Ashes in the snow

Current listening:  Two Steps from Hell – Blackheart

Current reading: Still in between.  Still taking suggestions.

Hello readers!

I hope the holiday season finds you safe and happy.   This may be my last blog post for the season but I will be joining you all once again shortly after the holiday.  What’s your favorite holiday tradition in your family?  In mine,  it’s Christmas breakfast.  Every year we  try something fun and different. We get up, open our stockings and MAYBE a present if Santa’s feeling generous then we have a big breakfast before we settle in to open the rest of our gifts and enjoy the morning.  Last year’s breakfast was a blueberry French toast bake.  This year,  I am not sure what we’re doing.

For Ink and Quill this week, I am attempting to do both prompts at once.  The guided prompt was this:

War and Peace: Write about a recent conflict.

And the vague prompt was the following image:

the-palace-ensemble-tsarskoe-selo-372472_1920

Let me know if you think I blended the two together. I was feeling brave.

____________________________________________

The burnt out husk of her childhood home sprawled before her.  Other women would have wept.   Other women would have mourned the loss of a childhood.  “Good riddance.”  The tiny Sorceress muttered.  She did not mourn.  She visited here to make sure that those old ghosts stayed dead.   Tanya understood the price of power better than any royal ever could. She and Sion both did.  No graves marked those that burned to death here.  No one mourned her mother’s madness.   Catriona Jade died as she had lived. The woman was forgotten to history and time.  All that remained were she, Sion and Layla. Each had suffered at the woman’s hands.  Each had devised new and fascinating ways to end the woman’s life as they grew into adulthood.

In a way, Tanya found it sad that for her the war began and ended in the same spot.  She and Sion were born in the castle that once stood here. Until age twelve, she lived under Stephen Starson’s watchful eye.  Their world was shattered when she was nine. Tanya sighed as memory’s echo flickered across her mind.  Her sadness faded in the ebb of her current happiness.  That woman hurt many people yet, they survived. In fact, they thrived. That too she suspected was Fate’s design.

Hope settled easily at her hip. The blade was a part of her as much as her mother’s darkness. As much as that ever-present sadness that seemed to sit in her heart.  Light balanced her. Love of her family balanced her.  Love of her mate kept her even when the sorrows threatened to overwhelm her.   She funneled the sadness of memory into her powers and allowed snowfall to begin to dot the landscape before her. Darkness would always linger her.  Generations would pass before the land could be cleansed of the blood shed here.  The powers behind Madryn’s book lingered here yet the book itself was gone.  Somewhere in Mornesse her mother’s madness remained.  Somewhere in Mornesse, the book written in her father’s blood remained.   Tatiyana pushed the thought away. Fate’s time, not mine. One of Stephen’s mantras eased her concern.

A hand settling on her shoulder startled her. Her response was immediate. She reached for her blade then froze when she felt who touched her.  She met eyes that mirrored her own.  “Brother-mine.” She greeted him on quiet tones as her free hand fell away from Hope’s hilt.  Their first reunion had been a shock to them both.  Both were dressed for Isean in warm coats and hats.

Sion  did not speak. He just drug her into a warm embrace.   His touch was one of few comforts she allowed herself.  Let it be sister-mine.  He murmured in her mind then set her away from his body.  “Come home. Dominic and Layla are waiting for you.”   And with that, the Jade twins vanished from the graveyard of their childhood.   For the last time, at war’s end, their world had burned.  In its ashes they built a new one.

 

For more about Taitiyana, check out the third book in the Maeseloria series, Hope’s Child

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