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Chapter 1: White Poppies
The dead have nothing and the living have the world at their fingertips. And those of us who linger in limbo, those of us who do not fall into either category of being, are sentenced to contemplate.
A murky film covers my eyes.
I do not consider the watery glaze to be tears of sorrow, guilt, or repentance. I know my array of emotions. For I have never felt apologetic. I am solely attached to envy and pride.
There are not many like me that I know of. Supposedly, I am white; glowing and radiant. Yet I am contained in grey matter. Covered, wrapped, and suffocating in it. It encompasses all that I am, all that I see, and all that I do.
Once blonde and glossy, my hair has faded and turned in color. The untidy tangles are nothing more than floating rubbish, bobbing up and down in my waves, trailing behind me like a polluted stream.
I would run my fingers to brush them out, only if I could.
The finery of my gown has vanished too. Gold seams once lined every fold of the dyed fabric. Sapphires used to glint from the embroidery that traveled along my neck and shoulders, looping and weaving patterns that yearned to be traced with a finger.
The ageless corridors appear, to me still, as the lining of a prisoner's keep, only without the aroma of decay. For I have always felt trapped here. Neither life nor death transformed the stone and mortar into pleasant sites, regardless of my familiarity with them. The swishing of wands happened in the same manner that the courts of the past used, and the spells never vary.
I am forever banned to and confined in the place that I grew up; I cannot meet many outside this magically bound realm. My understanding of the present only can be drawn from bits of conversation or a text left open.
Day by day I attempt to gain more knowledge, but I am cast aside, forgotten and looked over because of my mother's death after mine. I float around, widow-like, spoken about as nothing more than a bitter creature to those who know of me.
Yet that all changed, one fateful day. One day someone knew me, someone cared about who I was, my accomplishments, my life. He listened to me, seeking knowledge and power as I did all those centuries ago.
We were one in the same. His lineage was intrinsically connected to mine. I taught him more about his history than he could have imagined and he gobbled up my fancies and whims as he did with all that passed my lips.
I do not regret my decision to share the secrets of my blood with him, Salazar's heir.
The grey film intensifies over my eyes.
All I can do is consider the past.
The present and the future have no interest to me now.
This is who I am now, who I was foreseen to be.