DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Assumes rudimentary facts about H.G. Wells from the series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To winter156[at]gmail.com
Winter's first snow fell softly and slowly, almost lazily, on its way to the newly covered grave that marred the green earth with its deep brown color. Silence permeated the atmosphere. It was fitting. The reverent silence shutting out the sounds of the busy city surrounding the cemetery.
A lone figure stood erect in a quiet world that was quickly being blanketed in white. She wrapped the coat tighter around her frame in an attempt to ward off the cold. She sighed heavily, expelling a puff of white smoke from her mouth as her warm breath hit the frigid air.
Her shoulders slumped giving her an appearance of defeat that seemed uncommon in the regal figure. She stared blankly at the headstone. Unmoving. Like a marble angel standing guard over the grave. Her immobile figure catching the slowly drifting snow on her bowed head and shoulders, while the swirling snow around her dark clothing gave her evanescent wings that enforced the illusion of a mourning angelic being.
Finally, another sigh escaped the rigid figure giving the only sign that she was indeed still among the living. She continued to stare unseeingly at the grave as her mind stayed firmly entrenched in past. In memories of a life truncated before ever truly being lived.
Words would not escape the constriction of her throat. Tears would not fall from her eyes, though they burned just underneath the surface. The pain was too great for the things normally reserved for grief. Her chest ached and felt hollow. She hurt physically. Her entire being was in a state of agony that she could not voice for any expression of grief would have been inadequate.
She could do nothing but sigh. Broken sighs that conveyed unspeakable grief and loss. She had no words, no tears. Nothing but a deep ache in the middle of her chest that left everything else numb. If not for that pain, that cut her open and left her bleeding with no way to assuage the hurt, she would feel as dead as the person in the grave.
Cold was beginning to seep into her bones as she rigidly stood in the steadily falling snow. The flakes no longer falling slowly but quickly as if hastening to cover the world in innocence, even if only for a moment.
At that moment, she felt at home in that quiet place where time stopped and preserved that spot of land as an eternal resting place that neither changed nor aged, but remained, despite the bustle and constant motion of the city surrounding it.
Expelling a final sigh, she shook herself from the confines of her memories while shaking the snow from her head and shoulders. She finally, slowly lifted her head (as if the very act of motion was exhausting) and turned from the patch of ground that held the most important person in her world.
She walked away with slow, heavy steps. But her despair remained. With each step, her grief hardened. It raised itself as a monument to what had been stripped away much too quickly. Her grief solidified into an immutable fact. As true as the Earth revolving around the sun, the pull of gravity, the weight of guilt, her grief existed as a physical thing trapped between her ribcage.
And with that all encompassing grief that turned her heart to stone, the anger and helplessness bubbling in her veins congealed to a barely contained rage that coursed through her like quicksilver set on fire. While her heart froze, her blood boiled. And her mind raged. It whispered continually of deserved justice, worthy vengeance and cessation of grief.
Her heavy gait slowed and stopped at the entrance of the cemetery. She raised her hand against the stone wall to support herself as she turned her head to take a final glance at the grave. Swallowing against the dryness of her throat, and the numbness that had trapped her tongue, she whispered, "Good night, my darling Christina." Stepping away from the wall and staring out at the city of London with cold, dead eyes, she made her daughter one final promise. "You shall not go unavenged."
It seemed surreal to be standing on the same plot of land where her world had fallen apart. It was a different season (spring not winter) but not much else had changed in the century since Helena had last stood on that very spot. She looked around noticing the addition of new graves, the faded headstone of her daughter's grave, and the obvious growth of grass underneath her boots over the once new grave. For the most part, however, the quiet solitude of the cemetery had changed little. The grounds still remained untouched by time and indifferent to the city that changed drastically in the century in which she was absent from it.
Nothing had changed, but everything was different. She looked down at her hands and saw the blood of men whose lives she had taken in righteous vengeance. She had acted as judge, jury and executioner of men who were far from innocent; yet, the act did not wash away her grief. It did not topple the erected monolith that stood frozen in the middle of her chest. It did nothing but make the whispers of her grief stricken mind louder. Whispers that grew to deafening shouts in the oppressive silence of her self made prison of bronze.
Helena shuddered as familiar whispers and helpless anger threatened to overtake her. She snapped her eyes shut, grit her teeth, and curled her fingers into fists in an attempt to quell the madness that lurked at the edge of her mental periphery.
"Helena," came a soft voice that seemed far away. "Helena," she repeated, her voice slowly lifting the fog that bogged Helena's mind.
"Helena, open your eyes," came the soft command that Helena could not help but obey. Her hands gently cupped Helena's face and her thumbs wiped away tears Helena did not realize she was crying. Helena released a shuddering breath as she looked into a compassionate green gaze. "Myka," she whispered as her lips met Myka's in rough desperation to reconnect with the only good thing she had in that world.
Releasing Myka as oxygen become a necessity, Helena pulled the younger woman close and rested her head on Myka's shoulder as she calmed her breathing and attempted to staunch the unending flow of tears falling from her eyes. No words were exchanged, but as Myka held on tightly to the silently grieving woman, Helena felt fissures cracking the stone in her chest.
She released a pained sigh as she realized that Myka's love had taken a sledgehammer to her stone heart. As Helena gripped Myka tighter, a ribbon of fear laced through her. She was unsure if, when all was said and done, she would have a heart to offer Myka, or if, in the end, she would come out a destroyed pile of stone rubble.
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