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Three Days and Seventeen Hours (18+) ~ Iaophae

The cairn.

Bare, manicured feet crushed twigs, stones and grass beneath their soles. A pine martin, alarmed by the Sidhe's scent, scurried away into the depths of the Scottish forest. The cobblestone pathway seemed to gleam in dusk light, amber stones glistening in the ever growing darkness as they lie alongside the trail. Divets in the stone had been worn away by her footsteps. Too many dismal strolls to this site. Just too many for her, yet never enough for Iaophae.

Voice of Nature - millivedder: Balance  Prints

 

Sweating palms fastened against the boulder, gripping until her knuckles nearly bled. Her ribcage dragged against her bare skin, curls plastered to her damp body, screeches echoing throughout the cavern. Gods, 'ave mercy on my soul.

She was no woman to bear a child, especially not the child of her captor. Birth was supposed to be painful, Iaophae was aware of that, but this- this was unnatural. Muscles seemed to cave in on themselves, her pelvic bones seemed to shatter, trembling legs, torso convulsing. Wild gemstone eyes sought for some sign of the Gods, the spirits, anybody.

Iao was left unanswered.

The cave floor slippery with blood, bruised toes curled in. She seemed to lurch forward, a ghastly wail escaping her clenched teeth. But no Rusalka would die in childbirth. She would create her own salvation if need be.

Her spine pushed against her skin, becoming more and more prominent, the golden tan color draining from her body to leave only a pale figure. The little blood she had left roared within her, veins popping out and rising like her ridged spine. Grime covered nails elongated as well as jagged teeth, as sapphire eyes rolled back, leaving only the whites. Muscles shrunk within her body, clumps of hair fell from her scalp, leaving monumentous bald patches. The skin began to rip at the corners of her mouth as her jaw fractured itself, the bleeding, ruined skin reaching all the way back to her ears. A gruesome Cheshire smile.

If she would live and the child would die from this wretched form, Iao would be fine. If the Nedelya form overcame her judgement and she devoured the child, she would live on. This was the Curse of the Rusalka.

Fingers fastened back into the boulder, shattering the rocks surface. Raucous, monstrous screeches filled the cave, the other hand tearing at the moss beneath her. And it was over, the pressure leaving her lower abdomen, muscles ceasing to constrict.

Come back.

Those filthy claws tore away at the cord binding the mother and child, allowing the demonized version of Iaophae to roll onto her side, convulsing, the claws of her hands and feet tearing at empty space, her long tongue lashing from her ripped, permanent Joker smile.

Come back, an' finish dis gods damned ordeal.

Claws retracted, skin regained her mulatto color, even seemed to sew itself back together, her hair growing back to normal. A loud gasp escaped Iaophae and the once beautiful, now withered soothsayer now lie defeated on blood soaked moss and stone. Her heart pounded in her ears, a wheeze straining her chest, a- cries pierced her ears and she frantically scrabbled to face the newborn.

A boy, olive skinned, weak wails emitting from his malnourished frame. Nearly hyperventilating, Iao scrambled to her sons side, quaking hands wrapping around him. She had forgotten how to hold one of these things. She wore no smile, no tears of joy flowing from her face, she only bore a statuesque stare.

He was sickly, no more than five pounds if that, loose skin dogging his limbs. A wrinkled face scrunched up tight with each frail cry. What was she to do. Leave? Risk the Sun Cult finding her before she escaped Romania? Leave and risk his life, or stay and watch him wither away? Or abandon him here, in this very cavern? Name him? No.

Names held too much meaning. 

 

_________________________________

 

Iaophae never set him down. For three days she did not sleep, or eat, or so much as drink. The only thing she had, was the sun dial she had stolen from the Cult. Her arms seemed frozen in the position to hold the child. He seemed to shrink by the hour, withered weezes and pathetic whimpers escaping him. He barely took to her breast, he hardly moved, his heart beat growing dimmer. Her gemstone gaze never left the sun dial, watching as seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days.

Three days, sixteen hours, and fifty three minutes.

Iao's gaze fell to the boy as her heart did, he no longer moved, his heartbeat faint against her palm, racketing his body. His mouth opened in a silent cry. "Do ye want a song, laddie?" Iao murmured down to him, and of course she recieved no response.

 
 "Do the roses grow in November?
Or do thorns tear you apart?
Does the rain come down in summer,
In the bosom of your heart?"
 
Her throat tightened, her heartbeat seeming to vanish as his dimmed, pulling the wee lad closer to her chest. Onward.
 
"Did your love grow, and burn so bright?
Was it love forever, that warmed you in the night?
The pledge of love, you swore till death,
Is it broken now and twisted, forever in your heart.
 
Do the roses grow in November?
Or do thorns tear you apart?
Does the rain come down in summer,
In the bosom of your heart?"
 
He lie completely still, her dry eyes beginning to burn with the tears she had held back for months on end. Her trembling form was silent, cracked lips shut.
 
"First kiss so sweet, the loving hug,
Tender words spoken, only of love,
A faithful heart, that hid the flames,
Until the deep betrayal, that tore your world apart."
 
His head limp in her hand, resting against her palm. He hardly weighed more than a small stone, his skin dry and lifeless.
Three days,sixteen hours, fifty eight minutes.
 
"Do the roses grow in November,
Or do thorns tear you apart?"
 
Silence.
No heartbeat, no song.
Three days and seventeen hours.
 
"Does the rain come down in summer,
In the bosom of your heart?"
 
 
// pınterest: @ısabella //
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