This is going to be maddening, so get ready.
Taylor's at it again. She's launching another new project, so we're gonna have to deal with snippets and bits until she's done.
Assuming, of course, she doesn't start something else new.
Where The Ashes Meet The Sky
Thy Will Be Done
I am kneeling in blood, my jeans soaked with it, my hair caked with it.
Erik circles me, staring at me, his eyes cold and dead. They were once blue, those eyes, blue like the sky in summer. Not anymore. Now they are black. They are empty. And they are hungry.
Erik reaches out his hand. No, this thing isn't Erik anymore. The creature traces a scar on my neck with a claw. I whimper softly, pathetically. Its eyes reflect the mountain of fire behind me. Its teeth are like shards of broken glass. In the flicker of the firelight, I can make out the bloody bits of flesh between them, pieces ripped from someone's neck. A shudder ripples through me. My voice is thick with trepidation.
“Why are you doing this?”
No answer. The fire melts the ice and snow around me. I watch as cloudy trails snake their way around my legs and mix with the blood at my knees. The liquid dances and flickers in the light of the fire. I look to the darkening sky, to the Heavens, and pray for a savior.
Keegan stood at the edge of the driveway. My best friend jogged up to the car window before I could to roll it down. He smiled, folded his arms and leaned them against the open window. For some reason, the effortlessness of that gesture made my stomach squeeze with nerves.
“Long time, no see, Lil.”
I didn't reply right away. Although it'd been years since we'd seen each other in person, I wasn't sure why I was so taken aback. He was still the same boy I played piano with four years ago, the boy with the soft voice and gentle manner, but he was different, too. His dark hair spilled past his shoulders, fluffy and well-kept. His facial hair was longer, too, his teenage stubble replaced with a goatee and mustache. Everything about him looked older, fuller, stronger. Even the muscles of his arms looked more defined. He had edges to him now, a hardness I hadn't seen before. He'd grown up so much in four years, and I suddenly felt guilty for missing out on those years.
No more, I thought to myself. No more.
I'd have many more years to spend with this boy, and his family - my new family, starting now. My smile grew so big I could hardly get my words out.
“Hey to you, too!”
He reached through the window to unlock my door and open it for me. He took me into his arms, lifting me off my feet and spinning me around. I wrapped my arms around his neck and laughed with delight. As he set me down, a small, familiar voice called my name in delight.
My hand lifted to my mouth the moment I saw her burst out the front door.
River, once so little, had grown into a beautiful little girl, her long hair braided down her back. She smiled at me.
“You're finally here!”
I hugged her.
“I sure am,” I said, squeezing her tight. “And I'm here to stay!”
River pulled back, her eyes wide with shock.
“That's right, beautiful,” he said, looking at me. A shiver danced along my spine. “Lilly is coming to live with us forever.”
River looked up at me, squeezing me so hard I thought my organs would spill out of my ears. Keegan picked up my duffle bag of clothes, the only possession I had, and he and River took me inside.