I know, it's a very cliche title, but I had to figure out something on the fly. If you have any suggestions, please share!
Criticism is welcome (I'll actually listen this time XD).
This is written in the viewpoint of my character, Suzume, who is a rogue. Basically, she steals and kills in order to survive. This piece is pretty much in the middle of a book I'm writing.
My head starts to spin. I hear someone calling out. Crying, really. When I open my eyes, the shadows around me are hazy, as if I view them through a curtain of water. When I manage to focus, I see a familiar face. I feel as if I'm small again; ten years younger and more innocent. My brother. It was my little brother.
"Liam?" My voice is as loud as I dare it, echoing down the tunnels of the labyrinth. The word feels foreign on my tongue; I haven't spoke it out loud in such a long time. He looks up at me, startled by my voice. Then his face melts into a smile, the tears in his big brown eyes drying quickly. He holds his arms out to me, still wanting to be held even at four years old. A few stitches on my heart are severed by the hopeful look my brother is giving me. "I'm so sorry Liam! It won't happen again, I promise..." I wrap him in a hug, telling him fervently that everything would be okay, but my arms go right through his frail form. I'm left all alone in the chilling darkness, hugging myself. My face is frozen in a look of shock, eyes wide, mouth open. He wasn't there. He never was.
A slender hand reaches out and lifts my chin. "Mother?" I whisper, confused. Her skin is fair, as it always had been, and her hair is golden brown. Her dress is simple, but on her, it looks finer than what a queen could ever own. Her face is soft and kind, with her pointed ears and small nose. I look over. Father, too? The blacksmith with tan skin and short black hair. He's wearing everyday clothes, with a dirty apron tied around his neck.
I stand up on shaky legs, feeling younger and the definition of carefree. They hold out their arms for their child to come, but I stand still. I look into my parents' eyes, my mother's warm and brown and my father's the color of the iron he shapes every day. All I see in their eyes is disappointment. Guilt and regret pummel me relentlessly. I'm so caught up in my thoughts that my mother's tears don't register. I don't feel the sadness emanating from them as they turn toward each other and embrace before they disappear entirely. With all that disappointment, I knew they wouldn't love me, even if I somehow found them again, and Liam would never forgive me either. Combined, their hate must be enough to kill me, and not even the strongest grace could redeem me—
Silence. I can't keep a single thought in my head. I pry my hands from my ears, where I'd placed them to try to get away from my own accusations. I open my eyes, and see someone else I know—or knew, I don't know anymore. I know it's a trick. It has to be. Everything else was. I try so hard to turn and walk away, but I stagger forward with my hand on the wall to steady myself. My heart is torn asunder, and I can't help but do something I haven't done in such a long time. I cry.
"Takumi..." I whisper. He has slumped hopelessly against the wall, his head bowed. I reach out hesitantly and put my hand on his shoulder. His head jerks up suddenly, and he takes a few seconds to focus on my face. He smiles and tries to speak, but all he manages is a rattling cough. Clearing his throat, he tries again, saying, "Fancy meeting you here. Are you real? Or another dream?" He smiles wanly. It looked so different from his usual smirk, instead making his face look warm. I hug him if only just to hide my face so that he wouldn't see me cry.
"Who did this to you?" I ask quietly. His twin swords sit to the side, untouched. Did he not even put up a fight? He coughs again and I hand him my canteen. He drinks deeply before responding.
"I did. I did, with a little help from Allistair," he admits. I look at him quizzically. "When I heard about the magic amulet, I couldn't pass up the promise of so much money from getting one thing, so, of course, I set out to find it. I thought I was strong enough, but I'd left one part of me wide open. Lord Allistair doesn't treat people who want his amulet very kindly, so when I tried to get through this cave, I was attacked, not physically, but mentally. It was my thoughts that he twisted that ended my consciousness. After a while, I just figured nothing was real, but I still couldn't get out."
I draw back and look at him for a second. "How are you alive?" I ask. I'm sure he has a scar, but how did he not bleed to death?
"Let's just say I met an angel who thought she could make me good," he smirks. "Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to give you this," he said, reaching into his cloak and pulling out a slim blade.
My tenth dagger.
The tenth dagger is another story altogether, but I hope you like what I wrote!