Sitting on a park bench and watching the lazy current of the river, Rosalia cut a lonely and awkward figure. She was willowy and sinuous, with thin, long limbs and a mass of straw-white curls which sneaked out from under her oversized knitted beanie. Her large, deep-set eyes were as pale as her hair as if all pigmentation had been drained away from her body. If you looked deep into those eyes, you would see the eons of time that had passed before them even though Rosalia was only a mere sixteen.
The river’s current had hypnotised her. She was staring intently into its black depth rippling with feeble touches of winter sunlight. There was menace in the river today reminding Rosalia of the countless lives the Avon had swallowed over the centuries and of the tributaries of blood that had seeped into it from the battlefields of Salisbury Plain. The Avon was a quiet river now, conquered and tamed by locks and bridges, but deep inside, it was brimming with anger, thirsty for more blood.
Her friends had long gone home. They were friends after a fashion; people would befriend Rosalia for all the wrong reasons – because she was odd, because she didn’t try to befriend them, because there was an air of mystery about her and they were curious to find out what it was she was hiding. As she would reveal nothing, they would tire of her silence and crumble away one by one. She did not care when they came and did not care when they left. They had no patience. No time. Rosalia had all the time in the world like the tirelessly flowing river bound to reach its destination sooner or later.
Suddenly a gust of wind hit her with a scent so powerful and so familiar that it made her reel. She jumped to her feet and scanned the park, searching for Him. She sniffed the air like a dog would: her nostrils flaring, her head erect, her eyes quick and sharp. A long subdued fury rose inside her gut like thirst. Thirst for John’s blood.
Another one of my offerings. The story had been rattling away in my head for months and it had to be put to rest.
Accusations of witchcraft fly around – all false, but death follows, and death brings on revenge. There is no peace in death for those who are immortal. Rosalia is one one of them.
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