RoYds Part 4 - Ribbons of Red

November 1917

He loved the ribbons of red in her hair, especially when the sun forged them into a halo of flame. The sun had been shining the first time he saw her, the moment captured in his mind so clearly that he could recall it as though it were happening still. He closed his eyes, feeling the warmth of that day and hearing the soft breeze rustling through the trees above.

Edwardina was sitting on a ledge of granite, her feet dangling down towards the burbling water below and cloaked by a retinue of greenery cast by the shadows from the overhanging trees. When she raised her eyes to meet his, the green soul looking out from within them seared him to the core. One moment had changed his life completely.

The sleeping figure beside him rolled over and threw her arm across his chest, nestling her face in the crook of his arm. Her face was damp from the tears she had shed and those waiting to be released. He pulled her close and kissed her forehead lightly, inhaling tones of Lily of the Valley as he did so.

He thought of the events of the previous day, the visitors, their kind words and offers of help. They were all good people and he knew they would stand by her and help her to get by. There was not one of them who had not suffered some kind of grief.

When they had left and just the two of them remained, he promised her that he would honour what she had demanded of him three years earlier and remain with her as long as he possibly could. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling above. He could not bear to think of it anymore. Maybe one day he would, but for the moment he made an agreement with himself to lock the memory in a box and push it to the very recesses of his mind. He knew she would never get over this.

The woman sleeping beside him woke, walked over to the window and pulled back the lace curtains. Despite it being a cold winter’s day she pulled up the sash window fully and let the frosty morning enter the room.

Stanley sensed the hollow feeling that consumed every inch of her. She was as empty as the abandoned cot and disturbed bed. Her tears flowed freely. She gathered up the woollen blanket from the arm of a chair and sat down next to the window. She let out a slow, frosty breath and then the tears began to flow again. Her body was racked with sobs as the aching in her soul grew. For a moment, Stanley thought she noticed him standing beside her and then she shook her head, apparently remembering that she was the only one left in the house. The feelings that radiated from her began to change from sadness and despair to rage and frustration.

Standing up abruptly and leaning her head out the window, she looked with hatred up into the grey sky and shouted at the top of her pitiful voice, “Can you hear me, Stanley Thomas Birch? I hope to God you can because you and our son are not the only dead members of this family!” Feeling the coldness of her words and the bitterness of the air, Stanley watched as she closed the window and crawled back into the desolate bed.

He reached out and covered her mouth with kisses, tasting the salt in her tears as he did so.

“Yes, I hear you.”

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Paranormal Fiction
by Miladysa

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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever


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