Inspired by em-pyei-n vari-fen jang
Note: I probably have the Cyrillic all wrong. ^^l
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
“Noooooooo!” her cry was a wail.
The clash of swords answered her, as two men fought in the sunlight garden.
In the ruins of Elsanoth, in the depths of the abandoned tower, two duellists faced off. The woman they fought over stood at the top of the stairs, looking down into a ruined underground cavern, with sunlight streaming down from an open ceiling. Neither man paid any attention to her look of horror, nor to her wailing denial. They had eyes only for each other, and both were determined the other should die.
Their swords rang out, a beautiful and frequent sound to their ugly battle. The woman ran down the stairs, pulling her skirts up to her knees in an effort not to trip, but the steps were tall and long, and she was high above them. As she ran, shouting at the two to stop, their battle grew fiercer, as though each step she took increased the urgency of their battle.
“Nooooooo!” she screamed again as her feet reached the bottom stair and touched the floor. Both men had run each other through, throwing away their lives to deny the other, her.
“No…” she ran towards them, but they had fallen, and lay prone on the ground, one through the heart, and the other through the lung.
She could only kneel beside their bodies, covering her eyes as she sobbed.
She cried next to their bodies, as the wind blew above. The breeze shook summer flowers free of their fruit trees, and petals floated from above, landing softly on both her and the corpses, as though to offer gentle benediction.
When the village came, they found her still sobbing next to the bodies. It took two men to pull her away from the corpses, as she screamed, wailed and kicked in denial of their deaths. The men took her to the wise woman as she hung limply between then, tears dried on her face, all the fight gone out of her.
She was bathed, changed, and then left in the room. Someone watched her, one day, then two, then fed her on the third. She opened her mouth mechanically, to eat, out of politeness. When she had finished the bowl, they left, convinced she was not about to be foolish.
“žizn tebe dala snoba dva krylna…” she whispered, then got to her feet. Come, spread your wings once again.
She took the steps to the window, and opened it wide. People looked out at her, expectantly, some cheering. She gave a weak smile, then closed the window. There had to be somewhere else, and so she slipped quietly out of the room.
Her footsteps, sure and true, brought her to the part of the keep that overlooked the cliff. There were few people here. She stood there a long time, face raised to the sky, arms opened to her sides, letting the sea breeze carry her.
“iuz rei-fao hyen ahih=koh-ne hyu-me lis-ea? ih-tah-ren ahih=koh-ne pau-fao-re eya-du benu-ea. N woo ahih W coa-dou ah lis-uii,” she whispered. Oh my beloved brethren, do you hear this song? Please, lend your ears to this prayer.
Then she opened her eyes and climbed to the ledge. She did not look down, but merely at the horizon. The sea was tumultuous, temptous, but it was there, as stormy and as fierce as she had ever known.
“Posle dolgogo sna, Otkryt snova glaza…” she whispered. I will awaken you once again from your long sleep now.
As she closed her eyes, a tear rolled down her cheek. Memories threatened to overwhelm her, and she saw in her mind’s eye the events that lead to this. They began from the moment she saw them fall, and worked backwards.
The mad rush down the stairs… but first she had been running from the keep to the ruined tower, after screaming at her little sister to rouse the village. Before that, she had been collecting herbs and flowers, unaware of the tragic events. She had been sent on that errand by his mother, who hid the fact her son had gone out with a sword. And just before that, she had stopped at her fiance’s home, in order to pay her respects, and trying to break off the engagement.
Then before that, memories of childhood. Of stolen kisses and forbidden dances. Of the three of them, always together, always getting into scraps, but she had fallen for the one who was not sullen. Yet it was the angry one who had petitioned for her hand first, and her father had agreed. Another tear fell down her face.
“Poleti tuda, gdae poët duša, žizn tebe dala snoba dva krylna,” she prayed in her heart, spreading her wide, feeling the wind catch her skirt. Let us go to the place where we sing about love from our hearts. Come, spread your wings once again.
“Den prinosil oblegčen’e
umyvaâ uprâmuû pamât
Tol’ko pana duši napominala
Očen složno naĭti, čto rasterâla…”
There is no night without dawn, the sun will rise again.
Please, wash away the past that deceived us
and resurrect the precious things that we relinquished.
Time was necessary for us to realize the importance
of what we had lost.
A familiar and beloved voice whispered in her ear, and she opened her eyes in shock. She turned around, seeking vainly for the owner, but there was no one… As she realised when she lost her footing and slipped.
She reached out and caught the ledge, hands straining. How easy it would be to simply let go, she thought as she clung to the ledge, both hands holding on to the ledge.
“ih-tah-ren ahih=koh-ne hyu-me-ne myei-du lis-ea…” she could hear the soft whisper in her ear, “ih-tah-ren ahih=soh-ne aa-suu-ne wala hyu-tes-ea.”
Please, listen to this voice. Please, take that one step forward.
Fresh tears welled up in her eyes as she clung to the ledge, weeping.
“There is no night without dawn.”
She remembered days in the cottage, helping his mother in the kitchen. Nights in the forest, hunting for their families. Afternoons by the river, where he read and she waded into the river, spear fishing. Evenings in her father’s castle, where they listened to bards tell stories.
“Pozobi menâ, â uže v puti, Million pregrad â smogu proĭti.” I always call out to you. Please, call out my name.
“Ivaness,” she called out softly, and then her feet found the ledge. She pulled herself up and over the ledge, landing on the floor in an undignified heap, more tears running down her face.
“Esli haže t’ma poglotit bes mir, Smožem ucelet liš â ty,” she said through the tears, remembering the pinky promise they had made as children. Even if the entire world is shrouded in darkness, I can live on as long as I am with you.
Then she got to her feet and wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve.
“Ah, esli by
I povernut strelki časam
Â b otdala
Vsë, čto est u menâ
Čtob utonut v tvoih glazah.”
Ah, if I could turn back the hands of the clock,
I would choose a different choice
right before I had betrayed your heart.
She whispered the soft apology. There was a feather-light touch on her cheek, as though farewell, and when she opened her eyes, the sun had set.
Tam, na gramice obmana, the bard sang.
And we relinquished our hometown.