Friday, January 10, 2020

Page 2013 -- CCIII.

((The Mon/Wen/Fri Double -- page 1 of 2))
Chapter Two Hundred Three: 'Premonitions of a dark horizon...'
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Nere Blackburn was not herself. She hadn't been for many years, if she were telling the complete truth of things, but she could feel it now more than ever.

The instability in her thoughts. The erratic emotions that gripped her. Anxiety. Sorrow. But perhaps most of all, fear.

Fear of what? She could hardly tell anymore. Of everything, perhaps. Of all outcomes. All possibilities.

Ismael, her husband of forty years, was gone. Slain by the Salesman of Death. Ibai, her darling son, was missing. Taken by the Monster of the East.

Her two greatest ties to this world. Severed.

She knew she was broken now. She had known it for some time. These events only made it that much more clear to her.

Because more than anything, she deserved this.

She had never believed in the water god before, but now she did. This was divine punishment, surely.

For her deception.

She hadn’t left her room in several days now. The other Blackburns, the kind and pure souls that they were, did nothing but try to help her, to provide her with any manner of assistance she required.

But they didn’t know that their kindness, their perfection, hurt her now more than any cruelty she could think of.

If they knew the truth, they would hate her. They would turn. All that kindness would turn to wrath--and rightly so.

Look at all she had wrought.

Now, not only was her own family shattered beyond repair, but so many others were caught in the grip of the madness that she had begun so many years ago.

With her weakness.

Her love for Ismael had grown to such extremes as she had never even dreamt possible, far beyond what it was even when they were newly married. It had grown so strong, in fact, that the thought of ever living without him had become a thing more terrible to her than anything else. She could have lost anything else. Just not him. Not after all he had done. She would have gladly died in his stead, if she only been given the chance.

But there had been a time when she hated him.

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