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The Love and Death of a Sister
The attack was fast, and perhaps it was better that way. No pain, not much anyways. Just a flash of agony, the stench of death, gaping jaws, and it was all over. I was back in my sisters arms, being cradled as if we were still little girls instead of the grown women we are now.
I reached up and touched her face, felt the sweat on it. The sensation wasn’t pleasant and I wanted to tell her that everything was all right but I had lost my voice.
This revelation frightened me more than the pain had. I tried to move my tongue, make the sounds I had learned years before but everything felt dry, too heavy. It was like my mouth was filled with a vast desert, sandy, gritty and certainly distasteful.
I was losing myself and I couldn’t even hear the words my sister was whispering so fervently to me. Her last words to me and I would never know what they were.
I felt myself flailing, falling into a darkness that could only hold hurt and fear, yet seemed so welcoming. To just succumb to the black, to the hole that was forming in my vision would be so nice.
Everything seemed to be too warm and too cold at the same time and my sister’s face was far too distant. It occurred to me that perhaps I was on a boat destined to a far off island and I was leaving her behind. That would be why her face was rapidly shrinking, fading away. Still, a small part of me didn’t want that to happen, didn’t want to go to the exotic island so far from my only family.
I began to fight the surging darkness that threatened to overwhelm me. I forced my limbs to move, not much, but enough to bring her closer into focus. She had tears in her eyes and a splotch of blood on her pale face that I hadn’t noticed before.
I’d always known my sister was beautiful, more so than I, with ink black hair that flowed gracefully into her freckled face. Even these small dots that were scattered across her nose seemed to gleam with exquisiteness. She hung over my clammy face like an angel of salvation, fighting a battle that could not be won. I knew I would not reach her lightness.
She would be my greatest regret, never getting to know her future love, the children she would birth and all of the other happiness that I wished into her life. I tried to memorise her face, every feature and blemish. They were all beautiful.
I smiled at her, my lips curved upwards despite the pain that was consuming me. She smiled down at me too and tears fell more fiercely down her cheeks. They glistened, suspended in their flight of sorrow.
So distracted I was with tracing their shimmering path that I did not see the barrel fill my vision.
Cold metal touched my forehead and for the briefest of seconds I caught my sisters grief stricken gaze. I nodded, closed my eyes and then knew only blackness.
And I accepted it now with warmth.