Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Secret Beyond the Sea - Short Story

Caroline paced back and forth in her cabin. To an outsider it would have seemed like she was calm and only pacing to show off her tall and slender body. Caroline knew how to hide what and who she was behind a calm facade. On the outside Caroline had long auburn hair that flowed down her back like liquid copper until the ends touched the bottom of her spine. Eyes the colour of storm clouds that appeared transparent grey in sunlight are framed by lashes coated in layer of black mascara which cast dark spiky shadows across her cheekbones when she closes her eyes. A nose as straight as a knifes edge and full pouting lips, constantly held in repose. An emerald green dress coated her figure and cascaded onto the floor showing off her slender waist and full chest. On the inside, inside that chest, however was a broken and cursed heart.
                Looking around the room it showed the status of a very wealthy yet proper lady. The chairs set around the room were embroidered with patterns of forests and the animals that dwell there, with the oak handles that shone like liquid gold in the dim light thrown by the strategically placed lamps. In a corner was a waist high table that on it were set two cut glass glasses with a decanter to match. The liquid in the dim light had turned dark and looked almost like the liquid that resides in normal people's veins. The fireplace was the central piece of the parlour. Made of stone it was carved all over with runes. Runes of protection only Caroline saw them for what they really were, a curse. The burnished copper clock set on top of the fireplace showed the time to be quarter to Midnight. Fifteen minutes until the haunting hour. Caroline's slender white hand with its tracery of blue veins and nails on emerald green at the tips, shook slightly as she lifted her fingers as if to touch the ornate clock... the hand counted down another minute by moving. She jerked her hand away as if pulling herself out of a spell and spun to look out of the porthole. Darkness greeted her, but the steady lap of waves caressing the side of the boat could still be heard. She placed her hand against the glass and at its first cool touch, tears began to make a shiny trail down her cheeks.
                'I'm sorry' she whispered, 'I am so so sorry Jonathan.' He didn't even understand the need. It tore at you like razors, gradually going deeper and deeper until your entire being... entire essence was exposed and craving it. It wasn't her fault. Caroline looked over her shoulder and gave it the same look of disgust she always did. It was her father's fault. He had spilt an innocents blood on it... her innocent blood at the age of five. She looked at the rune on the right hand side of the place and even now could still make out the dull brown mark on it, she lifted up her sleeve and looked at the duplicate of the rune on her inner forearm. Black against white. It was clearer tonight than it had been for almost a month. She glanced self consciously at the clock and saw it was now five minutes until midnight. Light seemed to be coming from behind her and when she looked at the farthest reaches of the sea's edge a golden white light was being to appear.
                That wasn't what made a whimper like a cornered animal come out of her throat though. She felt everything inside her shatter at once and then start again in a split instant. A chill engulfed her body. The light shone through something translucent. A face so familiar she would never forget it. The hair that had once been dark and fell in tumbled waves around a face that crinkled when he smiled. Eyes the colour of the Mediterranean sea that she used to say reflected all the happiness in the world. Such a gentle soul. A soul that was now stuck between the two worlds because of her. She had condemned him. She felt like a monster. He had only ever looked at her with love and affection and she had done this. Now he saw her for what she was and she felt eternally damned. Her muscles began to spasm but she wouldn't seem to look away from his milk filmed eyes. Time seemed frozen. Faintly in the background she heard the clock begin to toll midnight. It was like a heartbeat. She tore her eyes which had started to dilate to look at his mouth. He was mouthing something. As she figured out what he was saying the tears ceased on her cheeks and she was suddenly blinded by the sudden glow of light as the moon finally rose obscuring the figure from view. Caroline suddenly bent double her auburn hair obscuring her face. Agony ripped through her, she could still see the words in her mind and imagined him speaking them to her, 'Twelve tolls is all it takes for the world to see what you truly are.' Her nail extended and made furrows in the hearth rug. The rune on her arm began to pulse in time with her heartbeat and the tolling. Blood the colour of a roses under petals spewed from it. No longer an innocents blood.

The rune on Caroline's arm

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