I galloped across the muddy grass fields that weighed down my shoes as if the soles were made of lead. The sky above was ash stricken, dark grey clouds blocked out any hopeful rays the sun couldn’t have given me.
I halted at the entrance to the forest that surrounded my father’s property. I felt like that forest would swallow me whole and spit me back out to return never the same again. No more would I be bound by the stupid rules and customs that came along with the phantom of a home I had just left behind.
In front of me lay the chance to do something I believed was right and just. I didn’t want to live to sit in a glass case an empty shell on a shelf. That’s all I was to the court a doll without a soul which was something to admire instead of doing anything of value.
This was my opportunity to break out of that glass case my father had put me in and stand up for what I believed in with all my heart.
I turned and glanced at the castle which was once my home knowing full well I would not be returning ever again. It was all or nothing I had to save that babies life.
I picked up my skirts which the hem was now covered in mud and sprinted into the forest without a moment of hesitation. My lungs were burning, my heart was racing and my breathing became feverish but still, I persisted on to my destination. Not even noticing when the branches of trees crawled and searched on my face and arms or when I tripped over the uneven surface of the forest floor I went on and on until I had reached the very centre of the forest.
The trees went around in a circle standing tall and upright with not a leaf out of place. They all stood around and pond but the water of the pond was not clear as a crystal instead it was a ruddy red spreading to the far corners of the circular rim.
I didn’t gasp of fall to my knees and cry instead I gazed on with glassy brown eyes at a basket floating in the crimson water containing the body of a sleeping baby. No, not sleeping, dead I bitterly corrected myself.
Her mother’s body was strewn across the forest floor nearby head bent at an odd angle and blood stains on her once pristine maids uniform. Her hair was a curtain of raven black and her lips had taken on a purplish hue while her skin had changed to a sickly yellow.
I had been too late to save them but I didn’t let the grief and despair cloud my mind yet. I still had one more choice one more sacrifice I could make before it was too late.
My hands felt unbearably heavy as I dug through my dress pocket for the silver dagger I had taken with me as a last resort. I took it out and gave my freezing hands a chance to adjust to the metal surface of the blade.
I began to walk calmly and slowly to the water’s edge not crying or breaking down because in my heart I had known it would always come to this I was ready to give my life to this baby my time was done I was ready to die for an innocent life.
Stepping into the murky red water turned to the centre of the small pond and held the basket in my arms and took the baby out holding the fragile body in my shaking arms and plunged violently down to the rocky bottom of the pond.
Immediately I held the knife and pointed it directly in line with my chest sharp and poised I had a moment’s hesitation as my lungs burned for air and my body thrashing widely from the freezing water but staring down to the baby in my arms only reaffirmed my resolve to what was right. I threw the knife into my very own chest and drowned.
I awoke to the lush feeling of silk on my skin and the warmth of the sun on my face. Slowly I opened my eyes to a room I did not recognize.
It appeared I was strewn across a purple lounge the material felt soft and smooth, underneath my head was a silk thread pillow. I looked down to see I was wearing the same teal brocade dress I was wearing before but this time it was completely dry and without a tear or starch at the intricate fabric.
The room resembled a glass house with tall glass panned walls and various potted plants and flowers decorated the room and marble floors. Gold bars framed the walls and the single door on the other side of the domed shaped building.
Lying on the lounge I looked up to the sky and was surprised to find it was a perfect baby blue, not a cloud in the sky it was immaculate like a classical oil painting.
Footsteps echoed on the marble floors interrupting my train of thought. I glanced up to find a porcelain pale boy who appeared to be around the age of eighteen, He had hollow cheekbones and dark purple and blue bruises underneath his black eyes which made him look extremely tired which complimented his careless tousled black hair and the bored almost lazy expression he wore on his classically handsome face.
I immediately stood up right off the lounge and began to approach him I came up to him and stared into his desolate black eyes.
“I need to make a deal with you devil”
He raised an eyebrow at my words anticipation clenched at my gut.
“Aren’t we a bit lively for someone who just died?” He said in a monotone voice.
“I don’t care what the price is I just need you to give that baby a second chance at life” I pleaded and ceased his hand. He recoiled instantly at my touch.
“Ah AH fine just don’t touch me again!” He yelped like a wounded puppy dog.
“Also, the devil has a name you know and he would like to be addressed as Irving” He added in a matter of fact sort of tone.
That strange I didn’t know the devil had an actual name? I was instantly annoyed by his attitude but had no will to defend myself as I desperately needed to comply with my request.
“So, will you do it or not?” I asked him impatiently.
“Oh yeah sure if you can give me something in return,” He said suddenly sounding amused and almost playful.
“So, what do you want?” I asked flatly.
“Absolutely nothing!” He chuckled.
“WHAT!” yelled in frustration at the fact that he just said he would do it.
I felt tears threaten to spill from my eyes was sacrificing everything I had amounted to nothing?
I sank back down on the lounge and cried into my hands finally letting the flood gates of my emotions open wide.
“Irving what are you doing in here?” A female voice asked the boy standing in front of me. I didn’t look up but I saw a pair of black cross laced boots stride towards us.
“This soul was just begging me for a favour but I’m afraid she doesn’t have anything to give me in return” He stated simply shrugging his shoulders.
Soul? I guess that’s all I was now a soul without a body. I wonder if the people back at my father’s estate had found it yet?
Before I could protest a hand titled my chin up to meet bottle green eyes. It was the eyes of the girl who had just come in.
I stared at those stunning green eyes that seemed to hold my gaze captive with every beat of my pounding heart. Until I snapped out of it and took in the rest of her in.
Her whole being screamed regal and powerful with a tall willowy body and a prideful gleam to her smirking red lips with long black hair a severe fringed that framed her long lash eyes and made the contours of her face all the sharper.
“What’s your name little one?” She asked me sweetly.
“Um ah um” I took and deep breath and tried again to form words with my mouth that are how talking worked isn’t it?
“Lilith Alexandra Huntington” I stated pridefully trying to show the girl that she didn’t intimidate me. When in fact I felt like a fly that had just been caught in the spider’s web.
Her expression turned from smirking like the cat who got the cream to one of utter shock.
She whispered something inaudible to Irving who just shrugged in response.
She turned back to me and took a long look. Staring at me like a rare cut of steak that she wanted to devour.
“Pleasure to meet you Lilith I’m Amarante and this is my brother Irving,” She said in a businesslike manner as if I was a client and not a dishevelled girl cowering on a sofa.
I blinked at her confused as she continued.
“It seems you have taken your own life and have ended up here in the underworld seeking to restore the life of the baby you brought with you is this correct?” She asked.
“Yes, it is but it seems it was all for nothing” I replied bitterly.
“As a matter of fact, I would be willing to make a deal with you I believe there is something you could offer me,” She said.
“Really? I thought only the devil could make deals?’” I questioned as new-found hope blossomed in me.
“Oh no Irving’s not the devil not yet anyway demon in the underworld can make a deal it’s just some of us are more powerful than others” She added with a touch of bitterness in her voice at the mention of power.
“Oh, I see what do you want from me then?” I asked curiously
“That’s quite simple actually,” She said as she got down on one knee confusing me even further.
“ I want to marry you”