirt so my sleeves completely cover my hands.
”No work is done, till the sunlight is gone. No work is done…, ” she fades, closing the door with a frown.
A strange occurrence for my older sister to allow my classes to be skipped. Holly has always been my light of hope in the family. Her gift is powerful and lets her know pieces of the future, as shes told me herself. They are reflected through every other mirror and every other door in the house, though you never know who its for or what they are about, when they might happen or if they might happen at all. However, they leave her broken and paranoid, barely able to finish a complete thought. Forcing her to keep to herself and trusts no one, yet she still protects our family, shrouding the embodiment of her mind as a decaying cottage on the outskirts of town.
Now facing the beautiful door I take in the story before taking my leave.
A faceless man prancing proudly before the next stage. Where a shadow hovers mercilessly ripping his hand through the young mans chest. The man lays limp on a bed of flowers holding os bloodied Poppy to his chest. A facelessman, a poppy…the kingdoms crest, and an elegant merciless shadow.
I turn, sure not to linger, quickening through the long hallways, confronted with the usual deceiving partways. Weaving through the corridors, I arrive at my own bedroom. A light brown-shaven wood door with a rat carved delicately into the frame, opens to a key of my own, I keep tied around my neck at all times. I enter with a quick breath and catch myself stumbling as I trip over the gifts Ive received from Holly over the years. I leave the book beside my bed, sure to wait for night to open her gif. The room is dark and thick with incense trying to cover the smell of decay. A room befitting for a girl blessed with the hands of death. I grab my gloves and turn running for the front of the maze, I call home, to reach a thin wooden door, with the first small glass window Ive seen in days. Leading straight outside.
When Im greeted by sunlight I forget momentarily how I must live in the darkness.
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