Part 30: Death Mourns Too
There was a ringing in his ears when Janus awoke. At first, his eyes were clouded. He could see nothing but darkness, and he felt as though he were floating. He remembered an explosion and a bright light consuming the chapel once his magic had broken free. Had Fate fought back against his magic? Did it kill him?
At last, his vision began to clear, though it was blurry for a moment. He realized he was still alive. Pain shot through his body when he pushed himself to his feet. Debris was all around him, which he found to be the remains of the chapel. Well, Hunter wouldn’t be happy about that. Not only had he ruined his wedding, he had destroyed his chapel, too.
Just my luck, he thought.
Except he hadn’t only destroyed the chapel. When his vision restored in full, and he felt the biting winter wind on his face, he knew what had happened. His heart sank as he whirled around, taking in the sights around him.
He had destroyed the entire palace.
The city appeared to still be intact, but a large wall of rubble blocked it off so no one could be sure of what happened. He could hear confused shouting from the other side. Night had fallen, and thousands of stars were visible above him. It should have been beautiful.
The sound of an inhuman groan caught his attention. A dull glow was ahead of him within the rubble. He dusted himself off and headed in that direct, every step sending pain through him. When he reached the source of the glow, he found Fate, battered and dying.
“What…what happened?” he said, his eyes going wide.
Fate considered him. The fire in her eyes was gone, and golden blood dribbled out of her mouth. “It turns out,” she said, her voice echoing through the night, “that your wrath exceeds even mine.”
“In a way, child.”
Janus wrung his hands, but paused and looked down at them when something felt strange about them. He could barely hold back the cry of disgust when he saw that his hands were not only blackened, but also deformed. His nails were like short claws, and his fingers long and wiry. “What happened to me?” he demanded.
“You are becoming…who you were always meant to be,” Fate replied between long, wheezing breaths.
“A monster?!” Janus’ voice raised. His skin burned, and the pain grew worse as his temper rose.
“No.” Fate closed her eyes, breathing out a long sigh. “I should have accepted long ago…what you are. But I was blinded by my own desires. That you could be changed. That you could love.”
“What am I, then?!” Janus cried, clutching his shirt over his heart. It pounded like mad, and every beat echoed in his ears. “Tell me!”
Fate opened her eyes again, but he could see the life fading from her. “You are one of my counterparts. You are Death.”
The words sounded foreign in his ears. How could he possibly be Death?
“Don’t you see?” Fate continued. “Your handywork is all around you.”
Janus looked up. Amongst the rubble, he could make out bodies. Thousands of people had been in the palace- servants, soldiers, the wedding guests. Had he killed every single one of them? Then that meant…
He left Fate’s side to search through the debris. He shoved stone after stone aside, finding the remains of the wedding guests and a few of the guards. Perhaps Fate had been able to rescue Emerald? Surely, surely she did not let her die. Not when she was so young…so innocent! She had only ever been kind to him. She had been his single friend. She was the only one who showed compassion to this monster! How could Fate allow such a life to be taken from the earth, while he still breathed?
Panic made his heart pound as he tore through the rubble, calling her name. He froze when he found a body he recognize; that of King Hunter. The curse he tried to utter died on his tongue. The young man’s face was bloodied and gray, and he was cold to the touch. Fate had truly decided to let the man die? What did that mean for Emerald?
Emerald had been standing beside him when Janus’ magic broke free. His hands shook as he turned to his right. At first, in the darkness, he saw nothing. “Have mercy,” he found himself praying under his breath. “Please say she’s alive.” He pulled aside a large tapestry that had fallen- one that depicted his own sister’s death by King Hunter’s hands.
Emerald’s body was beneath it. Weakness flooded his body as he took in the sight of her; her limp form and gray skin. Her torn wedding dress. It drove him to his knees before her. His hands reached out to touch her, but he couldn’t bring his deformed hands to do so. He had done this. He had brought Fate’s wrath upon them.
“Emmy,” he said, finally taking her body into his arms. “Emmy, I’m here.” He shook her gently, but no life was left in her. His heart was a bird in his chest, desperate to escape. His blood roared in his ears, and his lungs burned. He pulled her close to his chest as rage boiled up inside him, and when he couldn’t hold it in any longer, it broke free as a scream. There was no magic like there had been in the chapel. All that was left of him was the cry that echoed in the night.
All that was left were the cracks in his heart.
~ <♥> ~
So…that happened! When I first started out with this story, I wanted to to be a fun little comedy, right? This was certainly fun, but it turned into something a little darker, haha! Such a writer thing to do, am I right? Anyway, just to clarify, this isn’t the finale just in case you thought I might leave you hanging here. When this idea first occurred to me, I almost went with this being the ending. No joke, I would have stopped right here, with that last sentence. But lucky for you, I decided to have a little mercy, haha! I’m not sure how many more parts there will be, but I doubt there will be many. We are close to the end now!
Thank you guys for keeping up with this story! Give me your thoughts on this part in the comments below, and what your predictions are for the finale! And as always, God bless and have a wonderful weekend!