For this week’s flash fiction, I have a piece about Sedra and her sister, Albrith. The piece takes place some time after Rith and Banach were killed.
The Pathway pulsated in the dim light after Sedra had sent all the soldiers away. Albrith rubbed her arms and stared at the portal with a frown. “Why are we out here, Sedra? It’s cold, and it’s past midnight.”
Sedra settled onto the grass with a smile and stared up at the moon. “Can’t I want to spend time with my favorite sibling?”
“Your only sibling now.”
“You shouldn’t sound so upset.” Sedra glanced up at her. “Rith was over the line. He started the war, and then he slowly went mad. You saved him from a much worse end.”
“You were the light to his darkness for a reason, Brith.”
“I don’t…” Albrith trailed off and flopped down on the ground, her gaze still on the Pathway. Her sister wouldn’t understand. She didn’t even understand why she felt this way. But at the end of the day, she didn’t feel as if she’d made the right choice in being her brother’s executioner.
Sedra had been insisting since that day that she had to be the one to do it, that she’d be hailed in history as a hero. But if she was heroic, why did she feel so dirty? She’d always been close with Rith, and the awful look of betrayal in his eyes when she’d taken his life lingered in her mind. She doubted it would ever fade. He hadn’t seemed insane. Only resigned and hurt. Somehow, in ways she hadn’t even realized, the two of them had drifted apart. She’d chosen her older sister, and in doing so, she’d left her younger brother in the dark alone. Some sister she was.
“What are you thinking about?”
Albrith blinked and tilted her head back to look at the stars. Did he watch them from After with the gods? If he did, he probably hated her and wished he could strike her down for her sin. She shouldn’t have taken his life, even if it was in an attempt to spare him from an even worse life ahead. “I don’t think I made the right choice.”
Sedra stood and brushed the grass from her skirts. “What do you mean? What choice?”
Albrith shook her head and clambered to her feet. “Never mind.” She approached the Pathway with a sigh. “I just miss the days when everything was uncomplicated.”
“Everything could be uncomplicated again.” Her sister’s voice tightened. “I miss the days when it was simple too.”
Albrith frowned and continued to stare into the Pathway. Nothing would be simple ever again. She’d made her choice. It had been the wrong one. She turned to face her sister. Sedra’s palm glowed with light and frost. She contemplated her hand before looking back up to her sister. “It could be simple again, Albrith. I can make it simple.”
Sedra’s gaze held her in place, and she noticed the coldness lurking there for the first time. How had she missed it before. It was clearer than light. Rith had never been the one going mad. It was Sedra who had gone over the edge. She took a step back and shook her head. “I don’t want that. It’ll never be simple again, Sedra. I killed him, and he never even deserved it. Gods, I thought I was saving him.” Albrith drew on her light but released it a moment later. “I wasn’t saving him. He never needed saving. But I killed him trying to cure what was never diseased.”
Sedra snorted. “You always were so philosophical. Yes, you killed a man who was about as sane as they come, though sickeningly unambitious. Thanks for getting rid of him, by the way. Now you’re going to make sure that no one ever leaves this planet to tell everyone back on Riladia what I’ve done here.”
“You don’t have to do this.”
“Oh, but I do. You’ve served your purpose.”
The ice grew, and words spilled from Sedra’s lips, but Albrith stayed frozen in place. How had she managed to mess up so badly? She swallowed back the tears. Whatever her death was supposed to accomplish, she deserved it. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. A life for a life.
The cold blasted through her chest.
Her life for his life.
Her light snuffed out, and for the first time since her birth, darkness engulfed her world.
That’s it for this week, guys! I hope you enjoyed it. If you have something you’d like to see on Flash Fiction Fridays, feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments below. I’m always happy for ideas!