My name is Merrill Anwin. Once, long ago, I was just like you.
He wakes, to the sound of horses and the motion of wheels moving. Opening his eyes, the first thing he sees is the sight of a raven haired beauty looking to him with an expression of concern on her features. She was wearing a long, flowing dress of multi colours, a garment that framed her beautiful, lithe form to perfection. Hanging from her neck was a beautiful emerald set within a golden pendant. She had worn the amulet for as long as Merrill had known her.Dulcimae. Sister. The Dark of the Moon.
Sitting up slowly, Merrill winces at the sudden shooting sensation of agony that knifed its way through his gut. Dulcimae stood, laying a hand on his chest to settle him, pressing him down gently. "Not this way. It should not be this way. You took a nasty wound from the sword."
Dark eyes looked down at his bare chest as worry flickered across them. Glancing down, Merrill saw the bloodstained bandage wrapped around his bare torso as she continued."It could have been worse though. Despite the fact that the man struck from the shadows, you managed to react just in time to avoid the worst of the blow. Either you have cat-like reflexes, or you were born with the gift. Except we know that that is impossible of course."
Laughing softly, the expression not lessening the worry in her eyes, Dulcimae stood. She missed the brief, pained expression crossing Merrill's features as he grimaced, and not from the pain. In all the years of their people, there had only been one recorded instance of a male child born with the sight that had lived to adulthood, and that man had been hunted down and killed. Legend told of a prophecy that a male born child with the sight would bring about the doom of their kind.
Dukkar, or Darklings as they were called, often showed their abilities early, and such children were killed before they grew to adulthood, and old enough to be a threat.
Merrill tried to rose again, but Dulcimae shook her head, pressing him down gently once more. "Rest, brother. Please, for me. Mother and Father have things in hand. We will cross the border tonight. We are clear of the bandits."
Dulcimae's eyes reflected her worry. Since childhood, the siblings had been inseparable. Their bond was one of blood, and it was one that the dark land they lived in could not break. From an early age, the troublesome siblings had inflicted all sorts of mischief on their long-suffering kin. And yet, despite their mischievous antics, the twins were regarded with much fondness and love from their tight-knit community. The others saw the twins as a lucky omen. Merrill was the light of the sun to Dulcimae's dark of the moon. And in the dark land they lived in, there was little enough good left to hold on to.
Tonight, they would look to cross the border, to escape from the tyrannical, lord who hated them and their kind. They would leave this place where their kind were hunted down and butchered on the whim of the mad lord, to make a new life for themselves. Tonight, their lives would change forevermore.
And as he lay down, as he looked his sister in the eye, Merrill nodded, and simply replied, "Aye."
For him, his own reckoning would come soon. Merrill knew, deep down, that he could not hide his "condition" from the others much longer. Already, there were mutterings in the camp. There were whispers that Merrill possessed some strange power that they could not comprehend. Sighing sadly, he closed his eyes. He would miss them....especially his twin, whom he had never been apart from. Once he was gone, he would carry a hole in his heart.
Yet, he knew no other way.
The door closed softly behind her. Opening his eyes, Merrill looked towards the door, where she had stood only moments before. A soft whisper escaped his lips."Goodbye, my sister."
He wakes to the sound of her crying. As his eyes flicker open, he feels a strange weariness overtake him. The last thing he remembered was the fire. The fire.....and burning. Bringing his hands up to touch his face, Merrill looks to the sky. Tracing his fingers across his skin, he is almost surprised to find that it, and he, is still whole.....But how could that be? I died.....I remember dying in fire.....
Sitting up slowly, holding his head in his hands, he blinks once....twice. This didn't make any sense. There wasn't even any pain, just the memory of it.....burning away at him. Moving his hands away, he blinks again, looking over to see Callie there, on her knees, crying."Callie,"
he whispers, as he moves over to her.
He places his arms around her, drawing her into him as he holds her tight. Squeezing his eyes tight, he holds her."Its ok Callie. Its ok.....its all going to be ok. I promise."
Tears formed in his eyes, spilling as they fell. "We survived.....it doesn't matter how, but we did it....."
Bringing a trembling hand up, he runs it through her hair as he holds her head into his shoulder."We survived....."
he whispers again.
In the distance, the fire still burned, but the rain was dampening it. Soon it would be nothing but smoke on the wind.