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Chapter Thirteen

"… Sidhe knew exactly what she wanted that night;

She also knew that Kessah would’ve been doomed from birth—

She was weak, and when tempted,

Could do nothing but give into it.

But Sidhe gave only when she expected something in return:

On penalty of death …"

—The Pasegean Scrolls

Sidhe closed the door softly behind her and looked around the inside of the barn. It was dimly lit by a large lantern which hung from a hook near the door, and Sidhe had to squint to see if she could find Kessah there. Her instincts had pulled her to the barn instead of the homestead, and they had been right. She could see Kessah’s chestnut-brown hair behind a hay bale, and she crept towards her. Banudi was several spans away, his back to Kessah, draped over the loft-ladder, snoring softly.

However, Sidhe had no interest in Banudi right then. She walked over to where Kessah lay, sleeping peacefully in the hay. Not for long, Sidhe thought evilly, as she bent over her and gazed into her face. She was beautiful, there was no doubt of that, but she was stupid as well. Thank Keori I was never as such, she thought, and stood upright again.

Sidhe shrugged underneath her uncomfortably large cloak, but was glad she had brought it all the same. She could not be sure that everyone had drank the celebratory wine, and needed something so to hide herself, and to not look suspicious … seeing as women who carry tanning daggers from their belts tend to look suspicious …

Pulling the dagger she had stolen from Mr. Darvosten’s workshop out from underneath her cloak, Sidhe studied its sharp, smooth edge. She ran her right index finger along it and broke the skin, causing Samandia’s blood to seep out. Sidhe felt no pain, as she was not truly alive and it was not her blood pumping through this body’s veins—she was merely the puppeteer, controlling her subject.

She knelt down beside Kessah’s sleeping form, pulling the hood of the cloak over her face as she did so, and held the knife in various positions, pretending to cut Kessah’s throat; her wrists; unable to decide. Then, the anger began to build up inside of her … anger not at herself for being indecisive, but at Kessah for being so difficult to kill, and at Samandia’s body for not wishing to comply to the commands she gave it. In a fit of rage, Sidhe raised the knife above her head and brought it down into Kessah’s stomach.

A strange choking sound came from Kessah, whose hazel eyes abruptly flickered open and stared at the figure above her; her murderer. She gasped for air for a few seconds before raising her head slightly and staring down at her wound. Gagging from the sight of it, Kessah writhed around on the floor, struggling to find the identity of her killer. With a burst of energy she reached up and grabbed wildly for the hood of their cloak, and the murderer jumped up quickly, avoiding her grasp but the action causing the hood to fall away from their face. As her hand fell back down onto her stomach she gasped in pain.

Horror came over Kessah’s dying face. "S-Sam-m?" she questioned, her eyes full of sorrow. "W-why?" she stuttered, and as she stared up into her face Sidhe shuddered, then pointed to Banudi’s sleeping form. Kessah glanced at him, then lay her head back in the hay and sobbed. Sidhe stood over her, rather awkwardly, not quite knowing what to do—not knowing if she should leave, or if she should wait to make sure Kessah died.

Then, Kessah stopped sobbing. She stared right up into Samandia’s face, and searched it, as if something wasn’t right about it … and then she gasped. "You’re n-not S-Samand-dia …" she said accusingly, before gasping again. "S-Sidhe-e?" her voice trembled, and seeing the confused looking on her murderer’s face, nodded towards her face. "Your eyes … they-they’re green."

Sidhe looked behind her and saw a trough of water right underneath the dim lantern. She rushed to it and stared into it, and saw that Kessah spoke the truth. Everything about her looked like Samandia … except that her eyes were green.

Full of rage, Sidhe rushed back to Kessah’s weak body and plunged the blade back into her stomach, making Kessah gasp in pain, then into her chest. Kessah was screaming now, but it didn’t matter, because no one was awake to hear her. Sidhe sat back and admired her work, as Kessah rolled her head to the left and stared at Banudi, who seemed undisturbed by her screams, gave one last sigh, and died in the Fernan barn, knowing that while her sister’s body had murdered her, it was Sidhe’s mind that had truly committed the act.

Sidhe stood up once more, and looked down on Kessah’s corpse, the blood of her wounds already drying on her tattered troth dress. A smile played upon her lips, and a few moments later she broke into horrible, menacing laughter, before she removed herself from Samandia’s body and left her to deal with Kessah’s body.


Samandia opened her eyes, and was startled by where she was. How did I get here? Her eyes drifted the wooden floor beneath her, and she saw that it was covered in blood. Oh, no … she followed the trail with her eyes, and let out a blood-curdling scream as she saw the body of her sister, Kessah Darvosten, lying lifeless on the floor, her white dress drenched in blood. Samandia looked around herself, and saw her hand, hanging by her side, a blood-stained dagger clenched in it. She jumped away from it and dropped the blade to the ground, and the hard rattling sound as it hit the ground reverberated around the barn. She raised her hand in front of her face and stared at it in shock and revulsion as she saw the drying blood there. As she glanced from her hand to her sister and back again, tears began to run down her face and drip onto the blood-stained floor below, and she sank to the ground, whispering: "No, not Kessah … not my sister. She can’t … I couldn’t have … oh!" she lay on the ground like this for what seemed like a year, muttering to herself, then answering herself in a tone similar to Kessah’s.

After a little while, she stood again, walked straight to the barn door and opened it slowly. Outside the world was awakening, and the sky was grey with cloud, but it was not yet dawn. Samandia stepped outside and closed the door behind her before skipping around the field, covered in blood, while a pair of eyes watched, terrified, in the bushes nearby. As she danced through the field, several snowflakes began to fall from the sky and soon the world was white with snow. In the haze of it all the owner of the eyes rushed away to the homestead on the hill, while Samandia continued to dance. The snow fell onto Samandia’s clothes, washing away all the blood from them, washing away all the actions of the past hours with the pure, white snow …

But, unfortunately for Samandia, nothing could wash away the guilt which ate away at her from the insides and changed her forever.


Copyright 2000 M. Lees

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