Vohne was sorry he had doubted Claudius. It had been such a close call, when Cibelle had made them run to safety, a couple of days back…
Right after the old man’s warning, the threatening dark evil inking all over the mountains had headed their way, as if it had suddenly sensed their presence. The sound of it, chasing him and Cibelle was louder than thunder, like a thousand horses stomping their angry hooves. They could hear the trees cracking, and the animals trying to escape… It had been terrifying, but they had made it to the house just in time to close every window, lock every door, and Cibelle had assured him they were safe there.
It was hard to say exactly how long Hell had tried to break in. For three, maybe four days, the house had been in total darkness. The lack of light made the mad racket all the more frightening, for they couldn’t see what made all the noise, just a wall of stones away from them. At times, it just seemed to be strong hissing wind, but they had also heard what they could only describe as very large hail. And the stomping… The constant stomping, through the endless night.
Vohne had really feared for their lives when the walls had shaken, for hours, while he held Cibelle in his arms. He didn’t know what he would do if whatever rummaged outside found its way in. As always, as much as he tried to hide his worries from her, Cibelle had read him like a book.
We’re safe here, Love. Claudius made sure nothing could get in the house, before he left. Worry not, Vohne…
And, as always, she was right.
As suddenly as it had started, the hellish storm had stopped. Light had filtered again through the windows, but they had waited a little while more before peeking out. What awaited them, had left them both speechless.
A wild fire would have made less damage around the little house. Not a single leaf left in the tall fruit trees, their trunks blackened as if they had burnt. The ground was covered with ash-looking dust, painting everything in sight dark grey. And what they had guessed was hail, in the worst of the storm, were actually birds thrown to the walls and the windows. Dozens of dead swallows, robins and sparrows, their neck broken and tiny bodies lying all around their home.
Now, Cibelle was sitting in the dust, picking her feathery friends, one after the other. She was holding a woodpecker in the palm of her hand, when Vohne walked to her, with a cup of hot herbal tea. Brushing her other hand on the corpse, she blew on the feathers until the bird regained counciousness, got up on its little feet, and flew away.
Only then she turned towards Vohne.
You can’t save them all, Love. You are exhausting yourself. And you need your strength…
He didn’t have the guts to say ”to protect me”, though he knew that’s what he needed her to be strong for. Now that It knew where they were hiding, It would most certainly come back. And sooner than later.
Cibelle gazed back to the ground, and picked up a cardinal. Cupping it delicately in both her hands, she blew on the red silhouette and revived it. A faint smile momentarely softened the painful look on his Lady’s face, and Vohne knew it wasn’t just her heart that was broken at the sight of death all around her. She was tearing pieces of her own life, to pass it on to the little beings, leaving as many tiny scars on her very soul…
They died because of us, Vohne.
Vohne had to stop her, before she engaged in brushing death from the whole garden and forest around them. Because she would… If he let her.
Kneeling in the dust by her side, Vohne put down the hot mugs, and slipped his hand under Cibelle’s chin, forcing her gaze his way. She wasn’t just sad. She was furious, and a subtle clinch of her jaw confirmed that he had guessed right. He tried to remember if he had ever seen her angry, but he had no such memory.
It is not our fault, Love. But we do have to get ready to stop It, before it’s too late.
He had heard his own voice, but he felt his words were empty, looking at the devastation that surrounded them. Hope was running out, like sand between his fingers. The silence of death covered the land where they had once lived peacefully. Whatever was left of the world they had known now counted on them to stop the carnage.
The thundering that had scared them for days roared from somewhere far, over the horizon. Probably getting even stronger by the minute, just waiting to strike again…
Vohne was pulled from his thoughts when Cibelle got up, a white dove waking up between her fingers. Throwing the bird to the sky, she brushed the dust off her skirt and following the wing flapping of the dove, her eyes softened.
Yes… We have to stop this. Or at least try to.
As mentionned in a previous post (here), I decided this would be the last episode of Cibelle & Vohne’s adventures, in The Cove. Not because of a lack from interest, far from it, but because I think it is time to work with my love birds in a different way now. With over thirty episodes to catch up on, I feel new readers won’t bother to go back to read the whole story, and the latest episodes, on their own, must be of little interest.
I want to warmly thank the people who followed this ”saga” and encouraged me to continue it. You, Lovelies probably don’t realize how much you have to do with the length it has reached. I am very, very grateful for all the ”likes”, comments, and the interest that you have given to Cibelle and Vohne for the last year and a half. You gave me much confidence in this long tale, and I promise it isn’t over yet.
I hope this is just the beginning of a bigger adventure. For Cibelle & Vohne, of course, but for me too. And if/when I reach the words The End, I hope you’ll be there at the finish line!
I am silly, writing this is making me quite emotional… Maybe because I feel like my quest is about to really start, just like theirs. Writing offline, without your constant approval will be much harder. But I really feel like it is the right thing to do.
Thank you again! And wish us luck, this might be a long and bumpy ride…