Prophecy Story Index

At War's End
by Becky
November 1997

Set two years after the epilogue of 'The Prophecy'.....

The light of false dawn slid lazily through the small square windows of the tiny house, illuminating a long low table in front of a hearth, a few chairs, volumes of thick dusty books stacked on the floors and against walls, a bed at one side, blankets thrown back. A low fire burned in the hearth, adding some additional light to the darkened room. Inside, an old man moved restlessly through the small house, shoving books and papers aside as he muttered to himself.

"Where did I put it? I know it has to be here somewhere. Where is it? Have to find it before it's too late."

He picked up one thin green newish-looking volume, flipped through it, grumbling under his breath, then shook his head. "No, no, no, not that one, not it." He tossed it on the floor and turned away, not listening as it skidded across the floor, coming to a rest under the bed. He picked up another book, a dark red one, glanced at briefly, then threw it to the floor as well, uncaring that it landed upside-down, cracking the spine on the old book.

"Too old. Should not have kept it. Should have burned it before, after war ended. Too late, too late." He spared a glance toward the windows, but the dirt roads outside remained empty and he could hear no one coming. "But I won't hear. Will come in silence, in surprise. It is prophesied just as she was prophesied."

He stopped for a moment, eyes lost in memory, lips curling in fondness at what images he saw in his mind. Then he shook his head and turned back to the table, shoving aside a thick volume and picking up a worn green book. He could barely make out the faded gold lettering on the cover.

'She for whom.'

He smiled, nodding. "Yes, yes."

He flipped through the pages once, seeing again how the prophecies he had collected his entire life had come true in the form of one 15-year-old girl many years ago, how he had seen her grow, how he had helped her gain control and strength, and how he had sent her on the final journey that had changed her life and fulfilled the last requisites that made her 'she for whom'. He had not seen her since, had known it was too dangerous for them both. But he had heard of her, had kept in touch with her through various routes. She was well and mostly happy, as were her parents. Rillanda belonged to the people again. The invader had been removed. All was well.

He frowned again and slowly began ripping pages from the book and throwing them into the fire. Almost all was well. There was a danger he hadn't counted on, a danger from within and without. One he had not found in time to warn anyone about. And now all he could do was try to prevent it from happening, fruitless though that might be.

As he reached for the final page in the book, the one he realized he should've torn out first, a voice rang out. "Cease, old man!"

His hand froze and he tried to use all the power at his command to tear the last page away and throw to the flames, but he couldn't. The compulsion was too strong. He felt himself tipping, tried to fall forward, toward the fire, hoping that the book would fall in, be consumed. But his knees simply collapsed from under him and he fell sideways to the ground, the thin nearly empty volume falling from his hand to land with a soft smack on the ground. It was getting harder to breathe, difficult to see.

The door smashed open behind him and footsteps stomped inside. A hand reached down and snatched the book. He heard the last page being ripped out and then the book cover was dropped to the floor again. A face shadowed by a heavy cloak filled his view, a face full of hate and anger and deceit.

"Stupid foolish old man. You cannot defeat me. And neither can she."

He felt his heart twist inside as he gasped for breath that refused to be found. He heard a short bark of laughter, then nothing as everything faded beyond his comprehension.

The dark-cloaked figure whirled and strode out of the small house. The page had only two lines of text on it. war's end, shall the Protector reclaim what is hers
And the line in times past which was broken shall be restored.

It was enough. There was a chuckle, an evil chuckle, as the figure mounted a tall horse, throwing one last look at the small house. "Thanks, old man, this was just what I needed."

Hinarme was dead. He had been the last link between Kellessan and who she had been.

And who she was now.

With the page as the final clue, she shouldn't be hard to find and take rightful vengeance on. Not hard at all.

- The End -

Prophecy Story Index