Ruby Red and Gentilberry Green: A Fantastical Romance - Part XX

in #fiction6 years ago (edited)

This is the twentieth part of an ongoing serial. Here are Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen and Nineteen. Updates every two days, barring minor mishaps.

Now that Matilda had everything she'd ever wanted right in front of her, it was becoming increasingly clear that this was not the way to get it.

She had come here, in three words, to kill Necristo. Taking his heart, whether by love or knife or theft of magic, was the simplest way to do it. Otherwise, for all her power, she might as well be a gnat, ramming itself repeatedly into the side of a house. It was all she could do to hide herself.

But she hadn't counted on two people: her otherplanar niece, and Necristo's dead mother. One of them didn't want her to do it, which was annoying, but surmountable. The other of them did want her to do it, which felt, despite her best efforts, monstrous.

"I mean, if you’re wrong, and he’s not lying, and he really does want nothing better than to d-discover friendship, and purpose, and companionship and all that, then why can’t I try to help him?”

She set her jaw grimly, and reminded herself that there was a high possibility that Anne was dead. Otherwise, she would have used the Seal of Summoning.

Silly Mattie, said Lizzie, smiling her old smile inside her head. You barely even knew her, anyway. It's only been a week.

"That's not how family works," said Matilda out loud. "You should know that."

But there was no response, and despite all her longing, the fair blue-eyed face refused to appear. She was hardly a sorceress, after all.

She liked to think she was jaded by now, but it still hurt. It festered like a wound in her breast.

"I'm doing this for Anne. Can't you see?"

And not just Anne, too. For Ceres Swansilver, and all the other girls who had died under Necristo's so-called care. For…

She closed her eyes and willed away the memory. It seemed so selfish, her final motive. She didn't even want to think about it.

"Necristo, I'm here. You know who I am."

She took the cloak from her shoulders and cast it to the floor, and in less than the span of a thought, he was there. A white-skinned man in disheveled black, with eyes as red as a rabbit’s. He looked very young.

“Matilda,” he said, eyes wide. “No… you’re…”

Trying to still the wild pounding of her heart, Matilda smirked as best she could.

“Small world, isn’t it? Or is that worlds?”

But the sorcerer had no answer.

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