Heaven's Eye: Suncatchers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm
A short excerpt from my WIP, Heaven's Eye. The last scene of a dying character.

Submitted: May 16, 2017

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Submitted: May 16, 2017



Sunlight streamed through the window and fell over a wooden table and stone floor, giving the room a golden glow. Alun Northstar lived in simplicity. Touches of his personality were scattered here and there, however- a small glass of flowers rested on the windowsill, and there were a few small (but bright) suncatchers hanging inside the window, casting brilliant squares of color over the bare walls. On the wall behind the door, there were a series of shelves holding rough wood and metal spheres of different sizes. Rose had asked him what they were for one day, and he told her they were just for decoration. She didn’t believe him. Alun didn’t really blame her, of course. The front door creaked open, and he winced inwardly. He’d been meaning to fix the hinges. All the same, he didn’t turn around. Alun knew who had entered without bothering to look - after all, he’d been expecting him for a long time. He finally slid his chair out from under the table- just an inch or so- and addressed the newcomer. He still didn’t turn around. “I suppose you’ve come for me at last, friend?” The stranger said nothing, but it was a nothing that said everything. Alun understood. “I’ve had a good life,” he said, more to himself than the other man. “I’ve no regrets. I just wish I could have looked after Rose for longer.” The other man slid sideways into the chair across from Alun at the small table and sat. The silence that filled the room like an all-pervading fog stretched on and on and on. Alun’s eyes idly traced the grain of the wooden table before him. There were scratches crossing the whole length the table, as well as the illegible signature of some previous occupant of the home. Alun often wondered about the person who wrote it. He would never do something like that and viewed it as defacing common property. Rose loved it, of course. She’d scrawled her name on the wood next to it the day she saw it. Alun traced her name gently with one finger, smiling wistfully. Suddenly, he looked at the stranger for the first time. “I’m being rather rude, Henry,” he said with genuine affection in his voice. “Would you like some coffee?” The stranger, Henry, smiled, but there was a note of sorrow in it.

“You know me too well, Al,” he replied. Alun was glad to see Henry- it’s always nice to see an old friend after a long time apart. Still, he was sad too, and glad of the excuse to go out of the room. He didn’t want to make this any harder on Henry than it had to be. He wished he could talk to Rose one last time, then shook his head. Wishful thinking never did anyone any good. The coffee was prepared, eventually, and Alun walked back into the room with two cups.

Both of them savored their coffee slowly. Alun had his with honey and milk, while Henry’s was as black as the earth, lightened only by a bright yellow square of light cast from a suncatcher. Alun hadn’t needed to ask Henry about his preferences, something he’d noted with a rueful smile. They really did know each other too well. Alun and Henry sipped their coffee slowly as if in unspoken agreement to prolong the moment. Still, eventually it had to run out, and the coffee supply dried up fast. The final dregs had been gulped down, and the cups rinsed out. The two friends sat in silence for a moment, which Alun broke. “Don’t worry about me, Henry. I’ve known I would die soon for months now. I’m old and weary. I only wish I could say goodbye to Rose.”

“Rose? Have you finally found a girlfriend, old codger?” Henry smiled, but there was water in the corner of his eyes. Alun laughed, but tears glinted on his cheeks.

“No. Rose is my. . . apprentice, you could say. Always late, but she’s always cheerful.” Henry opened his mouth to say something, but Alun hushed him. “Henry, you owe me five coronae.”

“I do?”

“Yes,” Alun said, quite seriously. “It’s the day I die, and you are still wearing that stupid hat.” Henry protested.

“What’s wrong with my hat?”

“Henry,” Alun told him, “it clashes. You don’t wear an all black outfit and then put on a bright green hat. It looks strange.” There was an air in his voice of a man rehashing an old argument. Henry smiled but quickly sobered. His face became completely serious.

“Alun. . . You’re one of the only friends I’ve ever had. The only one I have today. I just want to tell you-” Here, his voice broke, and a single tear ran down his cheek before he calmed enough to continue. “I just want to tell you that I’ll never forget you. Until the end of eternity, I’ll remember that you were my friend when no one else would be.” Alun was quiet.

His voice broke as he told Henry, in a voice that could be barely heard, “Thank you. Thank you for everything.” They were quiet for a few seconds, then Henry spoke again.

“I’m pretty much helpless- oh, Light, I hate this -but I could slow down your death a bit.  You’d have enough time to say goodbye to your Rose.” Alun considered it for a second but finally shook his head.

“I’d rather die now when I’m ready for it. I’m old, Henry, and bone-weary. It’ll be like going to sleep again, and I’m tired. I’ll see you on the other end of eternity, I guess.” Henry turned and buried his head in his hands. His shoulders moved oddly as if racked by sobs. Alun leaned forward, a little worried. “Henry… Oh, Light!

Henry had looked him in the eye, but those weren’t his eyes. These eyes were black- no, not black. Henry’s eyes boiled and foamed with Dark. Alun stepped back a few paces. He had been powerful once, but that had this, he was helpless. “Who are you and what have you done with Henry?” he stammered. The. . . thing wearing Henry’s body advanced.

You will not have a quick death, Peacemaker. You will die slowly, and you will tell us- Where is the Heaven’s Eye?

© Copyright 2018 Teresa Morgan. All rights reserved.