tagSci-Fi & FantasyGoodbye, Love Ch. 03

Goodbye, Love Ch. 03


Marie heard a sound like a thousand broken souls crying out for reprieve. When she turned to look in the direction from which it had come, she saw only the small black bird that watched her earlier. Well, that was what she'd thought she saw at first. Then she blinked and realised it was not a bird at all.

An elfin-looking man walked towards her. He had deep brown skin. His eyes and hair were black as coals and he wore a scowl that looked like it meant business.

* * *

Desire continued to caress Marie's sleeping form, trying to keep her calm while the two creatures argued silently.

"I'm not finished!"

"Perhaps not, but that is no problem of mine. You know that I don't play by your rules. Despair is neither gentle nor fair. After so many years, I thought you would know how these things work. Now, let me continue with my business. Or I swear I will wake the girl now. She will be frightened and neither of us will have her tonight."

Desire began.

"I will not argue with you!" He looked her in the eye; his glowed a hellish red for a few moments. He still wore the bird glamour. It was his favourite form.

"Fine, then," said Desire. She ran her fingers through Marie's hair and returned her full attention to the girl's dreamland, and whatever that dark bastard might be up to in there.

* * *

Marie was confused. Desiree didn't react whatsoever to the man's arrival. Could she not see him?

"Who are you?" she asked the man, her voice quivering.

"What do you mean, baby?"

"N-not you, Desiree! Can't you see him, there?" She pointed to the dark elf, who she swore had been either one or a thousand tiny birds just moments before.

"It's only you and me here, baby girl," Desiree soothed.

"This must be what going crazy feels like," Marie thought.

"She doesn't care about you," whispered the man. "No one does. That's why you're always alone. It's why you whine on and on about hurting."

"No! Shut up!" Marie closed her eyes and tried to curl up into herself.

"Shh, baby. Be still. Desiree will make everything better," she cooed at the girl.

The dark man squatted down next to Marie and lowered his face until it was level with hers, resting in Desire's lap. His breath stank of loneliness, of death and rot.

"I won't go away until you listen to me, girl."

Marie shrank away from the horrid stench which carried his words. Desiree began to sway gently, rocking the human in another attempt to soothe her.

Marie blinked and looked up at the dark, cruel man. He wore a smile devoid of mirth.

"What do you want from me?" Her jaw was set like stone. She didn't like this new person one bit.

"I only want you to listen and consider my words."

"You speak lies... You say hateful things. I can smell it on you," she hissed at him.

"No, girl, I speak the truth. Its being difficult to hear does not make it any less true. Be quiet, child, and let me speak. Then, if you wish, I will be on my way and you may act out your beautiful lies with that tart."

Unseen by Marie, Desire rolled her eyes. "Tart? Give me a break."

Despair flashed another rotten smile at Desire, then turned it on Marie.

"You have loved, child. I know this. But your love has not been good enough. It has been weak. You have been tested twice and failed both times. You lack the strength and courage to truly make a relationship work. You are so naïve and trusting of others at face value... The world does not work like a toddler's play group, foolish one!"

"Wait," sobbed Marie, "You are telling me that my love is not pure enough, yet I am too naïve and trusting. That makes no sense."

"But it does, girl. You encompass each of these faults and more. How do you think that the very different people you have loved could both turn you away in such similar manners?"

"That's not true!" she nearly screamed back at him.

Desire ran her fingers through the girl's hair, massaging her scalp. Marie blinked back tears, both angered and saddened by what the dark man had said.

"Oh, but it is. Your first love didn't even try to work things out with you, did she?"

"She had so much going on in her own life... She had to worry about her own problems before she could try to have a relationship with someone else."

"Is that what she told you? She lied. She found someone better than you, a woman without your insecurities and neediness."

Marie curled into a ball, hugged her knees. Faint streaks of green from the plush grass coloured the side of her robe. Despair looked on, pleased with his quick progress.

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