m- a woven crown of thorns

POSTED: Sun May 26, 2019 8:53 am

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.


000

Having scarcely managed to swallow her fury throughout the Last Supper, the moment Narcissa left the well lit ruined feasting hall and parted from the rest of the guests, she was a different woman. No longer did the ringlets of gold around her face look soft and manicured, no longer did her brown eyes look warm, or her pale straw face look radiant.

Her teeth were bared and her eyes were black in the dark of the night. Shades of gold stood on end, like a hissing cat and the curls around her face has soon become bedraggled as she made her way through the deep Blackwoods.

Her father had departed early, leaving soon after the feast had begun. Long enough for him to have his amusement. To see his plan pay off. The bastard. Marrying her off to some common slave. It was true that he was no longer such a thing, but he had once been. In Salsola nonetheless. Everyone knew where he’d made his beginnings and everyone would know the man her husband once was.

It made her want to vomit. Her heart thudded manically in her chest, threatening to burst vessels as she zeroed in on the scummy little grotto her father secluded himself in.

He would pay for this. She would make sure. Pale hands wrung the black handle of knife she always carried with her. She’d be told before that it wa a daft thing to do, that no one would attack her here. She was far cleverer than all who told her that lie. Didn’t tonight just prove it?

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He knew the end was in sight for him.

The shortness of breath, the fatigue, his failing appetite and, most damningly, the raw pain in his chest.

His heart was giving out, just as his father’s had many years previous. Once, such a thing would have terrified him. But now? He didn’t care. While he’d achieved nothing of worth in his life, he had somehow come to accept that he’d done all that was within his power, his destiny to do.

His lineage had not been an entire failure. Last he’d heard, he’d become a grandfather through his eldest daughter and second eldest son. The daughter has even made a leader of herself in a pack not far away. Although they were all as good as dead to him, it gave him comfort to know they’d done something.

He was not surprised when Narcissa arrived, bedraggled and deranged in his doorway. He merely smirked and took a sip of his tea.

“I’ve come to finish you.” she threatened, though the effect of her words was damped by the piteous laugh he gave her. His daughter’s face darkened, her eyes narrowing and her gaze reflecting both confusion and fury. “What’s so funny?” the woman demanded.

“I’m already finished.” The hermit shrugged, once again sipping at his tea. The confusion did not lift from the girl’s face and so he elaborated. “My heart,” he mused, leaning back into the fur draped chair, “It’s giving out. My father’s did the same. Poor genetics. I’m sorry if it transpires that I’ve passed it on to you and Andrew’s children.” He didn’t bother to suppress a grin, Narcissa was shaking with fury now, inching her way closer with the black handled knife. She intended to use it on him no doubt.

“It hasn’t given out yet.” Narcissa pointed out, her face now illuminated by candles that were growing low. “There’s nothing to stop me from slitting your throat here and now for marrying me off to some slave-.”

Former slave.” he insisted, as if it mattered. His own words were quickly drowned by a furious growl. Silence grew again between the pair as Cissa calculated her next move. He laughed again, but it was not long before a choked cough grew out of the harsh amusement. Suddenly, his breaths were laboured.

Gathering himself, Ankh smiled again. Not a grin, but a soft, kind smile.

“Do you think I’d give you the satisfaction of killing me? You think of everything that exists, you are the one that’s allowed to end my life?” The hermit shook his head. “I’ve taken care of that myself.”

It took awhile for the penny to drop, but when it did, Ankh saw a tempest like no other grow in Cissa’s calf brown eyes.

“The tea. In case you hadn’t guessed. Foxglove. I figured if I’m on my way out anyway, I may as well deny you the pleasure of being the one to dispatch me.” Ankh reasoned, “You’ve always been a thorn in my side, ever since you arrived here. Utterly unworthy of your place here. Demanding everything and providing nothing. You wanted a marriage arranged for you. Someone worthy. Someone noble. What can you give to someone like that? A former slave is all you deserve, you vapid little bitch.”

His vision was darkening now, blurring too. He’d not expected it to happen so fast, but oh well. The end was the end whenever it came.

“It’s better this way. If you slit my throat, they’ll slit yours in return. You wouldn’t want that, would you? No. This way you can run away like a mournful daughter and tell Elphaba and O’Riley how you knew I was dying and how you found me after the Last Supper. Dead, by my own hand.”

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Cissa knew he was right. Slowly, she returned the knife to its sheath, her eyes never leaving her father’s fiery ones. She didn’t want to die, unlike her father who so readily accepted his mortal fate. Her dark lips twitched as she decided whether to speak again or not. In the end, she didn’t. With a snap of dark fabric, an appropriate gown for preemptive mourning, she left the hollow.

She would not make haste to the Ruins tonight. She would leave it until tomorrow, for she fear if she went now, she would fail to play the role of grieving daughter well enough to convince those who needed convincing. Instead, she would return to her new husband, and consummate the decision neither of them had agreed to.

Anger was a great aphrodisiac.

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A smile, peaceful and serene rested on his pale face as he reclined back into the fur laden chair, his head resting between the tall back and his skeletal shoulder.

“On to the next great adventure.” he whispered to himself.

And with that, Ankh D’Aabt took his last breath.

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