Hope you were expecting angst! (though honestly, how could you not with a word like ‘evanesce’ xD)
This is actually a bit of a sneak peek into a future plot point for my main story. It’s not an excerpt, but it’s a little look into an otherwise unseen character whose story will be told soon.
In reference to this list of one-word prompts. Feel free to send me one!
It was the cold that drew Orrick Shelf from sleep. The bed he shared with his wife was always warm when he woke up. If she was awake before him, she waited for him so they could make, or in some cases find breakfast together.
So he was confused when he groggily reached a hand to her side of the bed to find it empty.
He sat up in bed, wrapping the blanket tightly around himself as his head cleared of the fog of sleep. Rubbing his bright blue eyes, he distantly wondered where his wife could be. A quick look around the room told him it was empty. Just like the bed.
With the blanket still draped over his shoulders, he got up and checked the storeroom just adjacent to the bedroom. Still there was no sign of his wife. None of the food had even been touched.
The kitchen and sitting rooms turned up empty as well. By then Orrick was fully awake and worried.
Then he remembered. His wife would sometimes go borrowing on her own. She’d never done it this early in the morning, but on many occasions Orrick would wake up from a nap to a note on her pillow explaining where she’d gone. Maybe she had done the same here. After all, if she was out in the humans’ territory of the house, she must be dead-set on getting something.
A wave of relief swept over Orrick when he returned to the bedroom and saw a slip of paper on the pillow. He sighed heavily, shaking his head at his own inattention. It was with a smile that he picked up and unfolded the note, a little excited to hear about what was so important as to warrant such an early borrowing.
His smile melted and ice shot through his gut as he read the mere two words scratched onto the scrap of paper.
He frowned, rereading and turning the note over to ensure she’d left him nothing else. What the hell does that mean?
Orrick’s heart was racing, blood roaring in his ears. She couldn’t… She wouldn’t! He simply could not conceive a plausible reason for the love of his life to vanish into thin air!
He ran from room to room, this time calling her name almost nonstop. He got dressed and spent the entire day checking every safe square inch of the house, and all night he searched the humans’ rooms, hoping beyond hope.
In the end, he returned to the home that now only belonged to him. Exhausted, but he couldn’t bear to sleep. Hungry, but he couldn’t bring himself to eat. He dropped his gear off near the door and sat wearily in the nearest chair.
Running his hands through his sharp red hair, he willed himself to pull it together. He couldn’t afford to wallow in misery over his wife’s disappearance. He could almost hear her now, repeating the words she would always say when they went through rough times. It’s okay. We can survive this.
Surviving was a far cry from understanding. It just didn’t make sense. They were happy, always had been. He hadn’t been treating her any differently recently than he had in all the time he knew her – and even if he had without realizing it, she would let him know in no uncertain terms. In hindsight, his wife had seemed a bit distracted the last few days, but nothing she’d said or done even remotely hinted at her intentions to leave.
Orrick let out a long breath and hugged his knees close to his chest. None of that mattered. Looking into the past would do nothing to change the fact that his wife was gone. And she seemed to have done so willingly, leaving no hint as to a reason why or an intention to ever come back.
Zepheera may have disappeared, but his love for her would never evanesce.