The day was beautiful, the sky a marvelous blue that spoke of fairy tales, and lovers picnics under weeping willows. The breeze was light and warm, and the small stream, which ran out of the forest, trilled and bubbled in soft music.

The day was mocking me.

I stood in the doorway of the small white cottage, just staring at the pair of them. I stood in the shadow, unmoving, disbelieving. What I was seeing should have been impossible, should have been ridiculous. And yet, there they were.

Robyn. Tall, handsome, smart Robyn stood there, inside my cottage. Robyn, for whom I had given up my immortality, my family, my title. Robyn, who had pledged to love me forever, to love me until the day I died. Which I would, of course, now die. Robyn, who had told me he would always be there for me; only for me.

Gemma, the village flirt, the baker's daughter. Gemma, with her human face and human hands and human voice. Gemma stood there in Robyn's arms, her face flushed, and eyes wide. Gemma, with her hair mussed from its upswept coil, and mouth swollen from a stolen kiss.

I stood in the doorway, unseeing, unhearing, unbelieving. They stood, edging away from each other, each of them watching me. When Robyn opened his mouth to speak, I couldn't stay. I didn't want to hear his voice. His filthy, slimy, repulsive, revolting voice. I couldn't hear his voice. I turned slowly, and slammed the door of the –my- cottage behind me.

I walked down the front path ever so slowly, my legs like lead and my head empty. I felt nothing, my chest was hollow, and my eyes dry. One word kept repeating itself in my head over and over.


I walked on, not caring of mud, or river, or the night. I kept walking, walking, walking on. Those who saw me, I pitied, for they must have thought they saw a wraith walking the midnight. I was unseeing, uncaring, numb. And I walked on.