Sarah lay in her bed, listening to the cool night settling around her tiny house. The gentle breathing of the wind, the sound of people laughing, and crackle of a camp fire were all familiar, safe sounds in the sweet little town on the edge of nowhere. Lulled to the edge of sleep, a strange whispering reached her as she drifted away. The poisonous voice twisted through a crack in the wall and crept into the deepest corners of her mind. All night as she slept, the whispering voice filled her mind with wild dreams of the life she could have had with the man she used to love.
In the beginning her life was simple, she lived in a beautiful home on a quiet tree lined street in a wonderful bustling city. Her father had enough money to buy her books, dresses, jewellery, fine food, and to employ several servants to cook for her, clean for her, and entertain her when required.
Sarah's overwhelming beauty, combined with her fathers money meant that there was always a party to go to, a new friend to charm, and an former friend to shun.
Spoiled as she was, she had had no problems accepting the advances of William, a man even more beautiful, selfish and spoiled than herself. She saw him and she wanted him, not just for the increase in status she would gain, or for the money, but because everyone else wanted him. She would be the envy of every girl who had ever had the misfortune of laying eyes on him.
William captured her immediately, he was wild and beautiful as the waves that crash on the sea shore. He destroyed lesser men like ships in a hurricane. He dashed them to pieces on the rocks and pulled them down into his endless depths.
Despite the seemingly endless influence and power that had drawn Sarah into his arms, even the ocean must bow to the rule of Neptune, so too William was slave to the will of his father.
Lord Henry had always controlled Williams life, using him like a pawn in an unending quest for more money, more influence, more power. Maybe William should have submitted to his fathers wishes the night that he announced his intention to marry Sarah, but at least he died for love.
After months of secret walks through groves of swirling autumn leaves, and a stolen kiss in the shadows between street lights, Sarah and William had made the decision to spend their lives together.
With a mix of joyous love for each other and a twisted love for defiance, William had announced their plan to wed. Though the couple had prepared for anger and disapproval, they were not at all prepared for the blind rage in Lord Henry's eyes, or the knife in his hand.
The men had roared and crashed together like lighting in the sky, each trying to force the other into submission.
At last, calling William a "petulant fool with no place in this house", and Sarah "a scheming harlot who would never get the chance to sully the family name with her lowly blood", Lord Henry had backhanded William into a book case and unflinchingly forced his blade deep into Williams stomach.
The world stopped turning then. Every eye on every human alive stared as William slumped against the book case and slid down onto the floor. Sarah stood watching in horror as the seconds stretched out into years, torn between wanting to run, and needing to stay. Her knees betrayed her and she fell to the floor at his side. She pressed her hands to the wound and felt the warm blood pulsing from his body as his life drained out from between her trembling hands.
When the blood had stopped the world moved again, Lord Henry dragged his eyes from the face of his son and it was like the world wanted to overcompensate by moving into double speed.
With a whirl of colour and movement Sarah felt a sharp pain in her stomach as Lord Henry kicked her away from the silent empty body that used to be his son. She fell to the ground a few feet away and stared into the eyes of her one love, as his father wept upon his chest.
After a minute or an hour, a day or a year, Sarah found herself face to face with Lord Henry. He was standing again and advancing towards her, the bloody knife still in his hand. She sprang up from the floor raced from the room. Lord Henry's words chased her through the house with accusations of having brought shame to William and his family. Sarah's father might be wealthy, but that didn't make her worthy.
With tears streaming down her cheek and agony tearing at her heart, she fled the house. She ran down the street through the cold night, haunted by every corner where they had met, every bench upon which they had sat and laughed. Skidding on the wet stone walkway she finally came to a stop in front of her house. The lights from the windows dappled the front lawn and she could just make out the spot where she and William had hidden after escaping their chaperone, and where he had first kissed her. She raised her trembling fingers to her lips and felt the sweet echo of that kiss. The first that they would ever share, and now the last.
Through the open windows she could see all the scenes of the life they could have shared together playing on repeat.
The memories crowded around her, pulling at her, threatening to tear her apart. No, she would never find sanctuary in this house again. It too was haunted now.
She turned away from it all and ran out into the night, away from her home, away from her father, away from her love, and way from her life.
>> Continue to part 2 - Flight >>