11-26-2020, 03:45 PM
(This post was last modified: 11-26-2020, 03:49 PM by lilliana.)
THE FEELING WAS ALWAYS TOO MUCH FOR ME /
IT ALWAYS CAME TOO STRONG /
I WANTED TO GET IT RIGHT SO BADLY /
THAT I ALWAYS GOT IT WRONG /
Lilliana has seen (and known) Death before, but never this close.
She had barely been a year old the first time it greeted her. It took the shape of a man - white and sparkling like new-fallen snow. It had horns and it smiled. When she had been too afraid to run, when she knew that she couldn't leave Elena, she had looked behind her and saw it there as well in the eyes of her parents. The only thing that would have stopped them from killing the demon was Death itself. She saw it glowing, burning, blazing - in Elena, who seemed so desperate to throw herself on a flaming pyre of her reckless courage.
(How many times has she borrowed that torchlight courage? She clutches at what remains of the embers even now.)
And then she had come to know a second time, through the weight of her father's blue eyes. She came to learn about how Death took another shape - the same one that nearly killed her and Elena that day - and murdered her aunts and a cousin while her father looked on, powerless to stop it. Powerless while Death took another shape - that of a dragon - and it took everything about the Summer line (their warmth, their golden coats, their blue-sky eyes) into a frozen point aimed at her father's chest. It wasn't until Lilliana was older that she learned that her sire - Valerio, war hero of Windskeep - had died there. That she would learn it was an Immortal who brought him back from the knowledge that they gained from centuries of watching the candles of lives flicker out. (Is that how she will use her Immortality?)
Death came in the shape of other ways. Here in Beqanna, Lilliana has learned that there are million little ways to die while still breathing. She has learned what is to draw a breath and resent it, like in this moment. It feels like sacrilege that this ability comes to her so naturally while Brazen staggers for it under the weight of her bone armor. Lilliana is still clinging to hope while her friend clings to life, dragging out breath after breath. Get up, Lilli thinks fervently. Get up, get up, get up. She repeats the thoughts over and over again like a prayer some forgotten god might remember.
Eventually, just like the vision that Warden shared with her, the shallowed breathing stops. The stoneskin side stills. There is nothing left but a shell that is filled with echoes of a soul that Lilliana has loved. The chestnut wants to be like the little boy who has curled around his birth mother and lay down with them both. Death will never come for her but she thinks - desperately, almost feverishly - that if she lays down here where it has been, it might come back for her, too.
Because of Reave, she has no more time to consider Death. He is looking up at her - looking so much like Brazen that breathing does hurt - and she is already tearing herself apart, trying to find the piece of her that he needs. Lilliana casts a grief-stricken glance at his mother before looking to the little tobiano and lowering her head, to encourage him to stand again. "Up, love." she says gravely, the heavy emotions in her chest straining her voice as she tries to force them back down.
light of love - florence + the machine
image credit to footybandit
but it's all in the past, love
it's all gone with the wind