Hello I am a day late but it’s better than nothing so… you guys really shouldn’t complain. Anyway, here’s part 22 and I quite like this part so hopefully, you do too! Have a good weekend and I hope this makes it a little bit more lovely!
If you’re lost, behind, new or just want to reread, click here.
“Persephone?” I asked, dropping her hand, my own quickly becoming cold, “I’ll be right back, okay?”
“What are you-“ I held up my hand, she stopped.
“I’ll be right back,” I murmured, then very softly, into her ear, I whispered, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” She said, her eyes big and voice trembling. I hadn’t seen her scared before. And something about it echoed through my head. She was scared, because of me. No, No, I correct myself, because of the rules. She wasn’t scared of me. She couldn’t be.
“I’ll follow the rules,” I said. I hadn’t lied before. Well, I hadn’t lied to her. I hadn’t lied to the people, er, souls, here. Something small planted itself in my stomach, something dark and shivering and slimy. I swallowed hard. This wasn’t right but. If rescuing Persephone wasn’t right, what was?
“Erlik-“ Persephone asked, a fierce frown on her mouth.
“Hush,” I snapped. Then very, very softly, again, “I love you.” I turned to the moon girl, what was her name? “I just need to see the pomegranates, to see them, make sure they haven’t been stolen.”
“Okay,” The girl said, her arms covered in vines. Were those there the moment before? The little black thing was sour on my tongue and bitter in my stomach. I blinked hard and the vines grew thicker and tighter around her arms. She murmured a few words and they traveled around her neck and whole body and soon she was not a moon, now she was a plant. Only her eyes and hair free from the leaves. I glanced over at Persephone, she was appropriately freaked out. The plant, the girl, the moon, the…I suddenly wasn’t sure what she was. She was all these things and none of these things and so much more. I watched every movement she made with uncertainty and wariness. This was the right thing. I was saving someone. Right? “She has to stay.”
“I’m sorry?” I looked at the girl, were the vines reaching for me now or just reaching in general?
“That one has to stay,” Vine, Moon, Nothing girl pointed to Persephone and I nodded.
“Yea sure,” I nodded again, then turned to Persephone, “Good?”
“If I become a flower, it’s your fault,” She murmured, a small smile stretched thin on her freckled face. I returned the watered down smile then followed the other girl. Every step I took away from Persephone, the colder my hands got. The colder my heart got.
The forest seemed to grow smaller or maybe just tighter? And it definitely got darker. A lot darker. I went to look back at Persephone but something tugged my arm and I stumbled forward. I balanced myself and paused for a second, catching the breath the trip just stole from me.
“Walk faster, pomegranates are not patient fruits,” the girl sang, her voice filled with delight. The trees created a path for her and she danced around them, her vines everywhere.
If I was saving Persephone, it was the right thing.
It had to be.