Raislaine awoke with a deep hollow ache in the center of her chest. Confused by this new feeling, she decided to walk until sleep called her back to his embrace. She chose a path that would lead her across the blue grass fields to the edge of the wild woods. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t notice the dirt path had given away to obsidian tiles or that the trees were now evenly spaced.

Not until she heard tinkling and saw flashes made of neither light nor dark did she realize herself lost. The tinkling rang again, this time accompanied by a deep cry and Raislaine could do nothing other than investigate. Stepping from the path and creeping through the evenly spaced trees she cloaked herself in their shadows until she came upon a clearing in which stood a man and a woman, only Raislaine knew them to be not human.

“Amuse me Irlan, tell a tale, dash a dance, sing a sweet song,” demanded the not woman.

The woman too was of neither dark nor light, but all the beauty in between like lightning in a thundercloud.

“A man can only know so many things my Queen, and I fear that we have exhausted my repertoire,” said Irlan.

“But you are not really a man nor I a Queen,” she sulked.

“You are so much more, my Raelin,” he said.

The Raelin’s face twisted into a snarl and she launched herself at Irlan who was bound at wrist, waist and ankle with the prettiest of shackles, and raked his face with razor nails.

“Come up with amusement or suffer my idea of entertainment,” she hissed before stalking from the clearing.

And though Raislaine knew not how she came to this place or even where she was, she knew she had to save him for when she looked at him the deep, hollow ache in her chest filled to the brim.


Inspired by Trifecta’s word of the week: EXHAUST (transitive verb)

3a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely