maanantai 15. heinäkuuta 2013

The Raven and The Flower – part 2

I finished it! This part is a bit longer because it took more pages than I thought. It's strange how the two girls this story is about remind me of two other girls in another story of mine.
 About the names: all of the names are from nature (that's something anybody would've known). Lilian is something about lilies and Strelitzia is a flower. (it looks like this.)

Suomeksi niitä jotka eivät ole itsestäänselviä (kuten Crow)

Rook = mustavaris
Jackdaw = naakka
Magpie = harakka
Strelitzia = kolibrikukkien latinankielinen nimi

Here comes the rest of the story. Enjoy!
(and again sorry for the grammar mistakes.)

The Raven and The Flower – part 2

I started searching the girl that had saved me on that night. I asked after her when I went shopping for the ingredients for our meal. Rook had drawn a picture of her and explained there how she looked. Still nobody seemed to have seen her. I felt depressed because I wanted to find her and thank her for saving my life. I became desperate and because I couldn't do anything I got depressed. One day I asked if I could go visit Crow's grave. It wasn't far but my chores stopped me going anywhere without permission. I don't think Magpie would have wanted me to go away for the day but I got my permission from the butler and the next day as Jackdaw and Rook had left I dressed myself in black breeches and a black sleeveless shirt and walked to the cemetery that was within half an hour's walk from the mansion.
There was grass on Crow's grave. I lied down on his grave like he could recognize me if I was on top of him. I had used to lie on him while he was sleeping when we were little. “Crow, help me”, I whispered. There was no sound for a minute but then I heard a crow cawing in a tree above me. I lifted my gaze from Crow's gravestone and saw her. Her hair wasn't red or very long but I knew right away that this was the girl who had saved my life.
“Thank you, Crow”, I whispered and kissed the ground. Then I rose up and walked beside her. She didn't notice me right away but soon she spoke. “What do you want from me?” she asked coldly. “I don't know you so if you have nothing to say, go away.”
I knelt down in front of her. “I am the one whose life you saved from the street warriors”, I told her. “I owe you my life for that.”
She sounded astonished when she spoke. “Raven?” she said. I nodded. “Rise, please”, she said hastily. “You shouldn't kneel in front of me.”
“Why not?” I asked as I rose from my knees. She was shorter than I was. She shook her head. “I'm not a person who should be thanked for saving anyone's life. It's my job, after all.”
“Your job?” I asked, astonished and shook my head. “How can anyone have such a job?” She shrugged shyly. “I don't know. It's not something I have been told to do. I just do it because I can and I can't do anything else to help people who need help.”
“That sounds awesome”, I said. “I'm sorry if I offend you but can you tell me your name?”
She thought for a while. “I think I can tell you my first name”, she muttered. “My name is Lilian”, she said to me and smiled. I smiled back to her. “It's a very beautiful name”, I told her.
It was only then she noticed the tattoo on my left shoulder. “Have you got a tattoo?” She asked. “Let me see it!” When I covered it with my hand she sighed. “It's okay even if it's a Clan tattoo”, she said. “There are no Clans anymore, remember?” She said. When I didn't move she looked at me sadly and said: “Please?” She looked so adorable that sighed and let her look at my tattoo. It was a raven, the size of my palm. It was different from all the other members of the Crow Clan. I was the only one that had raven, the others had crows. It hadn't been Magpie's doing so he didn't know anything about it.
“I thought that the bird would be a crow”, Lilian said wondering. “Why do you have a raven? Does it have something to do with your name?” I shrugged. “Nobody told me. My mother could've known since she did that tattoo to me but she died seven years ago. I never had the chance to ask her about that.”
“Oh, that's sad”, Lilian said. “I still live with my mom. I didn't believe the life in the Clans was so hard.” I gave a laugh. “If you say that the things you know about me is a hard life, you don't know what is a hard life”, I said. Lilian looked offended for a moment but then she smiled, looking troubled. “I'm sorry”, she said. “I thought that my life was hard but maybe yours is harder.” I shook my head. “Don't say that”, I said. “I may have lost three family members and almost a fourth, but it doesn't make your life any lighter if you think it has been hard.”
She smiled to me. “Thank you”, she said. “Were you here to see someone from your family?”
I nodded. “Our big brother died after the Clan war XXV. I came to see him because I was looking for you.”
Lilian didn't have time to say anything because someone shouted her name. I didn't hear what they shouted but Lilian was in a haste. “Goodbye”, she said. “I'll come to see you.” She took a few steps and then turned back, hesitating for a moment, took my face between her hands and kissed me on the mouth. She left me there, stunned, and ran away her black skirts lifted to her knees.
I stood there for a time that felt like an hour.

There was nothing but Lilian in my mind for the next few weeks. I was thinking about her all the day. I didn't know who she was and I didn't dare to ask since I didn't know her family name. Magpie always said that love was a poison inside our veins and I thought that he was right. The kiss Lilian had given me was like a paralyzing poison that spread through my whole body. It felt so good that I begun to think that Magpie was wrong about love. Maybe he had never been in love or poisoned. I had been poisoned during the Clan war XXV and now I was in love. I couldn't see how the two of them were similar in any way.

I know that Lilian visited the mansion few times but I never saw her. She either went to see Magpie or was here so little time I couldn't see her. It was frustrating.
One day Rook and Jackdaw came to my room with huge smiles on their faces. “Guess what”, Rook said mysteriously. “You'll never guess”, Jackdaw added.
“What is it?” I asked. Jackdaw looked at Rook who started to explain. “We found the one who saved your life”, she said proudly. Jackdaw nodded eagerly.
“What?” I was astonished. They had never been in the mansion when Lilian was here so I didn't think they had seen her here. Jackdaw nudged Rook on the shoulder. “Look, what did I say? She's happy about it.” Rook smiled at him. “Where did you see her?” I asked eagerly. Rook looked at me a while before she answered. “In our school”, she said. “She's two years above us so we don't see her often.”
“I don't think she comes to school that often”, Jackdaw added.
“Anyway”, Rook continued, “she doesn't have long red hair but otherwise she looks exactly the same. It took a long time from us to find out her name.”
“She's royalty”, Jackdaw said.
“And not just any royalty. She's the heir to the throne, Lilian Strelitzia. But the strangest thing about her is that even when all the royal names are flowers and the Queen's symbol is a rose but her symbol is a raven. It's strange, isn't it? Just like she would be one of us.”
Suddenly I felt dizzy for some reason. “A raven?” I said, dumbfounded. Nothing made sense.
“Yes, a raven, just like the one on your shoulder”, Rook said.
“Just like the one on my shoulder...” I whispered. What did it mean? “I wish mother was here”, I told Rook and Jackdaw. “I would have many things to ask her...”

Next time I heard from Lilian was when she sent me a royal-looking envelope in the morning. Magpie brought it to me himself so I thought it was somehow important. When I took the letter out I found out it was an invitation to the Heir's ball. A royal ball where they say the heir to the throne chooses her spouse. “But I can't dance!” I told the invitation. It remained silent so I sighed. “Blah. And it's on the day after tomorrow... I should get a dress, at least!” I hurried to Magpie and explained him the letter and that I had to get a dress to the ball.
“That means you're going?” Magpie said suspiciously. I nodded. “Of course I'll go. Can Rook and Jackdaw come too?” Magpie shook his head. “The invitation is only for you. I can get you a dressmaker who'll make your dress. I will have you taken to that shop at noon, is that okay? And someone has to do something to your hair.”
I was surprised about how quickly I had the dress. It was ready long before Rook and Jackdaw got home from school. The dressmaker recommended a jewelry shop to the butler that had come with me and we went there. I had nothing to say in that matter so the guy who sold the jewelry picked the jewelry I was to have in the ball. There were black diamond earrings, a black wristband and white pearls for my hair.

The Heir's ball came quicker than I had expected. Rook helped me dress and she did my hair, too. She was skilled. Rook curled my hair and put some black roses and the white pearls in it. My dress had a white bodice and the hem was as black as my hair. When Rook was done, I almost couldn't recognize myself in the mirror.
“Will she recognize me?” I asked Rook. She smiled. “Of course she will. You have your raven”, she said touching to my left shoulder. I smiled too. “Thank you, Rook”, I said and embraced her. We stood there for a while and then Rook said, “you should go now.” I nodded and let her go. “See you tomorrow”, I said and walked to the butler who was waiting for me in the doorway.

The journey to the castle didn't take long because I went there on a carriage. Everything in the carriage was either black or white just like my outfit. When we arrived I stepped from the carriage into a chilling evening. As soon as I got out a bullet whistled past my ear. It didn't startle me but few of the other guests that were nearby were even more startled.
“I'll hurry inside”, I mumbled. “I'll be so fast that nobody can kill me before I meet Lilian.”
I got inside the castle without anybody else trying to kill me. I felt like everybody was staring at me. I knew I didn't look like an assassin like usually but the only other reasons that somebody would want to stare at me was that they either wanted to kill me or I looked weird.
Or maybe they know that Lilian has visited me, I thought.
I couldn't see Lilian anywhere but the dancing hadn't started yet. I thought that maybe she would come out when the dancing begun.
I didn't dare to eat or drink anything because I feared that the food or drink might be poisoned. I acted like everything and everybody was a threat to me. I didn't know anybody so I couldn't trust any of them. I just waited for Lilian.
I stood by the wall and I think I looked so plain that nobody wanted to talk to me. I was the only one in the ball who was dressed in black. The men who didn't have white suits had gray ones. It felt strange. Always when we had had festival in the Crow Clan, everybody had at least something black on. The most of us had dressed in all black.
I heard somebody announcing that “Lilian Strelitzia”, had arrived. I got up immediately from my position where I was leaning to the wall so I could get a better view to the place where the big pair of doors had been opened. I saw Lilian standing in the doorway, her gaze searching the crowd, trying to find somebody. I wished that that somebody would be me. I saw her noticing me and bursting into a smile. Then I saw a man with a green suit and a shotgun that was pointing towards my head. I ducked under the railing just in time. The man missed me and his bullet hit the window behind me and broke the whole thing. Shards of glass rained down on me and few of the other guests that were there with me.
I ran to the stairs, crouched that I couldn't be seen from the dance floor. When I reached the stairs there were so many people around me that I was safe. Lilian hadn't moved much so I found her quickly and directed my walk towards her. She looked worried so I wanted to go to her and tell her that everything was going to be okay, someday...
“Lilian”, I called, hoping that she would hear me. Luckily, she heard me and found me in the crowd. She started to come towards me. I was so concentrated in her beauty that I didn't notice the assassin standing by Lilian's shoulder with a long dagger.
I heard the thump when the dagger hit my stomach. I doubled over and held the hilt with my both hands. It hurt. The people around me were screaming. I noticed the man that had thrown the dagger. He looked satisfied.
Lilian knelt beside me. I hadn't noticed that I had fallen onto the floor. Everything felt strange.
“Raven, can you hear me?” Lilian said hastily. “Put your eyes on me, please, dear”, she added when I didn't answer.
“I have been stabbed before”, I grunted.
“Not like this, I believe”, Lilian answered when she examined the wound. “I need to take that dagger away that it can heal properly”, she said to me. “May I?” I shook my head. “You better leave it there, I'm not going to survive this time.” I smiled. I wouldn't have thought I would be so peaceful when I knew that I would die. “The dagger was poisoned, I can feel it.” The stunned expression on Lilian's face made me sad. “Don't be so sad”, I told her. “I'm going to meet Crow tonight...”
I remember the pain when Lilian took the blade away. Then everything went black and I don't remember much but I am sure I saw Crow.

I woke up somewhere where everything was white. I couldn't see anybody else. First I thought that I had to be dead but then I heard Lilian's voice.
“Yes, she's kind of alright”, I heard her say. “Well, come see her yourself.”
I heard a door open and close. Then I heard footsteps and saw three people coming towards me.
“When she was about to die she turned into a raven”, Lilian explained. Rook and Jackdaw looked at me sadly.
“At least she's alive”, Rook said. “I can't believe they had the guts to do that.”
“Will she get better when she's in that form?” Lilian asked the twins. They looked at each other.
“Yes”, Rook said after a moment, “but it will take her years to recover because she was about to die.”
“But she will recover”, Jackdaw said cheerfully. “I heard that Magpie has gone through a similar situation and it took him five years to fully recover from that. But then you'll be able to kiss.”
“Jackdaw!” Rook said, stunned. I cawed before Rook hit him and they turned towards me. “Lilian”, I said, “I love you.”
There were tears in Lilian's eyes. “I love you too. And I will keep you safe until you can turn back to human. You won't leave my side.” She stroked the feathers on my head. “You're so beautiful”, she whispered.

I could turn to a human for a short time after a year. That was when we kissed the second time. I had to turn to a raven almost right after we kissed but her kiss seemed to do something magical. It didn't take me but three years to recover fully.
We got married shortly after that. After the wedding we went to visit Crow's and my parent's graves. I introduced Lilian to them.
“Mother, father, Crow”, I said. “I promised that you would meet whoever I was to marry. This is Lilian Strelitzia. She's the Heir to the throne and she's my princess whose sweet kissed saved this poor warrior from the death. I owe her my life twice and I love her above everything else.”
 Lilian smiled.

 I love her.

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