Picture - #13
DISCLAIMER: Story mine, Characters mine.
“How old is she?”
“A bit young for your tastes, I’d say.”
“It isn’t like that…”
The sudden movement from the other side of the mirror made both women look at each other in surprise. The youngster had gotten up and had started pacing the small room, a look of consternation in her eyes.
The taller of the two women on the other side of the mirror shrugged after a few moments and quietly turned to leave.
The shorter spared her retreating figure a single glance before she turned back to the youngster on the other side of the mirror.
Her whisper was meant for no-one but herself. “It isn’t like that…”
A long time had passed when the door opened again. The youngster on the other side of the mirror had been sitting once more, her fingers beating a steady tattoo on the battered table.
The short woman with the flame-red hair turned to look at the newcomer. Her eyes darkened when she saw her erstwhile companion. Without a word she turned back to her silent contemplation of the youngster.
The tall woman spoke after a few moments. “I don’t believe you.”
The answer was immediate. “Believe what you will.”
“It isn’t like you to take in strays.”
The answer was immediate and angry. “She is not a stray!”
Silence reigned as the tall woman shook her head and the shorter turned back to her observation of the youngster.
Finally the shorter woman spoke. “So…what do you think?”
The tall woman pursed her lips before answering as if trying to find the right words. “Let someone else try this one.”
Green eyes turned to her flashing in anger.
The tall woman hurried to speak. “You are not detached at all, Adarra. You’re too involved.”
Adarra’s words were bitingly curt. “And the trial has no involvement?”
The tall woman shook her head once more. Her voice was low as if she feared being overheard. “It will only bring you grief, sister.”
Adarra threw her sister a withering glance. “So?”
“By the stars, Adarra, have you no sense? They always leave after the trial. That’s the way it is. And then what will you do? Tell me, damn you, what will you do?”
Adarra’s words were slow but forceful. “I will be happy she has passed. That’s our lot in life isn’t it, Sah? Once we left too.”
Sah shook her head again. The defeat was clear in her voice. “As you wish, then.”
The wind whipped the lone figure standing on the rocks. The waves crushed on the icy shore, their foam sparkling white as the tower’s lights fell on them. Over the wind’s shrieking fury, she never heard the light footsteps that brought her sister to her side.
Sah’s voice was loud enough to be heard over the wind’s fury. “She’s left then?”
Adarra turned tear-filled eyes to her sister. Her only answer was a single slow nod.
“I’m sorry, Adarra.”
Long moments passed before Adarra answered. “Don’t be. She left with a smile on her face.”
Sah bowed her head in acquiescence. Quietly she turned to leave the sea-battered shore and her sister in her lonely vigil.
The loud knocking on the door pulled Adarra out of her thoughts. With slow movements she went to open the door. The sight that greeted her made her doubt her sanity.
Yet the deep even voice was the same she remembered. “Adarra…”
Adarra let her eyes took in the sight in front of her. She took in the twin scars that run down Kordan’s face, the laugh-lines that accentuated her features. She took a breath before speaking. “Are you well? Has something happened?”
A moment passed before Kordan replied. “I am well. Everything is fine. I…I have come home.”
Adarra shook her head. She was certain she could not have heard that right. “But… it’s early. Most don’t come back for another two dozen years.”
Kordan looked down to the floor, her voice heavy. “And the dozen that passed are not enough?”
Adarra stood silent. All words seemed to have escaped her jumbled thoughts. The sound of someone moving in the kitchen made both women look up.
Kordan’s voice held an odd tone. “Ahh… Forgive me, Adie. I was not thinking. Be well.”
The slow flowing movement as Kordan turned to leave pulled Adarra from her stunned stillness. Her hand was quick as she grasped Kordan’s.
“No, Kor. It’s just Sah. She came for dinner.”
Kordan’s eyes seemed to burn with hope. “Just Sah?”
“Aye, little one, just Sah. Always just Sah,” Adarra answered, her voice breaking at the words.
The loneliness of years must have showed in her eyes. “Forgive me, Adarra.”
A half-smile graced Adarra’s lips. “There is nothing to forgive. We all leave, Kor. We all leave…”
Kordan shook her head in denial. “I should have known better, Adie. A lot better…”
Adarra’s reply was sharp. “You wanted to see the world. As you should! You are young. This… this is a place for the old. You should not be here.”
Kordan’s smile was small and bitter. “I’ve seen the world, Adie. More…more than I ever wanted. For all my searching…there is only one home…”
Adarra looked at Kordan, trying to see behind the calm façade to the person beyond. Her words held a sense of wonder. “You’ve grown… and changed…”
The single curt nod and the flash of pain in once bright blue eyes told Adarra more than any string of words ever could.
Adarra’s touch was firm as she took Kordan’s hand. “Come. There is dinner waiting.”
The old floorboard creaked as it had always done when Kordan stepped inside. The door was closed gently as it had always been closed. The large calloused hand that Adarra still held squeezed hers hesitantly.
A smile playing on her lips, Adarra led Kordan into her home.
Story by: RHURC BLACK
Have you thanked your Bard today? Please Feed The Bard.