He remembers thin veins of gold falling around him. Like bright silk curtains draped over a dark night. It’s almost as if the bands of sunlight are a cage meant for him— with bars thick and bright enough that they blind him. He felt his heart beating faster, then slower, without rhythm or reason.
His eyes glossed over the blade that pierced his skin in one thrust and focused on the girl in front of him.
She was brighter than anything he had seen— her hair was odd, he remembered. It wasn’t right.
An image flashed before his eyes. The same girl stood within his arms but she was blurred, looking like a match waiting to be lit. Her eyes were softer before. Now, her gaze burned through him with a strange intensity. It warmed him to see her eyes glow with unshed tears, but he couldn’t forget the steady curve of her palm as she drove the blade through him.
Right through his heart. Foolish. Weak. Wanting.
His eyes wavered for a moment and then he saw dark ripples surround him. Focus boy. Firm fingers danced around him and created shadows taller than him, but all he wanted was to hold his mother’s hand. His fingers reached out not to call darkness, but to hold onto the only person who had cared for him.
Aleksander, the white-haired girl whispered. Like a prayer, or perhaps a summon. He was gone before he could decide which.