A funeral

Aug. 31st, 2012 09:26 pm
ext_20269: (sally - 30s dress headshot)
[identity profile] annwfyn.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] zg_shadows
The old woman was a witch, the people say. And that's why they have come.

They don't know if it is the witch they are looking for. They've never known. She was lost in the chaos that followed the Great Fall in 2010. She was just a woman, you see. She was never going to be one of the heroes, or villains. She was never going to survive, as they have survived, growing colder and less human with every year that passes.

They come in the forms of women this time. They've taken other guises in the past, but tonight they are just women. One is small bodied and slim, clad in black with a hood she keeps pulled over her head. She doesn't want anyone to see the mask she wears underneath. One is taller, with red hair tied back in a plait and skin as alabaster cold as a statue. People shrink away from her when she passes but she ignores them with disdain. She is a queen amongst her own people now, and is used to fear, even from those she still thinks of herself as protecting.

They both stand at the back of the little cluster of people, far away from the funeral pyre. One nods to the other, and, after a pause, the other nods back.

"You look well," the masked figure murmurs. The other smiles, crookedly.

"You too," she comments.

Her statement is no more a lie than the first.

There is silence then. What is there to say.

"How likely is it that it was her?" the second asks, at length. The first shrugs.

"Unlikely," she says. "She was a herbalist they say. I don't think Natasha was ever interested in gardening. But she did make trinkets. Wards, of a kind,"

The second shrugs as well.

"Then perhaps."

There is silence then and they both look ahead for a few moments. At last, the second speaks again.

"Do you ever wonder...?" she asks, perhaps a little tentatively.

"Wonder what?" the other asks.

"About her choice?"

There is silence again. The two things that were once women look at each other for a long time. Once there had been a moment where they could have chosen differently. They look at the people around them, at the tiny village where the woman who was probably not Natasha lived, and breathed, and hoped and helped.

Then at last the first one shakes her head.

"What good would that do?" she says. "We both made our choice,"

And there is silence as they stand there and watch the flames whip upwards towards the sky.

Date: 2012-08-31 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ksirafai.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. I appreciate the elegy... and we should write more snippets.

Date: 2012-08-31 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lanfykins.livejournal.com
That is a very sweet vignette.

I do like stories where there isn't certainty, where you never find out quite how it ended...

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