Warning: This is not going to be a cheerful, fluffy fic. I was going to write one of them, but as you can see it went very wrong…
The blood was sticky and hot under my fingers, and I felt the flow slowly abating as I tried desperately to plug the gaping hole in my horse's stomach. My neckerchief was stained red and soaking as I held it to the wound.
'I'm sorry, Morgana,' I whispered, looking up at my sister. Morgana's hand was tangled in her wavy hair, and each breath emitted a small puff of steam into the night air. Her eyelashes fluttered against her cheeks as she slept. 'I've killed Will.'
I shook her urgently until she moaned and sat up, her pale figure stark against the darkness.
'I've killed Will.' My voice broke as I tried to stifle my guilt. She stared at Will's prone body, and then burrowed her small head into my shoulder, gripping onto my jacket as if it were her only lifeline. Sobs wracked her frame, and I could feel her tears soaking the fabric of my jacket.
'Is it because we have magic?' she asked, her shaking voice muffled against my shoulder. When she looked up, her eyes held all the trials and tribulations of one five times her age. Her forehead was as wrinkled as a lizards elbow as she gazed at Will's prone figure.
I remembered the conflicting emotions on my mother's face when I asked to play with the other village children; the fear when she caught me tidying my room with magic; the tears she tried to quickly cover up when Morgana had her first prophetic dream that had come true. I knew that there was no place for magic in this village, or any village in fact. We were seen as unnatural, twisted and dangerous. That perception would never change; it was too deeply ingrained into people's minds. All sorcerers were fated for downfall. That's just the way it was, and always will be.
I said nothing, but Morgana already knew the answer.
Mother was waiting by our cottage in front of the chickens with her hands on her hips. I noticed that Balinor had made himself scarce, and was silently grateful. His presence wouldn't help matters.
'Merlin! We've been worried out of our minds! What took you so long, and where's-' As her eyes flickered to the crimson splatters, plain against my blue cotton tunic, she swayed on the spot. 'What happened,' she choked.
I stepped forwards, clutching my soiled neckerchief in one hand, and my self-reproach in the curl of my fist.
'Will is dead,' I said, shocked at how blunt it sounded. I had meant to prepare a more gentle approach to breaking the news, but maybe it was the same however I told it. You can tell if someone is slightly embroidering a story, in the same way that fragrance only alerts you to the fact that a bad smell lies under the scent.
My mother was rooted to the spot. Her face remained expressionless, but I knew her well enough to realise a multitude of emotions were fighting behind the mask; she felt the need to remain strong for Morgana's sake. Will was our main source of income. He was needed to transport our produce to market, and without him there was no telling how we would manage.
'Come indoors and we'll get you both cleaned up,' mother grimaced, noting our bedraggled appearances.
We complied without argument. Working at this little task helped distract from the breakdown of our lives.
Hours later, Balinor still wasn't back, so mother left me in charge so she could fetch him. We all knew he'd be at drinking away his meagre wages at The Rising Sun, probably unable to make his way home. While I rocked Mordred's cradle with one foot, I scrubbed our clothes and thought. Surely there had to be a way out of our situation, something I had missed. I refused to accept that my family was doomed through my clumsiness and idiocy. After a while I fell into a rhythm, listening to Morgana's soft snores; the steady scrubbing of the tunic; the regular drip from a leak…
'What are you playing at?' A man's booming voice startled me out of my reverie just in time to see a blur of wooden axles, man and horse spinning uncontrollably towards our carriage. My knuckles gripped the reins, tendons standing out against pallid skin. My eyes wanted to close, but I seemed to be paralysed; unable to prevent disaster, but also incapable of looking away. I watched a protruding axle pierce Will's flesh and tear, ripping effortlessly through muscle and sinew; heard his last agonised whinny. His life's blood flowed relentlessly out of his body, splashing onto the dusty path. As I jumped out of the carriage, I already knew it was too late. Will's eyes were glazed and glassy, and each breath caused more blood to trickle from his muzzle. I went through the motions, refusing to believe that there was no hope. His eyes stared unseeingly at me as I pressed my neckerchief uselessly to his wound, my tears mixing with the pool of blood soaking my knees. Life is so fragile; one mistake and it is lost forever.
I've just read this though, and…it's pretty depressing, isn't it? Sorry about that, but it'll probably get worse in later chapters. Anyway, please review. Tell me if you hated it, too- the main reason I write fanfics is because I want to improve!
Also, can you guess what book I'm basing this on?