Chapter 7 - Burdens

Chapter 7 - Burdens

A Chapter by Annie Doru

Gabrielle carries Skyler to the castle, and finds out part of what he had to go through in the 10 years he was absent from her life.


“You can stop carrying me now,” Skyler said worriedly.

“I don’t even know how you’ve carried me this far.”

“I exercise, and also you’re real skinny so you are pretty light.” Gabrielle shrugged.

“I don’t think you’re well enough to walk by yourself, but if you want, I can give you my shoulder instead.” she said.

“That would be better,” he said, nodding in agreement.

Gabrielle stood him up, grabbed his left arm and put it over her left shoulder to support him. She was going to ask what happened to him that would turn him into a non-human, but she hadn’t found the right time to ask it. Black blood. She wondered what turned his blood black, how he could transform his arms. The scar? The vertical one on his eye? Those wounds. Those scars. How did he get them? She felt he had so many secrets, but she she decided to ask him all that later, when she could get him to a hospital bed.

“Thanks, but I still don’t approve of you telling them we’re engaged,” he mumbled, his cheeks grayed again as he frowned and turned away.

“What else are we going to do? Friends might not cut it for them,” she warned.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” he asked as they neared the outer gate.

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of everything,” she assured him, picking up the pace as they get closer to their destination. “Hey!” she called up to the gate keeper who was up on the wall. “Let me in, I have wounded!” she shouted up at the man, who looked at the person she was carrying. An icy feeling of trepidation shot through her, and fear burned in her belly. After a long hard look, the man shouted for the gate to open.

She sighed in relief, and walked inside as the gate opened, but the fear did not leave her, this was only one step of many to ensuring Skyler’s safety.

As soon as she got inside, one of the guards noticed Skyler’s pitch black skin on his arms, and shouted for reinforcements. A dozen armed guards surrounded her. “Who let that horrible thing in?” one of them shouted, they all pointed their spears towards her and Skyler, fear and anger in their eyes. Gabrielle gripped his shoulder tighter in suspense, she realized this was going to be a lot more difficult than she thought it’d be.

“What’s going on?” Shai’s voice could be heard from far away. The guards froze, some of them turning around and waiting for Shai to come up to them, some of them were too fearful of who Gabrielle was carrying to turn their back.

“Don’t turn your backs on that monster, it could kill us all!” A guard warned, stabbing the air with his spear. Hatred. There was more hatred in his eyes than fear. Then a light appeared behind the guards, taking the shape of a door. A small girl with long blonde hair and pale blue skin lifted their pearl colored robes and stepped out of the bright doorway. Her eyes were closed. Two glowing white vertical scar-like markings trailed down the middle of her eyelids.

“Step aside,” the girl said, her soft voice sounding more adult than her body. The girl dropped her arms to her sides, letting her long robes flow freely. As soon as the guards realized who she was, they all made way for Gabrielle, some of them bowing in the girl’s direction, some of them prostrating.

“It’s really you,” Skyler sighed in relief. “You picked the best time to show up.”

“Excuse me, O Great Immaculate Veil, I hope this does not offend you, but why are you letting a Darkling into our land?” a bowing guard said, his voice wavering.

“He and I are related by blood,” the Immaculate Veil said. Shai had then made her way over to everyone, and bowed at the girl as well.

“My lady Cara, what brings you here?” Shai said softly, but worriedly.

“It matters not if he is a Darkling, my family is important to me,” Cara the Immaculate Veil said, turning her closed eyes towards Shai.

“What do you- Oh,” Shai started to ask Cara a question, but then noticed Skyler resting on Gabrielle’s shoulder. “Lucky boy, if my lady wasn’t here, you’d be in deep trouble.”

Gabrielle turned her head towards Skyler, then turned back to Shai and Cara. “Does this mean we aren’t in trouble? You all know each other, right? You know him, he would only use violence to defend himself or someone he cares about.”

Cara and Shai looked at each other with worry on their faces, though Cara’s eyes never opened, then turned back towards her. Shai stood up and took a step back. “That may have been true about him in the past, but I know differently.”

Gabrielle grips Skyler’s shoulder again. “I… I don’t believe that-”

“It’s true,” Skyler interjected, lowering his head. “I… For half I couldn’t control myself, but for the other half… I became so corrupted, I started to… Like it,” he choked in a gasp as he tried to breath in. His arms were shaking, and the beginnings of tears pooled under his eyes. “Gabby, I… It wasn’t all the corruption’s fault, I gave into the disease,” he said, his voice wavering.

“I admit it, I’ve got blood on my hands, but I’ve done whatever I could to make things right again, as much as I could, but… It’s impossible to, in the end, all those innocent people… They’re never coming back. Because of me,” he said, then took a breath through his clenched teeth, making a hissing noise. Two streams of black tears broke away from under his eyes and streamed down his cheeks.

“There must have been something, like that corruption, that caused that,” Gabrielle said defiantly. “I refuse to believe that you did that yourself, there had to be some kind of influence.” She didn’t want to believe he would do such a thing, it had to be something else. Anything else. She thought of a dozen nightmare scenarios; him being controlled by some ungodly evil, him being deprived of all control of his body, and then him storming through the streets, killing innocent people on sight. That was the only scenario she could think of. She felt dizzy, faint even. She refused to believe he would kill innocent people unless he was completely controlled by something. There was no way.

“Don’t. Don’t try to explain away my crimes. It doesn’t matter if I was influenced, it was my hands,” he said, squeezing his eyes shut, making more tears stream down his face.

“I know you want to prevent yourself from doing such a thing in the future, I will ask Parliament to do the necessary preparations. It may be too early, but we should do the ritual the next morning,” Cara says, a look of concern on her face.

“Ritual, what ritual?” Gabrielle asked in surprise, reflexively stepping forward, then wobbling from her faintness.

Cara turned around, and started to slowly walk away. “To put a mark on him so the one who marks him can control him, it’s only feasible to do so when his power is as great as it is. But for now, follow me to the castle’s infirmary.”

© 2018 Annie Doru

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Added on November 9, 2017
Last Updated on March 20, 2018
Tags: Light Maiden, Romance, Science-Fiction, Fantasy

The Light Maiden's Mark


Annie Doru
Annie Doru

I'm a 27 year old woman who has a lot of stuff in her head. more..