This is a fictional story about loss and overcoming grief after the death of a loved one. I’ve always been attracted to reading and writing horror and tragedy and I decided that I wanted to approach it from the standpoint of a fantasy world. This is the prologue so it’s a little shorter than is typical. Enjoy!
Prologue~~~~~~ A Star Goes Down In The West Tonight
It wasn’t until I stood at the grave site that I truly understood the importance of the rituals and traditions my Family had maintained for generations. The whole Family stood there in the cold, the time-honored black streaks of coal trailing down their faces. It was our sign of mourning the loss of a loved one. Not a single person there had not been touched by the gift that had been my best friend. It was raining and the sky was dark overhead. Our priest stood at the front of the grave, speaking our noble prayers. Inside, I knew that it was cold. It was mid January but I just couldn’t bring myself to feel the chill. The cold that overwhelmed me was of such a frigid temperament that no blanket or comfort could dispel it from my body. Rosen had called it mourning. I was wondering if it was shock. After all, it wasn’t just some stranger I was here in this wet, stormy place for. It was not for some nameless face that sorrow pervaded my every thought. It was my dearest friend that we were laying to rest today.
All I could think was that we were putting her in the ground. We were putting my guardian angel into the cold, dark ground where she would stay and she would rot. Would she be lonely there? Did she even care anymore? Haven’s light had forever been extinguished. I would not see her when I went to bed, curled under her comforting watch. She would not be there when I woke up. She was the sun and the moon in my universe. We wouldn’t joke about our teachers any more or cry on each others shoulders when we were sad. No longer would we ponder together over a certain book or topic, discussing it late into the night over tea and stolen cookies from the cook. I was alone.
Kinnan stood at my side, his eyes dark and sad but I did not see them. I didn’t see him or my parents standing beside us. I no longer registered the icy wind, the water nor the sounds of the priest’s words flowing through the vale like a stray breeze. I only saw her. I only felt the ache in my chest that was a physical pain. Like some gaping hole that had been wrenched out in one instant, buried in the ground with my companion. My arms wrapped tightly around myself in an attempt to hold myself together. How it hurt! I felt the loss like the death of my own soul.
This place was terrible…I didn’t want to be here, watching them put her away as if she were some broken toy. I needed to hold onto these memories, though. They suddenly became surreal and precious all at once. This would be the last time I would ever see her. I needed to take in every second, hoard them away like the treasures they were. If I could hold these memories close to myself like a flame, huddle around them tightly, then I felt as though everything may be okay. If I kept them close, then maybe I could get through this. Maybe I didn’t want to.
Perhaps throwing myself into the hole with her wasn’t a bad idea. They could smother us together. I couldn’t think of her being trapped in that lonely box forever. I would go mad. Maybe I was already on my way. I didn’t feel mad. I wanted her here beside me. Like she always had been. I didn’t want her to be gone forever. I didn’t want to go to Haven’s funeral. They had forced me to attend. I had barred myself in my room for three days and waited for her to come back, hoping for belief that she wasn’t truly gone. I tried not to believe it at first.
A simple thing like water killed my Haven? Impossible! The adults had always warned us to stay off of the old dock. They said it just collapsed…I waited for her to climb into the window of my room where we used to sneak out together and smile.
She would say, “Alaizabel Trevesque! What are you doing holed up in this place? Let’s go run in Sampson’s orchard” or “Let’s go down to the kitchens for a snack!”
Going to the funeral was a confirmation that she was really gone. I wasn’t ready for that. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Slowly, they began to lower my lifelong companion into the ground. Why couldn’t they have just…! Why couldn’t she have just…? The edges of the hole inside of me began to tear, slowly but surely. Agony was shooting through me like a bullet and the silver necklace, half of a whole, that rested on my chest seemed to get heavier and heavier by the second. Inscribed on the outside was a loopy H.T.T.
Kinnan began to lead me away, trying to get me away from the grave once the diggers came to do their dreadful duty but my eyes remained on the open grave. It seemed ominous, like a great monster swallowing my friend whole. What was I supposed to do without her? What was I without her? I was nothing. She had always been the happy one, the smart one, the beautiful one. I needed Haven beside me! I couldn’t go on without her! I wasn’t strong like she was. I wasn’t athletic. I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her to the worms in the Stygian earth, to that behemoth that enclosed her up. I couldn’t picture her at night, her beautiful smile forever left to Death. A thought, unbidden and unhindered enveloped my every essence in that moment, a realization that shook me to my very foundations. Haven had died scared and alone. She must have been so frightened when she heard the snap of the timber beneath her and felt the water close in around her, pinned beneath and unable to even call out for help. Had she cried out for me? Had she begged someone to rescue her? It wasn’t until I heard the sounds of the dirt hitting the top of her coffin that I began to scream.