Divided We Fall

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

Chapter 6 (v.1) - Chapter Six

Submitted: September 10, 2019

Reads: 22

Comments: 2

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Submitted: September 10, 2019

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 The kiss had been bliss. Emilia smiled and swooned against the cave wall thinking about it, still drunk on the thrill. 

The feeling of her and him, skin against skin… she closed her eyes to savor the feeling. 

Then another image started to slink into the thought. Emilia tried to shake it off, but it only became more clear. 

The harsh sound of new silk being ripped, the feeling of hands on her skin that were forceful with hunger for her. 

The tears that fell softly, without a sound, wet against the side of her face. 

Emilia heard the sound of stirring beside her, and snapped out of the memory. She looked to see Erik waking up. He sat up. “Hi,” he whispered. 

She giggled in spite of herself. His hair was messed up from sleeping, and his sweet curls were in every direction. 

“Hi, yourself, cutie.” 

He glanced at Raquelle. Emilia gave an inward sigh. Forget the kid, Erik. Focus on me. Just me. 

Raquelle whimpered and kicked a little in her sleep. 

“How is she healing?” Emilia asked, trying to sound sweet and considerate. 

“Good. Don’t tell her, but I put a little bit of that stuff in her water last night. She needs to sleep longer.” 

“I won’t.” 

He smiled. “I know.” He pulled her closer. 

Yes

“She should stay asleep a little while longer yet.” 

Emilia heard the true meaning of what he was saying. 

Yes

He brushed her hair away from my face and stared into her eyes. He licked his lips. 

Yes!

She leaned in as he did, and just as their lips touched, there was another whimper, this one louder. 

The kid woke up. 

Emilia clenched her teeth. Great timing, Raquelle. 

Erik must have sensed her dismay, as he leaned in next to her ear and whispered, “don’t worry. We’ll have plenty of time later. She won’t be around all day. And if not today, tonight. I promise.” 

Emilia smiled. Good. He did care. 

Raquelle sat up and began to comb through her hair with her fingers. She stared at them, eyes narrowed, no doubt seeing through their guilty exteriors. 

“Thank you for at least doing it when I’m asleep,” she muttered, and Emilia could tell she was more than a little disgusted over yesterday. 

“You’re welcome,” she replied sweetly. 

Emilia looked down at her hands. Once they were soft and smooth, fragrant with lavender and chamomile. Her nails were the perfect length, snow white and spotless. Now they were torn short, full of dirt. Emilia looked closer and her eyes widened as she noticed little crimson spots. Another memory started churning, and she tried to force it down. 

Struggling.  Screams as the blade hit, and the shuddering before they were still, blood pouring from their mouths. 


 

A soft mist fell over the land, covering everything in dewdrop sparkles. 

Emilia lifted her face to the mist and closed her eyes. She spread her arms out, extending her fingers, imagining the mist cleaning her, washing away the sin. 

They had stopped to rest for a while, and Emilia took the opportunity to see the land, that was so unlike the prairie she came from. 

“Oh. You’re here.”

Emilia turned to see Raquelle watching her with intense eyes. 

“Hi. Raquelle, right?”

“Yep.”

Emilia smiled. “Good. You’ll have to excuse me, I’m poor with names.”

“Well, no one’s perfect.” Raquelle climbed the hill and looked out at the spectacular scenery. 

“Say, what Erik said earlier, about how you wanted to be a spy or something?”

Raquelle turned to her. “Yeah?”

“Well, I was just wondering why a girl like yourself would want to live that life.”

The corner of Raquelle’s mouth quirked up in what wasn’t quite a smile, not quite a smirk. “Because it’s the only other thing I can do. I can live in Whitewood, and be a random orphan kid, find a nice husband and bear some kids, or I can spy. I can use my skills. I can do something that no other girl my age has ever dared to do. If I settle and have kids, where is the pride in that? I’m only doing what thousands have done before me. A woman’s place, I believe, is not just in the home. It’s anywhere she wants it to be. The only thing separating us from men is that we are strong enough, brave enough, to bear children and raise them. That we are strong enough to do all the housework and watch those children. And those men, when they say we can’t do something, that we aren’t strong enough, they seem to forget that without us they wouldn’t exist. We make them, and we keep them alive. And through all that, we manage to keep alive ourselves. We are stronger than they could ever dream to be. They just need to open their eyes to see it.”

Emilia stared at her a minute, a knot of doubt growing in her body. “Then what do you say about the women who want to do that? Or whores?”

“I say, if that’s what you want to do, do it, but let them know who you are, that you are more than a servant, or a babysitter, or someone to play with, but a human being. A human being that has the right to live their lives, just as you live yours.”

Emilia took a deep breath. “What about women that didn’t get a choice?”

“Have faith in yourself. And fight. Fight with your actions, with your words. Show them who you are, show them you will not be silent. And eventually, when your chance does come, make the most of it, because it might never come again. Why do you ask?”

Emilia shrugged and looked away. “Just wondering.” In her mind, the words spun. Make the most of it, because it might never come again. Show them who you are. Show them you will not be silent.

A memory started playing in her mind. Emilia tried to turn it off, to think of something else, but the image just glowed brighter.

“Today’s the day, Emilia,” he had said. “Today’s the day I get some use from you.” 

She glared at him with eyes of fire, wanting to rip him to shreds. But she didn’t. She put on the dress and followed like a rag doll. She said her vows and held in her tears as he married her off, and walked away. She looked at her new husband, so tall and stern, and studied his eyes. They gleamed with longing, with greed, as he looked her up and down.

 

Emilia shook her head, trying to shake away the memory. Raquelle studied her. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“Okay.” Raquelle took one last look at the wet, rocky, yet stunning terrain, and walked away.

Emilia suddenly felt too alone. Too small. Too exposed. She looked around before running after Raquelle, trying to shake off the feeling as if someone were following her. 

 


© Copyright 2019 Rachel Stone. All rights reserved.

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