The long and constant beep echoed throughout the almost empty room. Jackson jumped up from his nap on the chair and stared with wide blue eyes. I felt tears sting the corners of my eyes and I fought to keep them at bay. There she lay, so delicate and pale, with lifeless cheeks which were once as rosy as the reddest of blood, and her lips were white and bloodless which once glowed a bright pink shade, lighting up her small face.
Jackson had already began sobbing; his lips quivered and his hands shook violently as he cradled his face in his hands and fell back on the chair.
“She’s dead…,” He whispered, “She’s dead!” And on he went, ranting on for a while until he could speak no more. My lips parted and I inhaled deeply.
“She’s dead!” He repeated, cutting me off. I pitied the man, whom looked broken and traumatized. I glanced back to the young girl, just as Jackson sunk back into his own head. She breathed no more, and it frightened me greatly as to see her that way; lifeless and cold to the touch. A small movement, a flinch of a finger made me cry out and back away.
“She’s dead!” he did not look up and kept racking with sobs. I tried again:
“Jackson, look up.” Her eyes flickered and she began flinching again. Her body remained pale and lifeless, however. Fear engulfed my body. Jackson did not speak nor look up.
“Jackson! Look up, damn it!” My voice almost cracked as he finally glanced up, his blue eyes wide and frightened. I stared in sheer horror as she stirred and her eyes flung open. The golden irises glanced around wildly and they fell on me. Jackson followed my gaze and let out a large gasp, grasping the chair so tightly as if his life depended on it. “May lord have mercy upon us...She is possessed!” The girl sat up and raised a finger towards me. Her voice sounded smooth and almost musical as she spoke:
“William...my love…” Her nightgown trailed behind her as she trotted barefooted towards me. Jackson had frozen in the spot and just stared with wide eyes. She began to get awfully close, closer and closer-
“William! Get up, you lazy fool!” My eyes sprang open to the dark ceiling of my room, with the small faerie sitting on my chest with it’s glittering red wings.
“Ugh...Tarot…” I groaned, smacking the darkling away. It hissed at me with sharp bared teeth and grabbed my collar with its tiny hands. The nails dig deep into my skin.
“Your father wanted an audience, you bastard! Now get your lazy butt to the throne room!” Tarot let go of my bleeding collarbone and flew out of the room. I let out another groan and sat up, stretching my limps, and then put on my cloths. The consisted of high knee black boots, dark dress pants and a waistcoat over my white shirt with a red tie and grey cape.
I stepped out into the hallways and began walking towards the giant black and silver doors with a golden rose crest with thorns surrounding it.
The doors were flung open by a strong force and a tall man came out, his golden eyes enraged and worn out. He fixed his coat and got down on all fours, instantly transforming into a panther. The black fur glittered as he stalked away with prideful strides. He passed by me and bared a toothy grin, his golden eyes set on me.
“Why, if it isn't William himself. Your father requested another audience with ya?”I nodded, letting out a sigh. “Well, good luck mate.: The shapeshifter bore a faint British accent.
“You’re not from here, eh?” The shapeshifter chuckled darkly.
“Ah yes. That blasted place was truly the worst. I come from the north, ya see. A small country by the name of Blackthorn.” I recalled the stories I had been told as a child about Blackthorn: A place of ice and snow, without the moon or stars, and it was ruled by the over-lady Lucifer.
A traitor to the whole kingdom, she was true to her name: The fallen one, the dark one, the evil one ect. Not that we thought ourselves good natured, either. Lucifer was just worse than any of us. 10 times more serene, 50 times more dark and 100 times more evil. We weren't exactly enemies, but everyone resented her.
I hadn't quite learned why.
“I see. How on earth did you manage to escape that place?” The shapeshifter had turned into a man again, and sat on the windowsill, swinging his legs about.
“It wasn't exactly easy, I’ll tell ya that. The bastard Lucifer had guards set all around the country. I had to disguise myself as a merchant that sold soul essence. In the end, they didn't suspect me and I left without lookin’ back.”
“But didn’t you have any family there?” The man seemed to lose his spark; he forced a smile unto his face and inclined his head towards the doors.
“Better get going, mate. Your father is quite the...impatient fella.” I knew he wished not to speak of his past any longer, and so I did not pursue the matter.
“What’s your name, my good man?” I asked casually. His face lit up again and he held out a hand.
“Why, I’m James. James smith.” We shook hands and I bid him farewell. I lingered behind the metal doors for a moment, and then pushed them open.
Father sat on his golden throne, hands resting on the arms of the chair. His eyes glowed a certain red as he sat up straight and cleared his throat.
“Son, today you shall be given your scythe. The color will determine your role in the kingdom. Don’t. Be. Late. Do you understand?” I swallowed and nodded, bowing my head to him.
“Father.” I inclined my head and began walking out.
“Not so fast,” He commanded, and I paused. “Tonight, you shall also choose a bride.” I began to protest, but he interrupted me. “And that is final.” Blood boiled within me, however out of respect for my father, as he was the lord, I bowed my head and walked out.