Her Final Chapter
She sleeps in fits now, awaiting Celesta's impending arrival.
Silently I close my eyes, and once more beg Eli to take her, and erase the aching emptiness I know she's felt for the past ten summers. At last the day she's waited for has come, and her nightmare will finally soon be over. Although loosing her will cause me much grief, seeing her go on without my mother causes an unbearable pain the likes of which I hope I never experience again.
I knew the instant I received word that I must return to Greece at once, for my queen had recently been injured in battle, that she would refuse all medical treatment, past what would be necessary for her to remain alive until I arrived at her side. While I am grateful that she waited for me so I could say goodbye, I'm also saddened that she willingly held on so long in such pain just to see me one last time.
And now, a week later, here I sit, hoping that Celesta will arrive to claim her before the sun rises again.
A feather touch to my hand causes me to look up in alarm, and eyes as green as the dew covered grass stare intently at me for several moments, before one hand gestures to a nearby cabinet.
Without question I rise and retrieve the item I know she wants. I remove the small leather pouch, tears filling my eyes as the unbidden memory of the pouch's previous owner fills my mind. I open it and pour out its contents, shocked to have two coins drop into my hand, instead of just the one, as I expected.
I return to her bedside with a wry smile on my face, and I see a brief sparkle of mischief in the tired green eyes.
"You did this on purpose didn’t you? She cant cross over without Charon's toll," I ask her with a laugh.
If she had the strength to, she would answer my question. But she does not. I gently slip the coins into her weathered hand, and gently close her fist around them.
"Go. You know how impatient she is. Tell her I love her, and that I'll always be thinking of you two," I whisper.
Her eyes track to the nearby cabinets where her scrolls are stored. The scrolls that chronicle the life of both herself and my mother.
"I'll keep my promises, both of them," I murmur.
When I arrived I was given two scrolls, both written in her hand. One indicating what her last wishes were as far as her ashes. While I knew that Amazon law dictated that she should be placed in the tomb, I knew that in her heart, this wasn’t where she felt she belonged. And yet, I didn’t want either of them to be left in Amphipolis where I knew that just anyone would have access to them.
So I quickly drew together plans to create a place for them, in a cave not far from here that I knew was a sanctuary for them both. Their urns, my mother's weapons, and her scrolls would also be placed there. I had decided that no one would know this is where I had moved everything to, so that they would always remain at peace, when I was approached by an old friend.
"They did so much for me, I want to do something for them. So you put everything there sweet pea, and I'll make sure that your family is the only one who could ever have access to them again, for all eternity," Aphrodite said.
Another touch to my head, and I look up, and I know it's time. I sit quietly, watching, listening, as her breathing gets slower and slower, until a smile creases her wrinkled face, and her eyes close for the last time. Briefly I sit, just staring at her still body. I take a deep breath, and silent tears begin to fall. I know she's at peace now, at last. And wherever she and my mother are, I know they're together again, and both of them are happy.
Tomorrow will be her pyre, and then per Aphrodite's instructions, their urns, my mother's weapons and Gabrielle's scrolls will be moved to the cave. It will then be sealed, and its story passed down in our family from mother to daughter, from one generation to the next, until the time comes when their legacy can be told, and accepted for what it truly was, and always will be.
The greatest story ever told.
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