The last thing she recalled in the moment was the dying light of the fire. The logs and kindling burned ever so brightly, yet it was not the familiar scent of ash and wood that she could almost taste in the air. It was iron and almonds.
Her body shook as whatever had tainted her wine took hold of her.
The taste of iron was so strong in her mouth that the only thing it could have been was her own blood. It was slick and ran cold. The room around her was closing in as she continued to fight for her life, a fight that she was well aware that she was destined to lose. Her vision was blurring, the end would come soon enough.
For now, she just had to fight the agony that came with dying. It was starting to get cold now. The warmth of the fire no longer touched her and yet the dark gold hues lit up the room. She reach out and clawed at the stone cold floor, trying to drag her helpless body to the warmth.
She began to taste salt, she knew that there were tears running down her face. Anyone would cry in her position. What little strength she had in her form was disappearing. She took and deep breath, allowing it to leave her…
Cecilia Orean had allowed herself to be swallowed up by darkness, the gentle cloak of death.
Now, she felt nothing apart from the endless space around her. It reminded her of a cave with jewels encrusted into the walls and caverns, she had no anticipated that death would yield such beauty. Whispers of those she loved haunted the caves and it tormented her.
Then, before her at the heart of the cave was a lake with crystal clear water. The scent of rose water caressed her nerves, coaxing the girl closer to the water’s edge. Kneeling on the fuchsia coloured moss, she allowed her hands to be swallowed up by the water.
As the ripples from her hands stretched across the lake, the water became as dark as night in an instant. Though she couldn’t explain it, something in the depths of her mind was telling her to look into the water.
Images from her life rushed through the water, nothing that she wasn’t used to before…
The absence of her father was something that she never truly understood. Earl Edwin Orean was neither a loving father nor an abusive one, simply absent. But even that was enough to eat away at what little happiness that she had in her life. Many times, she had questioned why her father didn’t show a glimpse of affection to her.
Even then, she couldn’t recall even her half sister being granted that…
Then there was Adelaide, Countess Orean. She supposed that being alive alone was enough of a crime for her to turn on the girl. Then again, Cecilia was the born out-of-wedlock child who could somehow challenge her own daughter. It was always under a thin veil of concern that she would convince Cecilia to eat less, or read less or do nothing at all.
Now, she wished for nothing but for Adelaide to choke on those ‘qualities’ that she always pushed onto the girl.
Last but not least, there was Eliza.
Edwin’s true born daughter born from Adelaide.
She was perfect as far as her mother was concerned but there was plenty of improvement needed if she was going to reach far in high society. She was easily swayed by gossip, which could easily put one into hot water. Eliza could also be fussy and closed off from even the smallest changes.
The water swirled around her hands, showing something horrifying.
The goblet that she had drank from as a part of her protection ritual. It’s rich red hue as bright as she remembered, swarmed with rubies and garnets. She had performed it under a full moon, when these things would be more likely to work. Then, some light dust was poured into the goblet and stirred around while Cecilia had been distracted by the crystals in her care.
She witnessed herself drink from it, even watching it was enough for the unwelcome taste of blood to enter back into her mouth. Then, she watched herself fall and a figure in the room that she had not seen the first time moved out of the shadows and out of the room. The hood came down, revealing Eliza.
“No…!” The girl in the cave stammered “No! Why? I didn’t do anything to you! I helped you and this is how you repay me!” She screeched at the top of her voice, as loud as her body would allow her.
Slamming her fists into the ground, she sobbed as the ache of betrayal twisted like a dagger in her heart. The water still remained dark as night, the jewels with the little light in room flickering. She cried until the tears refused to come forth.
Then, the dark pit of wrath was planted into her heart.
“Let me go back! Let me go back and take my revenge!” The anger burned through her as if her entire soul were on fire. “I will make each and every one of them pay the price of betraying me! I swear it!”
The water now changed into a deep red.
‘Are you sure about this?’ it seemed to question her ‘This decision cannot be undone’
“I am aware! Take me back!” She screamed one last time before plunging herself into the murky crimson water. She was falling and yet she made no effort to swim back up to the surface. ‘It’s not like I can drown after death’ She smirked to herself as she floated down deeper. Something was pulling her down towards the bottom but she supposed that was where she was supposed to go…
Then, light shrouded her very being. Removing her from the cave that she believed to be purgatory and back into life…
She awoke in the dead of night.
The familiar sensation of a cool autumn breeze nipped at her olive skin, but she felt more alive now than she had ever done before.
There was a full moon outside her bedroom window, she slowly got out of her bed of purple velvet and gently walked towards the window. She did not remember it being open but that no longer mattered. She smiled, tears of joy falling from her face.
“You saved me...” She reached out to the silent moon “You pitied me and gave me a second chance” She let herself bathe in the moonlight, allowing her magic to come out and take it everything around her. Finally, she walked over to the mirror and turned the lamp on.
Its rust coloured light gave her comfort as she looked into the mirror…
She was younger. That was for sure. Her thick chestnut brown hair was tied up in a bun, like she always did when she was sleeping. There had been freckles dotted along her cheekbones and her neck, but they were gone. Her eyes still held that same innocent doe like expression.
‘Good, I want to look as innocent as possible’ She thought to herself wickedly.
They were much darker now. In her first life, they had been a light pink colour. Almost as pink as the roses in the garden.
Now, they were a deep vermilion...