I stared at the dagger clutched in my hand, blocking out the noise of the broom sweeping behind me and the fears rolling through my head that they wouldn’t stop by the time Madame returned. The dagger was beautiful, with dark blue gemstones decorating the hilt and reflective, silver metal showing my face back to me.
I caught a flash of strawberry hair, a frock of pale pink. Plants grew in her wake, sprouting behind her dirt-caked heels. I was chasing my mother, but she was not my mother. She looked younger, livelier. I called out to her, but she did not turn back to me. She only kept running. Towards what, I knew not. I knew only that is was more important than me, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I sped up and in a moment, I began to feel the ground around me in a way I did not understand. I willed my legs to go faster, screaming my mother’s name until my throat went hoarse. I was gaining distance on her until I could see her plainly.
I was walking through the dark woods. Branches crunched under my feet as I heard crows cawing in the distance. They were telling me to run away, or maybe they were laughing at me, certain that in moments some terrible monster would pounce at me and swallow me whole. The hairs on my body stood on end as I listened to every noise around me, afraid that a painful and terrible death was only footsteps away.
She is begging to me. She is not the first to beg— tears in her eyes, desperation clawing at her throat— and she is most certainly not the last.
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