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The Angel's Locket

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Run. Run fast, run far. Run as if the wind is carrying you. Run with the speed of a river that cannot be caught. Run until you forget what you're running from. Run while your lungs bleed from panting and your legs beg you to stop. But don't quit running. Run even when your body collapses and you can't move a muscle, because if your spirit keeps running than he can't take away your soul.

The little girl lay on the ground, the red ribbon from her Sunday dress had come loose so her curly blonde hair sat clumsily upon her back. Her heart was beating in her ears and she tasted blood with every breath. She heard his footsteps as he continued towards her, but she couldn't remember why she decided to run away from him. Was it worth all of that effort to come all the way here?

Suddenly she heard a thud, and the footsteps stopped. The man let out a groan of pain and she felt relief. She never thought she would be relieved that someone else is in pain. What's wrong with her today?

"Sorry. Did I land on you? I am so clumsy sometimes!" The voice belonged to a girl about her age. She had hair as dark as night that fell down her back like waves, and her eyes were green like the dense forest. She had an innocent giggle in her voice. This was followed by the sound of the man walking away again, but the clumsy girl moved closer to the little girl without making a sound. "Are you okay?"

The little girl kept panting, but she no longer felt pain. Reluctantly, she stood up and gave a hard look at the new girl. She didn't look clumsy. She stood up straight at about a couple centimetres below the little girl. "Who are you?"

"My name is Gabrielle." The black haired girl spoke eloquently, like a well-spoken adult, but she looked to be younger than the little girl.

"I'm Delilah." Delilah studied this new girl, and noticed one distinct object on her outfit. "What's that 'round your neck?"

"This?" Gabrielle picked up a beautiful gold pendant on an elegant chain. "This is a locket. It locks away the thing I hold closest to my heart."

"And what's that?"

"I cannot tell you." The girl put one elegant finger across her lips. "It is a secret; a secret I call Lucifer." With that, Gabrielle let out a giggle and trotted off, further into the forest.

"Gabrielle, wait!" Delilah was afraid of being alone, and so she chased her new-found friend. "Don't leave me alone! I'm scared." At that moment, Delilah could feel a disgusting sensation between her thighs, and she cried out in pain.

This caught Gabrielle's attention, and she scurried back. "Take my hand and trust in me. That will relieve you from your pain."

Delilah took Gabrielle's hand without hesitation, and instantly the pain left, but the tears kept streaming down her face. "D-don't leave me again."

Instead of responding, Gabrielle led Delilah away from where she had collapsed, still hand in hand. "In the forest, time almost seems to stand still, as if it's moving slower than the rest of the world."
Delilah grinned at the wonder Gabrielle was showing her, and the two girls laughed and played for what felt like hours. They splashed in the pond, climbed many trees, and played games only a child could understand. As the sun began to set over the horizon, Gabrielle led Delilah up an overhanging cliff above where Gabrielle first seemingly rescued her.

"Delilah, do you promise you will do anything I ask of you?" Gabrielle's tone was serious, and she looked out above the trees while she asked.

Delilah laughed, still giddy from the games, and replied, "Of course Gabrielle. I trust you with my life. You're the bestest friend I've ever had."

Gabrielle's mouth twitched into a smile she did not let Delilah see. "Delilah, will you follow me with all of your heart, and your entire mind?"

"Of course, Gabrielle!" Delilah's reply came without hesitation, and Gabrielle's smile grew broader.
"Delilah, do you love me to the core of your soul?" Gabrielle's tone grew sinister, but Delilah failed to notice.

"Of course, Gabrielle!" Again, Delilah's reply came without hesitation.

"Delilah, do you pledge your life to me and my work?" Gabrielle's voice gradually became deeper as she spoke.

"Of course!"

"Then you must jump off this cliff."

Without hesitation, Delilah jumped off the cliff and landed directly on top of the spot where she had collapsed. Her entire body felt pain, but not from the jump. She felt cold the way she hadn't with Gabrielle, and there was a dulling pain between her thighs that wasn't there before. Her clothes were in a pile next to her, and there were bruises everywhere on her body along with a white substance she couldn't identify.

"You have re-entered the world of the living. You made the right choice." Gabrielle's voice came from nearby, but Delilah couldn't see anything.

"Gabrielle, I'm scared." Delilah began to cry again because she no longer recognised herself. She cried because she was lost. She cried because she felt like she had jumped off an actual cliff.

"I am here, Delilah, and I will give you strength. Do you still trust in me?" Gabrielle's voice seemed to be coming closer to Delilah, but still Delilah could not see her.

"Of course, Gabrielle." Delilah's voice broke because she was crying, but she meant every word.

"Can you stand?" This time Gabrielle's voice came from inside Delilah's head, and a locket fell on her chest; Gabrielle's locket. "I'll help you."

And thus, Gabrielle helped Delilah clean herself up, put on her clothes, and walk home. Delilah has never been quite complete since that moment, as if her soul was left in the forest and only her body returned home, like a puppet; a puppet with an angel's locket.



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