Another Wednesday, another flash of my briefs. It's been a pretty good week apart from the dog getting sick all over the bathroom. I have to hold my hands up and admit I lost the post about prompts and when I went to look to incorporate one into the story yesterday they just weren't there. Of course, on reflection, I could just have asked someone to forward it to me but that would have been too easy for me wouldn't it? Unfortunately, therefore, there will be no prompt this week but I've found an awesome photograph and hope that will suffice.
“Did you not once say you have a special connection with your brother? I believe you called on it at one time.”
“Well, I can’t say for sure what it is, or what it means, but as twins we have always been very close. When we were younger we finished each other’s sentences and knew what the other was thinking. We still know how we’re feeling no matter how far apart. If I’m down or ill, Ash will call and vice versa.”
“Can you feel his sickness within you? Can you feel Catherine’s hand around his heart, her power possessing him?”
Emma thought about it. There had always been a place, deep inside, where Ash lived; the place where she could feel him, almost hear his thoughts. She realised with surprise that it wasn’t there. It took her a few more moment to realise this was because she was actively shutting it off, albeit unconsciously. Self defence maybe.
“It’s there, but it’s closed off. I think it’s like a door shutting to keep the monster at bay on the other side.”
“That’s exactly it. You must open the door.”
“I don’t know how.”
“Take my hands and I will help you.”
It was so strange, taking Tristan’s hands and gazing into his calm blue eyes, all the while surrounded by the smells and sounds of the hospital, and knowing her brother was a bare arm’s length away fighting for his life. At first it felt so wrong that her eyes and thoughts were on Tristan and not him. Then Tristan’s eyes widened slightly and her vision tunnelled until there was nothing else in the world but him, and the deep blue waters into which she plunged.
A gentle coolness washed through her and somewhere deep inside, something opened like a flower. It was a flower with poison pollen though, because, almost immediately a deeper cold possessed her; a dark cold, like oil flowing through her veins. When it hit her heart she could have sworn it stuttered for a moment, and a bone deep ache closed like band around her chest, restricting her breathing to gasps.
She could feel her. There, in her heart, in her bones, seeking possession of her, seeking entrance into her mind and the very cells of her body
“No,” she gasped, then blinked her eyes and was back, grounded in reality, gazing into Tristan’s eyes through a haze of incandescence that settled, like a film over her eyes. “Is this what he feels?” she whispered.
“I imagine so, although I would think the effects are more pronounced, more deeply embedded.”
“What do I do now?”
“Take his hand. Speak to him as I believe your voice is the only he will now. Tell him to find the same place within him, to centre there, in your warmth. I will help him, as I did you.”
“I don’t feel warm. I’m so cold.”
“Your body may be, but the warmth of your heart, of your love, still courses strongly through you. I feel it.”
“What happens next? When Ash had found me?” When she repeated to herself. Not if, when.
“When she feels herself attacked, she will come and you must fight her. Together.”
“You will know; or you will die. Both of you will die.”
“But….” For a moment, anger flooded her, momentarily burning the darkness that swirled around her heart as it swelled with the thought that he had betrayed her, had tricked her into taking a path that would lead to both their deaths. Then, the realisation she would have taken that path willingly, had she been given a choice, turned anger to understanding and she managed to smile at him.”
“Tell him,” Tristan urged, and she turned to Ash.
Shock coursed through her, as she saw her brother with very different eyes. She could see his veins as if his skin had turned to paper. They were black with poison; his eyes behind his closed eyelids were dark with it. Had he got suddenly worse while she was turned from him, or had this been there all along, unseen with her mundane eyes?
Emma swallowed hard, and pushed aside the dragging heaviness that invaded her, with the cold of Catherine’s touch.
“Ash,” she whispered, through a frozen jaw. “Ash I’m here. I feel her, too. I must be taking some of her power from you. Please let it be enough to let you fight her. I know you’re tired, darling. I know it’s been so hard for you, but you have to find some fight left – for me. Fight for me, please.
“Do you remember when we were very young and I was so ill with meningitis. They thought I might die. I remember. I remember how tired I was; how everything was hard, and dark. You came to me then. The wouldn’t let you for a long time and, in the end, I think they brought you to me to say goodbye. The minute I saw your face the darkness receded, enough to let me see with clear eyes for the first time. When you touched my hand I could feel you, inside my heart, feeding me with the energy I needed to fight on and beat the sickness.
“The same thing happened when you had the accident on your bike and you were unconscious. I was so scared, but I found you and brought you back. Well, I’ve found you again. Let me in. Please let me in.”
For the longest time nothing happened, as she carried on talking, begging, pleading, eventually, when there was nothing else to say, singing. And then, just as she was on the point of giving up, Ash gasped and shuddered. The tone of the beeps on the machines to which he was connected jumped and changed. Finally, with a spasmodic squeeze of her hand his eyes flew open, and he whispered. “Emma.”
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