(WP) Blood, Bonds and Fire

(WP) Blood, Bonds and Fire

               The
battle had raged for what felt like days, though truly, it was only minutes.

               Fire had
raged throughout the castle, gathering speed and oxygen as it did.

               It was
slowly creeping toward the throne room, and if they didn’t get out soon, it
would devour them both.

               But she
might have been willing to die in the fire if it meant the eradication of the
evil she’d spent her whole life fighting.

               The
monster was on the floor, taking labored breaths. But she was wearing a
victorious smirk, her teeth bloody. Or perhaps that was the fire, a trick of
light.

               “Come,
child. You cannot be so blind that you see the world in shades of black and
white.” She said, raising her honeyed voice to be heard over the roar of the
flames.

               “I’m
tired of your waxing philosophical!” Amara snarled, and she lifted her blade, eager
for the kill.

She didn’t have time for this. She
was so tired. Tired of fighting, of running, of her quest. Noble though it was,
she just wanted it all to be over. What was a little more blood on her hands?

“Amara,” Artemis rasped, laying prostrate
on the stone floor. “Wait. Please.”

Did her sister really believe she
would stop, just because she’d asked nicely?

Not likely.

But against her will, she lowered
her arm, and her grip on the sword went slack.

“We don’t exactly have time for a
debate,” Amara said. “The castle is on fire.”

“So, we’ll keep it quick,” Artemis
said, her voice raspy. “Before you kill me…”

Amara waited, her throat aching and
her body fatigued. It was so tempting to lay down beside her sister and rest.
If they were just going to die anyway, what was the point of fighting at all?

“Do you have any idea about the lengths that humans will go to, to save the life
of one of their own? Or to even avenge another human?”

The words stopped Amara cold, and
she gritted her teeth. She was sick to death of games.

“What’s your point?” She asked
through clenched teeth.

“Humans are always eager to shed
blood, especially if one of their own is threatened. I’m not evil; I’m merely
practical. I do what you and the Council are too weak to even attempt. Evil is
just a name given to anyone who doesn’t agree with the laws, the old, outdated
tenets of the Council. Deviant. Deserter. Warmonger and defiler. We’re not so
different, you and I. I just chose my own path.”

Amara frowned, but she could not
help but reflect on her sister’s words. Perhaps she was right. But now was not
the time for an existential crisis.

“Come, sister. It doesn’t have to
be this way. We can do what we like. Together.”

The fire was close to devouring the
whole castle, but Amara could feel her heart wavering.

Why did it matter, what she did?
What claim did she have to destiny?

Who was to say that her sister wasn’t
right?

**