and there was morning
(If you’re interested, I’ve also made a poster, which can be found HERE.)+++
She hadn't felt herself lose consciousness, so it was a little unnerving to see the night sky in one blink and dawn in the next. Then again, considering she was still lying in the middle of the field, injured and completely vulnerable with no memory of how she had gotten there in the first place, it might not have been a bad thing.
And what the heck was that thumping sound, almost like someone was drumming their nails on a table?
Hoofbeats, she realized with a start. She was hearing the sound of hooves, and judging by the way they were getting louder, they were heading right in her direction.
Whether they were from people on horseback or a wild herd out for its morning jog, it was not the ideal time to be flat on her back.
She tried to push herself off the ground, to hide, run, ask for a ride, whatever
. Her body still wasn't big with the cooperating, though; of course, that was probably because it was too busy feeling like it was on fire.
Yep, all she could do was lie there and wait, and even that was touch and go. As it was, she was forced to close her eyes as a wave of nausea washed over her.
To her chagrin, there was suddenly a bunch of people standing over her when she opened them again.
She tried to see who they were, but her vision was still a little wonky, so all she could really make out was their silhouettes, which only told her that they were tall, as in absurdly so.
Her nose, on the other hand, was working just fine. She felt almost assaulted with the smell of blood, sweat, and metal that surrounded them.
Interestingly, being surrounded by faceless, bloody giants didn’t scare her as much as it probably should have. Nope, the real panic didn’t start until they began arguing amongst themselves – because that was when she realized that she didn’t understand a single word they were saying.
Without thinking, she bolted upright. Or at least she tried to.
With reflexes like a cat, one of the giants dropped down next to her, and a pair of worried grey eyes filled her vision as a hand on her shoulder gently but efficiently kept her from moving anymore.
It was too late, though. The damage was done.
"This is getting ridiculous," she muttered under her breath, as she felt herself slip into unconsciousness again.
The last thing she saw was those worried grey eyes wide with shock. +++
There were monsters. And girls. A lot of girls. Some looked at her like she was the end all be all. Others looked like she was the gum on their shoe. Either way, they were all dying, violently and painfully.
There was so much blood. And despair.
That was probably the worst part; the feeling that, no matter how this played out, everyone would be gone, and she would be alone. Forever.
She jerked awake with a strangled sob, almost oblivious to the searing pain that flared through her.
A pair of arms went around her almost immediately, as someone began murmuring words to her she didn’t understand. She didn’t know if that made it better or worse. +++
The nightmares never stopped. At least, that was how it seemed to her
Sure, she woke just long enough to see that the grassy field had transformed into a room that smelled like an herb garden, and that the worried grey eyes had become sharp blue ones, but they were just small breaks. The nightmares always returned.
This one was the worst yet.
She was stuck inside a very small space, so small that she could barely move. And she could forget about breathing, let alone crying out for help.
Fighting back her terror, she shifted until her hands were in front of her face. Then she hit the wall in front of her with all her strength.
She began to feel a little better when she felt it give way. That was when the dirt started pouring in.
With a muffled gasp, she woke up, her breath coming in heaving gasps. Part of her knew that she wasn’t buried in the ground, that there was no trace of dirt to be found, only soft blankets, but it wasn’t enough. She still felt like she was suffocating.
She needed air.
Spotting a door not too far away, she scrambled to her feet – only to hit the ground as her knees buckled underneath her.
Her second attempt didn’t go much better. She was determined to get there, though.
Using all the strength she could muster, she managed to half-stumble, half-crawl to the door. Just as she was about to walk through, however, she heard a noise behind her.
She whirled around, only to see a woman rushing toward her; she was tall, with long blonde hair streaked with grey, and she had very familiar blue eyes, which were filled with alarm.
Feeling more than a little desperate herself, her words came out in a rush as she tried to explain to the woman that she needed to go outside, that the walls were closing in on her and she couldn’t breathe.
It was pretty obvious that the woman didn’t understand what she was saying. Luckily for her, though, sheer terror transcended language. After a long moment, the woman’s eyes softened and she nodded.
Relief burst through her as the woman helped her through the doorway.
As soon as they set foot outside, they were hit with a blast of cold air. To her, it felt amazing, like she could finally breathe again.
The woman obviously had different feelings on the matter. As soon as they had found a place to sit, she disappeared back into the hut, muttering under her breath the entire way. She reappeared a second later, her arms overflowing with blankets, which she then proceeded to pile on them.
She smiled at the woman in thanks. Now that her panic attack was in full retreat, she was really starting to feel the cold.
With a small shiver, she pulled the blanket closer to her. As she did, her hand brushed against something metal.
Surprised, she looked down.
There was a necklace hanging around her neck, one with a big, sparkly stone at the end of it.
She hesitated for a split second, wondering, hoping
she would recognize it; then she reached for the pendant and looked – but there was nothing. Sure, it looked a little familiar, but there definitely wasn’t any rush of memories.
Feeling a rush of disappointment, she dropped the necklace, and it fell against her chest like a rock; a heavy, unhelpful rock.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that the woman was watching at her. She tried to muster a weak smile, but she was pretty sure she failed. Miserably.
The woman reached out and patted her hand comfortingly. After a few moments, she pointed to herself.
“Leofwen,” she said.
Then Leofwen pointed to her and waited.
But she had no answer.
Probably thinking she didn’t understand, Leofwen repeated the action.
She shook her head. Then, just to make sure she got the message across, she tapped the side of her head and shrugged.
She tried to act like it was no big deal, like she often woke up with a bad case of memory loss, but her tears gave her away, the lousy traitors.
A look of realization passed over Leofwen’s eyes, and the woman put an arm around her shoulders, pulling her into a hug of sorts.
She immediately leaned into it, grateful for the gesture.
The two sat there in silence as the peace of the night fill the space around them.
Still, she couldn’t shake the tension, the frustration at not remembering anything. It wasn’t until the sky began to lighten, making all the stars fade away except for one lone holdout, that she was finally able to let go with a sigh.
She felt Leofwen turn to her questioningly.
She frowned in response. She really wished she could explain how she felt. It was really frustrating to be so... isolated.
Then again, she never was going to be able to express herself if she didn’t start trying.
Sitting up straight, she pointed to the horizon where the sun was starting to rise. She looked back at Leofwen with a questioning look.
Leofwen frowned for a moment. Then she smiled and nodded in understanding.
," she slowly repeated.
Leofwen nodded, right before her eyes lit up. “Líhting
," she said again as she gestured toward the rising sun. Then she pointed at her. “Líhtwen.”
For a second, she just stared at the woman. Then she felt a huge smile blossom on her face. Leofwen was giving her a name.
Still beaming, 'Líhtwen' nodded. She was named after the dawn.
She liked that. It felt… right. +++
Líhtwen sat up with a jerk, trying to clear the sleep away as fast as she could.
The first thing she noticed was that the sun was now completely above the horizon, though not by much. The second thing she noticed was that a man was walking toward her and Leofwen.
When he was just a few feet from them, he stopped, and Leofwen greeted him; ‘Thor’ or something.
Even though he nodded his head in acknowledgement, he barely looked at Leofwen. Nope, his steady grey eyes were on Líhtwen the entire time. And, apparently, he didn't like what he saw.
Seriously, he already had a pretty impressive frown going when he first came into sight, but now he looked downright grim. Líhtwen suddenly felt the need to tell him a joke or something, though somehow she knew that he wouldn't laugh, whether they spoke the same language or not.
Then his gaze strayed south of her face, which did not
improve her opinion of him, even if she was 99% sure he was staring at her necklace where the blanket had slipped down.
She crossed her arms over her chest anyway, feeling a small twinge of victory when his eyes immediately snapped up to hers, embarrassment mixing with suspicion.
He started speaking then, his voice low yet authoritative.
Whatever he said must've not been very nice, because suddenly Leofwen was standing in front of her almost protectively.
Though he obviously had respect for the woman, this didn’t make Thor-whoever happy. He looked like a guy who was used to get his way, too.
Leofwen didn’t back down, though. She simply launched into her own speech, and amazingly enough, Líhtwen saw the guy start to relent. He even looked a little amused at the way Leofwen kept emphasizing ‘Líhtwen’.
Seeing her opportunity, Leofwen took him by the arm and led him away from Líhtwen. After exchanging a few more words, he finally left, though not before giving Líhtwen one last look.
As soon as he was gone, Leofwen walked back and began to fuss over her as if nothing had happened. But Líhtwen knew better. She saw knew trouble when she saw it.
The interesting thing was, she got the feeling that she wasn't exactly a stranger to it.
In fact, it kind of felt like just another day. +++
A/N: So I hope this chapter wasn’t too vague, but really, it’s hard to make with the details when the POV character has amnesia! I did leave some clues, though... ;)
Big thanks to IceFlame for being an awesome sounding board.
Happy New Year!