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In the twilight of that world

There, beneath a pale and swollen moon, there she stands against the sea, broken.

                    I'm waiting for you.

The island on which she keeps her vigil is small, barely enough for her to lie down and rest upon its unforgiving surface. In every direction, as far as her eyes can see, she is surrounded by a still and caliginous ocean. The azure sky gazes serenely down at her with a thousand glittering eyes. Her exiguous island boasts two stone pillars, each one the height of a man, broken and in disrepair. She leans wearily upon them for support.

                    It's been a long time since last I saw you. You asked me to wait here. You said you'd return soon.

She wears a tattered, threadbare dress that might once have been white. Slender, almost frail, she shivers and sways weakly with each shift of the wind. Her hair is long, and a startling white; yet her face is that of a young girl.

                    I want to see you again.

A young girl, yes...but she knows that her face is not pretty. Not anymore. Her skin is clammy to the touch, her countenance unnaturally pale and sunken. And her eyes...

                    If I pray hard enough, if I scream to the sky, will you come to me?

Her eyes, rimmed with the deepest black, tell a thousand tales with a glance; tales of unutterable sadness, of shattered worlds, of the death of innocence a hundred times over. Hers are the eyes that look into one's soul, and knows it well; hers is the understanding of pain, of suffering.

The wind around her increases, yet the water remains calm. She shudders involuntarily.

                    If I open myself, if I paint the ground with my life, will you take pity on me?

She does not stand of her own accord. She is bound to the pillars with cruel chains. Her wrists are scarred where the bindings have sliced into her delicate flesh.

                    So long. It's been so long. I'm tired. Please...please, let me rest. Let me just see you one more time.

For untold time she has stood here, watching, waiting. Now, her eyes grow, her limbs tremble with, finally, she grows weary of her vigil.

The wind rises further; she cannot stop shivering against it.

                    I don't want to die like this. Not alone. Not without you.

For the first time in her fading memory, her cheeks are warm with tears. She had forgotten warmth. She stirs feebly and looks to the sky as if in prayer.

                    Please...wherever you are...come to me. I've waited for this moment.

In her mind, she sees him. Young, strong, proud, the captain of his vessel. A master of men. She remembers his grace, his beauty. She remembers the gentleness of his embrace, and wondering at how such tenderness could come from such strong arms as his. She remembers her love for him, and his smile. She remembers the promise he made to her, and she to him, so many years ago...

The wind is angry now; she staggers against it, pulling on her chains for support.

                    Please...I'm so sorry, I didn't want to cry...I didn't want to disgust you with my weakness...I've tried so hard to be strong for you. Please, forgive my tears...I can't help it....

Now, she collapses against her chains. They do not let her fall to the ground -- she instead hangs limply from them, without even the strength to cry out in pain. Around her, the wind increases to a fevered pitch, howling and screaming at her, furious that she is there to impede its blind journey across the unnaturally tranquil waters. She feels it pummeling her, buffeting her with its unseen forces. Slowly, she feels herself being lifted up, pulling against the chains, as the wind tries to take her; she cannot scream, for she has forgotten how to speak. She closes her eyes and tries as hard as she can to stop crying.

In the morning, she is gone.

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