Chapter 10

Written by: Donna McTavish

A second bolt of light shattered the inky sky bruised with yellow and purple by the approaching dawn. Flames of light licked over the goblet encasing it in a fiery glow; the ancient inscriptions burned bright and the goblet grew heavy. Sweat poured down Leaonantis’ face and the smooth metal pulsed in his hands. He dropped to his knees and the goblet shattered into a thousand pieces. 


The liquid, so viscous and vile in the goblet, spilled in a pool of shimmering silver. Leonantis watched helplessly as it rolled slowly towards Sebastian. It reached his fingers and he lifted his hand to his mouth and let droplets fall between his lips.


There was one talisman that could awaken the power within the goblet, and one curse that could withstand its evil. Leonantis knew this as well as he knew that Sebastian had carried the curse that the Ancients spoke of since his birth. He could see the talisman lying beside the broken pieces of goblet, a disk of twisted silver that had recently hung around Vicki’s neck. 


Sebastian was standing now.  “I loved you,” he said softly, “but now you will die.”  “No one, not even you my darling Vicki, may drink my blood and live. It can not be allowed.” 


A fine red line marked Vicki’s smooth neck where the talisman had burned it. The goblet had given Sebastian strength, just as the loss of the talisman had made her weak. She felt the cool edge of Sebastian’s teeth against her neck and gave a soft sigh. “If she had been faithful, she would have lived. We would have lived together, eternally,” Sebastian whispered as he placed her gently on the ground.


The curse was broken and now Sebastian’s face grew grey. He dropped to his knees and kissed Vicki’s lips. Then, with one swift motion he reached for a fragment of the goblet and thrust it into his neck. He lay beside her and was still.


Leonantis moved quickly. He grabbed Vicki’s broken talisman and placed it on her lips. Her skin was growing cold. “Too late, too late, is it too late?” he muttered, holding her hand in his. The forest was silent but Leonantis heard them coming. He knew they were Abandonato. He knew the goblet had called them. A thousand broken pieces with a thousand voices for those who could hear. There would be no escape. He held Vicki’s hand and prepared for death. 


The Abandonato were closer now but there was another sound, unexpected and Leonantis was instantly alert. The air reverberated as if a canon had exploded and Vicki opened her eyes.  He felt a hot wave of energy radiating from her body and saw a single tear escape from her eyes as her gaze swept across Sebastian’s withered body. 


Leonantis heard the soft fall of footsteps behind him as the Abandonato came near. Vicki smiled. She was stronger now. Stronger than Sebastian could ever have been.


Gosh, I loved this chapter. The opening was so graphic - inky bruised sky is amazing and the ending was marvelous with Vicki's triumph over Sebastien. Beautifully crafted chapter and so believable even though we were dealing with the unbelievable. Terrific.