Divided We Fall

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Chapter Ten

Submitted: September 16, 2019

Reads: 22

Comments: 3

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Submitted: September 16, 2019

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The next day, they made three more miles. It felt like a million. It felt like, to Raquelle, anyway, that they should be far past the castle. That they should be far up north, in the woods. But the only thing on the horizon was blowing grass under a dark, wet sky. 

It was one of Erik’s not so good days. Most of the time he could keep his worry and grief down, but some days it leaked a little bit, in the form of impatience and anger. He even told Emilia to hurry up when she stopped to fix her boot laces. 

“Come on!” He nagged. He was a good twenty feet from them. Apparently the steep, rocky terrain did nothing to him. “At this rate winter will be here before we even make it halfway.” 

That was it. Raquelle fell to the ground. All that walking and they weren’t even halfway yet? 

Her legs burned--burned to the point where she felt she couldn’t even stand. The only time we had stopped was for her and Emilia to use the bushes, and even then he paced the whole time, looking ahead. 

Her side throbbed, her legs hurt, and she just didn’t want to move.

She felt a strong pull under her arms. “Come on. You can do it.” 

She sagged against Erik’s chest and looked up into his eyes. “We’ve been walking nine hours straight. I can’t anymore. I can’t.” 

He pulled her up farther. “You think that now? Wait until you’re in three feet of snow with a blizzard against your face. Is that want you want?” 

She shook her head. She was too thirsty to talk anymore. Her throat was so dry it stung. 

“Well that’s what it’s going to be if you don’t start walking.” 

She moaned and let herself drop again. 

Erik caught her. “The longer you let yourself sit, the harder it’s going to be to stand up.” 

“Please. My side hurts.” 

He sighed. “It’s too late to use that excuse, Raquelle. You should have been healed a week ago.” 

She didn’t answer. Her eyes closed, and it felt so good. She let herself fall into him. 

“Nope. Come on. You’re going to stand. Now.” He stepped away, and she just fell over again. 

Erik got a little concerned. He lifted her clothes to check her wound. Honestly, at this point she didn’t care what he saw. She was just happy to be laying down. 

He laid her clothes back and felt her forehead. “I think you have a little bit of an infection. No fever yet, that’s good, but now we have to be careful.” He sighed and looked at Emilia. “There isn’t any shelter around here now. There will be once we get to the ravine. It’s not far now. Quarter mile.” 

Raquelle opened her eyes and saw Emilia give a small nod and a sympathetic glance towards her. 

Erik picked her up. “There you go. You’re going to be okay.” 

She nestled into him and closed her eyes. Ahh. It felt so good. 

The next time she opened her eyes she was on another cave floor. This one was a lot smaller. 

Erik smoothed Raquelle’s hair out of her face. “Are you okay?”

“Water,” she whispered. Emilia handed her her pouch. She drank a little bit, then sat up to drink the rest. She handed it back to her and let herself fall to the ground again. 

Erik went outside for a minute to do something, and Emilia sat next to her, a sweet, sympathetic smile on her face. “Hello, darling. Are you okay?”

Raquelle glared at her. “No, not really. I have a possibly mortal infection.”

Emilia smoothed her hair, making Raquelle stiffen. “Don’t worry. You’ll get better. You’re a fighter. No infection will take you that easily.”

Erik came back in and studied her. Raquelle tried to make herself look as healthy and lively as possible. “It’s not that bad,” she said. “I just need a couple days, at the most. Really, I’m fine.”

Erik stroked her hair. “We both know you’re far from fine, so you can stop lying about it.”

“I’ve survived worse than this. Once I sprained an ankle, but three days later I ran a mile.”

Erik grinned a little and shook his head. “And that was a very bad idea.”

“Yet I’m still walking. I am not a quitter, Erik. And no stupid infection is going to keep me from getting your sister.”

“I’m not going to kill you to save Lola. A life is a life, doesn’t matter who’s it is.”

“Not unless it’s mine. I am an orphan, Erik. I have no one that will grieve when I die. That is how it will always be. Heck, all I can think of doing is being a spy, and that’s just so I’m not wasting myself.”

“A. Life. Is. A. Life. And I am not killing you, no matter how much you insist.”

Raquelle sighed. “Okay, then. But if I’m ever too much, just take my sword and do it fast. I promise I won’t be mad and come back to haunt you or anything.”

Erik rolled his eyes but smiled a little. “Go to sleep.”

Raquelle grinned and closed her eyes, but she didn’t sleep. She knew she should, so she could heal faster, but she didn’t. How could she make Erik let her travel? Even if she insisted, he wouldn’t move until he was sure she was ready. 

She wanted to get up and force herself to start walking, to get there before winter, and save Lola. 

But all she could do was lay there and struggle to get comfortable. Then she realized if sleeping was going to help get Lola back, then sleeping she would do

Within five minutes, she drifted off. 


 

“She’ll be okay.” Emilia placed her hand on Erik’s. “Erik, she’ll be okay.” 

Erik took his eyes off the stars and looked at her. “You don’t know that.”

“Yes, I do. If you honestly think she might not make it, then you don’t know her as well as you claim.” She squeezed his hand. 

Erik was silent for a minute. “Look at those lights.”

Emilia turned and saw what he was gazing at. Ribbons of color dancing in the night sky amongst the stars. Her heart lifted. She had never seen the northern lights before, only heard about them. 

She slid closer to Erik. “It’s beautiful.”

He turned to her and slid his hand through her hair. “Not as beautiful as you.” They kissed once, full of passion. Emilia’s heart raced, her whole body on fire from the thrill. 

They looked back to the stars. There had to be millions of them, too many to look at at once. Emilia’s eyes darted all over the sky, trying to put all the pieces together and see the whole picture at once, but it was impossible. There were just too many stars. 

She looked at Erik, who stared in awe. The stars reflected in his eyes. 

Her mother used to chart stars. Emilia felt a twinge of pain at the thought. All too soon, a painful picture was forming. 

 

Emilia picked another daisy. There. The perfect bouquet for her tea party. She started to walk back to her dolls, but she heard something that made her stop. Voices that sounded like her parents. 

Curious, she dropped the bouquet and trotted towards the noise. She loved the way her dress floated as she ran. It was new, a pretty pale blue with lace at the hem. 

She stopped against the side of the house as she heard the conversation get angry. She pressed herself into the house and walked, trying not to be seen. She reached the corner of the house, from which she could see her parents arguing by the wishing well. She watched them as their words got from angry to furious. 

Then everything got quiet, so quiet she could barely hear the hum of voices. She watched her mother freeze, then scream as her father gave her a shove backwards into the well. 

Emilia’s blood ran cold. Panic flooded her body. Her mother had always told her to stay away from the well, that is she fell in, she could drown. Now, her dear mother was in there. Emilia screamed and ran for the well, shouting, “Mommy! Mommy!” Suddenly, her father blocked her path. 

“She’s dead, Emilia. Dead. She fell in.”

Tears welled in the little girl’s eyes. “She didn’t fall. You pushed her. You killed Mommy!” She cried out as he slapped her face. 

“She fell in, Emilia. You didn’t see it right.”

Emilia’s tears had begun to pour down her face. She turned around and ran the other way, screaming for her mother. 


 

“Emilia.” 

Emilia jolted from her trance and turned to where Erik stared at her, his eyes filled with worry. “Are you okay?”

She forced a smile onto her face. “Yeah. Just a daydream. Sorry.”

Erik nodded. “It’s fine.”

They kissed again, softer this time. Emilia drank it in. It felt like warmth, safety. Healing magic that nursed her pain. She wanted more, and more, and… more. 

When they parted, Erik looked at Raquelle. Emilia didn’t know why, but every time he did that, it made something inside her prick. 

“You really think she’ll be okay?”

Emilia took his face in her hands. “I know she will. Try not to worry.”

Erik looked down for a minute, then back into her eyes. He grinned, ever so slightly. 

And they kissed again.

 


© Copyright 2019 Rachel Stone. All rights reserved.

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