20 February 2011


Title: Lithium
Author: SilverInk
Writing: Songfiction [Link]
Word Count: 5952

This was Heaven. The grass was green and tall, but not so tall that it was a nuisance to walk through. The water in the nearby lake was bubbling healthily, throwing crystal reflections back whenever a sunbeam danced on its surface. The sweet scent of flowers reached his nose and a cool breeze brushed his back. He was warm here. Comfortable here. At peace here. 
don't want to lock me up inside Lithium
don't want to forget what it feels without Lithium

He had to turn around. Why? Why--why did he always have to turn around? If only he could just stay there, staring out at the grassy hills rolling endlessly into the horizon, watching the creek chase after the sun, scrutinizing the thin line where the sky met the sea, then he would be at peace, for eternity. Sleep would be a blissful dream, instead of the haunting nightmare it always was. 
But he was lonely here, and he would always turn around to look for company, even though he knew the only company he would get would be a hallow shell of a soul.
Behind him was a gray expanse, starting where the grass just seemed to drop off into nothingness and stretching on and on until it seemed to meet a second horizon. His memories would flash by in this gray mist, some flickering like bolts of lightning cackling though the sky, others lingering like cruel clouds hovering in front of his face. 
No, it wasn't the memories that haunted him. They were enjoyable enough, and for a few days after his healing he had delighted in gazing though these clips of his past. There was something odd certainly, and his sister was always talking to herself in them, but they weren't disturbing in themselves. Here was him arguing with his friends about rank or something. Here was his beloved, chastising his sister for doing something she ought to not have. And this one—the most perplexing one yet—showed him diving into the water to save something that just wasn’t there.
But even that memory he could deal with. It was the girl, the ghost girl, that scared him. She was colorless, but he could tell she looked like his sister. Maybe she was a long lost relative? But why would she haunt him? And that’s all she ever seemed to do—haunt him. Her curled black wings folded over her as if protecting her from him, but the pool of thick gray at her feet appeared as acid-puddles in the moor of his memories. Her eyes were hallow and she never responded or stirred, only stared eerily at him, as if she were seeing though his soul.
The worst part: once he turned around, he couldn't turn back again. The Eden of Dreamland was lost to him forever. 

I want to stay in love with my sorrow
But God I want to let it go

Elias Gilfax awoke, opening gray eyes to the world. He sat up and found a red-haired girl curled next to him, her long locks splayed angelically over the rock. Elias scrunched his nose up at her heavy perfume. 
"Elisa?" he murmured softly and beside the red-haired girl his sister turned around, already awake.
"You're up," she said neutrally and turned back around again. He arched his back, stretched, and stood. Elisa was sitting with her legs hanging off the cliff-side, her staff lying across her lap. "You need anything?" she called, a trace of guilt lingering in her voice.
"I'm fine," he said, running magic past his teeth to clean them. He sat back-to-back with her, as they usually had. "Don't worry about me.”
They were quiet for a while and Elias closed his eyes as if meditating. When he relaxed and sighed, she murmured, "How far are we?"
"The Heart's at the top of this mountain," he confirmed, taking a sip of water. "It'll be a few days yet."
Elisa didn't reply for a long time, thinking and finally said bitterly, "I don't know why you took this mission. You had all the comforts you could ask for back at camp.
"That's just it. I had to get away from all that. I know I've been a bit off ever since you guys found me after the rainstorm, but…but there was something just remarkably wrong about the way everyone was acting." He paused and Elisa let out a wry huff. 
"Well, you could’ve made this journey easier for everyone by leaving her behind.”
"She insisted," he murmured in defense. "But I agree, Rebecca fusses too much." At this Elisa huffed again. After a lonely few minutes, Elias sighed and explained, "I just want things to go back to the way they were before."
"And going after another Heart's going to help with that?"
"It's what I did before, right?" He was met with silence and continued. "It's the Final Heart everyone's worried about, anyways. So I go and get it, bring it back, seal the Rifts, and then everything will be happy again."
"You want things to be happy or normal?" came the muttered reply.
"Normal," he replied instantly. Why? Was normal life not happy? He could hardly remember.
She seemed to read his mind as she shifted. "It was sorrowful before. I can't remember the last time we were all happy."
Sorrow...it sounded so bitter. But that was normal. And he remembered he was content before. "Sorrow it is then. I just want life to be normal."

Come to bed don't make me sleep alone. 
Couldn't hide the emptiness; you let it show. 

That night, the three camped considerably higher up on the mountain. They had made good progress that day. After a small dinner Elisa created the guard-light that would keep attackers away—or at least warn them if attackers came— for the night. Then she pulled out a small crystal and stared at it as if she could talk to it. 
"What's that?"
She looked up, startled, and Rebecca flashed a glare at her, but Elisa continued. "It's Aur--"
"A crystal," Rebecca put in. "Nothing important, my dear."
"Go on," Elias encouraged. Elisa shot the red-haired girl a horrible look. Her smooth features wrinkled up and her mouth was turned down in a scowl that--besides pointy fangs--would have resembled a hag. 
"I found her next to you after the rainstorm. She had hea--"
"It was just lying there," Rebecca said quickly. “And Elisa dear seems to have become attached to it."
Elisa gave her the hag look again. "Her name is Aurasi--," 
"She means what she's named the rock."
"--ne Windrose. You almost drowned her once."
But Elias was no loner listening. For once would like to go to sleep without looking at their furious faces. He heard them bickering quietly but ignored them and let himself float away into the dream realm. 
"Aw," Elias said, staring out into the lake that rimmed their mansion. "I seem to have dropped my phone down there. Grandad, do I have to get it?"
But Grandfather Gilfax's reply was not to be heard because the memory cut short and the next thing he saw was himself diving into the water and swimming as if he knew exactly where he was going. This too was cut off mid-stroke and a series of confusing images flooded around him. He dived underwater. He saw his phone. He was reaching for it. He… was blasting it--? 
The memories flashed by and he was glad when they finally faded and he was returned to the usual setting. Behind him he could feel the moor where his memories floated. He let out a sigh of relief and took comfort in staring out at the peaceful hills and valley, the calm sky. 
He stayed that way for a long time, but soon the loneliness settle over him like a heavy blanket. It smothered him but did nothing to protect against the wind. Elias capitulated and turned around; he would have to face the strange ghost-girl, but that was better than being lonely. 
But tonight the monotone figure was not standing at her usual post in the center of the moorland. He shuddered. Was it her absence that had caused the discontinuity of the flashback? He had been frightened by her presence, but without her, he was the only one in this dreamscape. Alone.

Never wanted to be so cold 
just didn't drink enough to say you love me. 

Cold crept under Elias’s jacket and chilled him to the bone. He shivered. He rubbed his hands together. He tried a warming spell. Nothing. It was no use. He resigned to the cold and closed his eyes, clenching his water flask as Rebecca caressed him. Stop touching me, he pleaded silently.
“You seem so distant, sweetheart. What’s wrong?”
“Don’t call me that,” he shifted away. He stared at the guardian light Elisa had made already and flinched when the Rebecca touched him again. 
“Here.” Elisa had stepped over, with a small cackling ball of warm sparks. He nodded his thanks and sat near it. Rebecca scooted over as well, draping herself over him again. “I have the feeling we’re not the only one’s on this mountain,” Elisa said suddenly. “I think there’s something more than just the Heart up here. Another Heart?”
"Don't listen to her,” Rebecca offered when he tensed at the news. He pushed her away. This was important.
“I don’t sense anything else,” he said.
“Me neither,” Rebecca said hurriedly. “Are you sure you feel alright, dear sister?”
“Fine, Miss Raynes.” Elisa seethed, the hag-look taking form. Elias took a long drink from his water flask before setting it aside with the rest of the food. “Elias?”
When he didn’t reply, Rebecca replied, “See now. You’ve hurt him again. You shouldn’t….” Elias shook his head and leaned against the cliff-face. The girls could continue to argue. He would sleep on this.
But when he closed his eyes he was swept immediately into a flashback. Again he saw himself dive off the pier, and again the memory ended mid-stroke. But this time he was not comforted with a headache of short clips. 
A wave wobbled past his eyes and water stung his eyes. He swallowed a mouthful of the lake and broke the surface, coughing and choking. He barely managed to catch a small sliver of air before the waves again engulfed him. Again he strained against an unseen binding to gasp for breath. His arms flopped uselessly and the unseen weight dragged him down. Help! Help! He tried to call, but no words came. He panicked when his magic was swallowed by the rope on his foot.
Then he began sinking. His lungs burned and he could feel his heart pounding uncontrollably. His legs went limp first, and then his arms, starting from his fingertips and caving inwards. Just before the numbness took control of all sense he felt a rough blast of power beside him and a push propel him out of the water. 
Elias burst out of the memory, his throat oddly parched. Surely he had never been so close to drowning, had he? He breathed gratefully nonetheless. 
He caught his breath and looked around, expecting the the cold unfeeling stone of the mountain they were on. Instead he found himself kneeling in a patch of grass, with the wind blowing lightly at his back and a few beams of sunlight in his face. Without thinking he looked to the side and saw the open fields. Only one memory dominated that endless sky now. He saw someone trashing in the lake—himself? And then in front of the giant screen--her. 
She was knelt in the shallow pool now, and the black wings stemmed from her back and formed a cage of glass around her. One wing lifted, dripping with the liquid of the pool. One drop. Two drop. Three. Four. Fiv-- the wing crashed back down. She looked up and for once he saw emotion. Agony. Suffering. Hatred. Her lips were stained with the same liquid the pool was made of, and he felt a sudden affection for her—he had to save her from the pain! The black wings shook once and collapsed over her, like a tower crumbling and sending her face-first into strange gray water
The impact shook the dreamscape and the pool's gray water splashed out of its ring. They were innocent droplets that flew through the air and landed with soft, unnatural thuds. He drew back as one such droplet landed in the grass near him. The strange water rested momentarily on the blade of grass, flat gray against vibrant green. 
And then the drop hissed, leaving a charred hole through the blade of grass, which faded in color the as the drop burned through it. Color vanished in splotches and the ground fell away, leaping an unbridgeable gap between the meadow he was in and the eerie moorland of his memories. Memories...and the fallen ghost-girl.
A flash of blinding light shot out of the void and it was the last thing he saw.
I can't hold onto me
Wonder what's wrong with me

“Rebecca!” Elias called, reaching his hand out to catch her from tumbling to death. Elisa flung electric blasts at the beasts pursuing them and charged in with her staff. She dispatched two of them swiftly, giving Elias time to steady Rebecca and usher her to a safer location uphill. He rejoined the battle clumsily, throwing energy loose and attacking with his sword. Rebecca’s shrieks were a constant distraction, even though the stone-like wolf-monsters weren’t even in attacking range of her. 
She screamed again as Elias’s sword was knocked out of his hand by a biting wolf. The weapon skidded on the side, landing near Rebecca, who was now blindly throwing rocks. One hit his shoulder and he dodged as one pelted towards his face. A wolf leapt on him and he slipped on another rock she’d thrown and together they swerved and plummeted off the ledge. He pulled loose at the last second, losing a part of his sleeve but nothing else. A snarl above him indicated that another monster had taken its place.
Elias clung to the cliff-face with one hand and lifted the other to blast the wolf away, but the magic flickered out in a pathetic trickle of light that could have been helpful if he had been in a dark place, instead of hanging hundreds of feet off an icy mountain with a growling stone-wolf inches away from his hand. 
The dog suddenly flew off the cliff-face, and shattered against a jagged icicle underneath him. Elias looked up to see Elisa brandishing her staff and his sword. She disappeared and a yelping followed. Elisa appeared again to haul him up. She trust his sword back into his hands and swung her staff onto her back wordlessly. 
He tucked his sword away, feeling more useless than Rebecca, who had cowered away when he’d fallen over.

Don't want to lock me up inside Lithium.
Don't want to forget how it feels without Lithium. 
I want to stay in love with my sorrow. 

“Go ahead and sleep,” Elias urged the two girls. 
Rebecca obeyed easily, sighing, “I think I will. Today was so hectic, with that battle against the stone wolf things! I’m exhausted from fighting!” She curled up and fell asleep before Elisa could snap a retort. 
“Go ahead and sleep,” he repeated to Elisa.
“What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you tired?”
“I-I’m fine,” he lied. In truth, he as afraid to sleep. 
“No, something’s off. Now tell me.”
“Nothing…” he protested for a moment. Elisa wasn’t convinced and sat up with him. “Listen, this was what life was like right? Going on missions, looking for Hearts, getting them?”
She shrugged and nodded. “Mostly.”
He sighed with relief. He yawned, but refused to curl up and sleep. Sleep meant being alone in the dreamland, or seeing that strange ghost-girl. He wanted to savor this life now, while things at least felt normal.

Don't want let it lay me down this time. 
Drown my will to fly. 

"I'm not tired," Elias insisted. No one was convinced. He tried to stifle a yawn but the red streaks in his eyes clearly indicated he needed rest. His muscles were tired and he had not been able to summon any magic to his aid for days already. 
"Elias, dearheart, you absolutely need to rest! I order you!"
"No!" he said so fiercely she stumbled a pace back. "I don't need to! We have to finish this quickly. Sleeping isn't going to hurry us up."
Both girls stared at his outburst and he turned around agin and resumed dragging himself up. The path had led them inside the mountain now, and even Rebecca could tell they were nearing the place the Heart was being kept. Elias told himself this and pushed upwards again. He didn't care if the other two were following or not. He could do this himself--he would have to anyways. Elisa and Rebecca were only here to guard him on the journey--like the skirmish with the pack of rock-bears that morning. Well, Elisa at least. 
He felt his legs crumple beneath him and immediately his sister was beside him. A few moments later, Rebecca was there as well.
"Sleep here," Elisa urged. "I'll keep watch."
"No…" he protested, trying to crawl to his feet but he dropped back to the ground weakly.
"Go to sleep. We'll travel faster if you're rested."
With that the warm cave faded away and after a few moments he felt himself laying on the soft grasses of his dream realm.
"Why did you do this to yourself?"a soft voice asked by his ear. He opened his eyes and saw the ghost-girl kneeling over him, opposite of where Elisa had been. "Sleep-deprivation helps no one. Nothing," she continued, her strange voice sending chills through him even as butterflies fluttered in his stomach. She pressed her fingers against his skin and a soft warm feeling inundated through him, filling him with a strange energy. With her help he managed to sit up. 
"Who-Who are you?" He asked, searching those hallow gray eyes for a sign. 
She only shook her head and stepped away from him again. The warm energy stayed with him but her fingers left cold marks on his arm. Her bare feet left inky gray footprints in the tall stalks of the meadow and on the low grasses of the moor. Only when she stepped back into the pool did he realize that the wings were gone. Before he could ask though, the sky crackled and a single pane opened. He was again plunged into the memory. 
The phone floated there, as if suspended in the water. No, it wasn't suspended there. It was sinking. It was dragging something--no, someone!--down. Tendrils of thick twine stemmed from around the sides and bound itself around--
She appeared only for a moment, but that flicker was enough. He had seen that same face haunt him many times before. She was reaching for the surface of the water, her eyes squeezed shut and her face twisted as she struggled for breath. He remembered the dream from a few nights ago--the last night he'd slept willingly--and the horrible memory he was assured wasn't his. It hadn't been his memory at all. It was hers--she was the one that had been drowning. 
Just as suddenly as he had been pulled back into the past he was sprung back into the present. He was still sitting on the soft grasses. And in front of him was the ghost-girl, and behind her the memory of the girl drowning. As he watched, the black glass-wings unfurled over the image and as the drowning girl thrashed helplessly against the waves, the wings evaporated, fading from the dreamland as if it was a water bubble being boiled away. 
He knew who she was now. 

Here in the darkness I know myself.
Can't break free until I let it go. 
Let me go.

They had arrived. Elias could feel the Rift Heart's pounding just a few yards ahead of him; only a wall of swirling black magic separated them from it. Now when he closed his eyes could see its form: Two strands of hallow metal woven into a bracelet. 
"This is the place," Elisa said, understanding his sudden calm. Elias nodded. 
“Let me get it,” Rebecca insisted and strode forward. But no sooner had she touched the black wall did it spit her away. She scowled at it, her expression rivaling Elisa’s hag look. 
“Idiot,” Elisa muttered. 
Elias was kinder; he helped Rebecca to her feet before assuring. “Leave this to me; You’re not a heart-keeper.”
He nodded to Elisa and left everything—his sword, his gear— behind in the little cavern and strode forward. His fingers brushed the black wall gently. The wall seemed to cave in around him, engulfing him in an endless world of black. Beneath him he felt rather than saw the floor. 
He embraced the cold darkness and let familiarity swell through him. A ghostly form of his sword materialized in his hand at his command and he proceeded towards the only light in the darkness—the Heart, which hovered between a hanging slab of rock and another slab that jutted out of a gray pool.
 Beside the Heart, standing in the pool, stood the familiar ghost-girl. She had no wings, but she stood next to the final Heart, her emotionless eyes staring at yet through him. 
"I have come for the Heart," he said, indicating the curled bangle. 
"You will have to fight for it," Aura replied smoothly, still distantly. 
He nodded and didn't hesitate and lashed out. Magic spun down the blade and he felt the darkness around him lend him its energy. Yes! This was where he belonged, battling in the dark illusions of a Heart's last defense. He spun and around and slashed his blade at the girl, who had pulled out two small knives from the folds of her short sparkling dress. He threw a wave of energy at her and she dodged it easily before striking with her glowing weapons. He caught her hand and with an expert twist sent the weapon.
Aura was not to be defeated so easily though. She had trained with him growing up and knew his techniques almost as well as he knew them himself. Barely missing a beat, she wretched his sword from his grasp with the other dagger before bringing it down at his head. He dodged just in time and saw a short tuft of his own blonde hair fall to the black ground. He dodged another attack, keeping his fingers around her wrist and spun away, forcing her to spin as she tried to pull away. He aimed his hand at her side and heard her gasp she fell forward and tripped over his foot. He let her hand go and kicked the other dagger away as it clattered to the floor. 
As she lay, momentarily stunned, on the invisible ground he turned to the Heart. Close up, the pool was so much wider than he had assumed it was from his dreams, and he recognized the smell with a shudder. Stepping out, he let his foot sink into the pool. It only came up to his ankle but pain burned his foot there until he felt he would slip and fall and die in the silver blood. But he focused and forced himself to put his other foot in, being sure to take as long a stride as he could. In this way he made his way to the center of the pool. Without hesitation he snagged the Heart and immediately the slabs of stone retracted into the darkness and the pool drained. But before he could sigh in relief, a black mist swirled around him and encaged him where he stood. 
Aura had stood up again, a long, glowing dagger in one hand. He attacked the cage with a burst of energy, but the strange black glass only emit a hallow ring. Again and again he attacked the cage bars. He set the Heart on the ground briefly and knelt as and sent another wave of magic out. This time he was rewarded by a dull crack. Without touching the Heart he attacked again and another crack sounded. Then suddenly the cage shrunk until he was knelt down with the cage barely an inch from him. Aura stood over him and he looked up to meet her eyes but all he saw was himself reflected in those gray irises.
"You--you're not Aura at all," he stuttered, grabbing the Heart again.
"No. I'm not," the girl said. "I'm you." She stood over him and pulled the hand with the Heart through the cage. "Surrender the Heart," she commanded.
"Never," he retorted and felt a thin streak of pain where her blade pressed against his hand. A drop of blood fell down and landed, rippling the darkness. More drops followed, forming a stream. Pain pierced his knee where the trickle of blood touched him and he lifted his knee only to crash it into the cold glass of the black-wing-cage.
"Surrender the Heart."
"No," he repeated, closing his eyes as he waited for the blade to come down again. It did, followed by another burst of pain in his leg. 
Again and again came the slashes until Elias didn't know whether he had hands or feet anymore. Each time the girl would ask him to surrender and each time he refused. Never had it been so hard to conquer a Heart. But it had to be done. 
Let go, just for a moment! a voice begged. His head was spinning too hard for him to tell who exactly it was, but he could tell that it was not from his oppressor. The words came from within him, its speaker shrouded in mystery. Hesitantly, he unfurled his bleeding fingers and the bracelet fell from his grasp. Immediately the streams of his blood surged up and flew back to their source, healing the hand. The numb pain in his knees and feet still lingered. The Heart had fallen out of the illusion, plummeting from his hand through the dark clouds that were supposed to hide the floor. Elias fell against the wing-cage in defeat. The Heart was lost. He had failed.

Darling, I forgive you after all
Anything is better than to be alone

"I'm sorry," said the girl outside the cage. "For haunting you. I know I've  tormented your sleeping hours since you woke up after the rainstorm."
"I-I apologize for that."
He glanced at her warily. Her declaration was sudden, but he had seen enough to not be surprised. This sounded more like the Aura he’d known. He closed his eyes in thought and recalled the way she had shown him the drowning memory over and over, and stared through him with those strange wide eyes of hers.
"I forgive you," he said, his eyes still closed. "And I’m sorry…for drowning you.”

And in the end I guess I had to fall. 
always find my place among the ashes

The three proceeded swiftly down the mountain now, the glowing white Heart resting comfortably on Elias's wrist. After he forgave the Aura-vision, he had opened his eyes to find himself in the cave where Elisa and Rebecca had had to stay. The impenetrable black wall had faded, and the Heart had been found where it was now. 
Elias was in fine spirits, his mission successful and almost completed. All that was needed was for him to return to the Queen with this Heart, shut the Rifts with its power, and all would be mended. 
But not far from the foot of the mountain, the Heart-keeper stepped on a snowy embankment and abruptly the ground gave away. Without warning and with no time to react he, Rebecca, and Elisa tumbled through an icy tunnel. Elias tumbled out of the tunnel into a pile of ash waiting for them at the end. A face-full of dust and ash rushed up to meet him and his consciousness flickered away. 
His head broke the surface of the water and behind him another splash indicated that the other person had surfaced as well. He sped off for the shore, using magic to accelerate them to the pier. With a final burst he leapt out and the person behind him sprang out as well. Elisa helped her to stand as Elias himself crouched by the edge of the pier, resting his head on the smooth stone next to the fire-hole and listened to his sister's voice for a moment. Finally, he stood and looked up. 
For once the scene was in color. Life filled every speck of the scene before him, and vibrant tones leapt out at him. And the drowning girl--the girl Elias had come to know as the ghost of Aurasine Windrose, was alive. Her hair was a slightly darker shade of blonde than his, and her skin was a healthy olive as she recovered from the shock of nearly drowning. She glanced at him; her eyes were still gray, a soft fledgling color. 
"Elisa," Elias said, spitting out ash.
"Are you ok?" his sister asked, hurrying over. Rebecca was standing a little ways off, complaining as she wiped soot from her hair and dress. 
"Fine," he replied. "Give me Aura's crystal.”
Beside them, Rebecca shrieked and dropped her hair. "What did you say?"
He repeated himself. "It's no use. I've recovered my memory. Elisa, give me Aura's crystal. I want to hea--"
His sentence was cut short by a rumbling in the small ash-strewn cave. Rebecca shrieked and hurtled herself at the wall faster than she had ever moved before as the ground fell away from her. Elias hung on to a nearby stalagmite for dear life. But as he swung himself up to safety he saw his dear little sister fall into the chasm that had opened. 

I can't hold onto me
Wonder what's wrong with me. 

"Elijiah Gilfax, Keeper of the Ninth and Final Heart of the Anceint Rifts," a voice within the cave boomed and a figure zoomed into sight. A small boy with a large scythe in his hands flew out of the chasm on a beam of light. 
"Rune Cieonna, Keeper of the Chasm of Secrets," Elias replied without thinking. This was the natural grant of all heart-keepers: the ability to recognize and name all fellow Keepers. "What do you want?" he continued, more spitefully. 
The other Keeper blinked lazily. "Surely it is obvious?" he paused. "I need your Heart," he said bluntly.
"A little bribery?" Rune asked and two more beams of light shot up on either side of him. One of them held Elisa prisoner. The other one secured Aura's crystal. Elias stiffened his expression. He must not relinquish the Heart.
"I cannot."
A surge of light engulfed the crystal and Elisa gasped with concern for the friend she believed to be there. When the light passed, Aurasine herself was lying on in the beam of light. Asleep, but alive. 
"If you have so much power," Elias said cautiously, "then why do you need another Heart?"
"For reasons I hold to myself," Rune replied cooly. "But it is essential to the well-being of this Chasm. You know that I could not fetch the heart myself, confined as I am to the secret realms. But I need the power of another Heart to sustain the Chasm." He watched Elias pleadingly. "I invite you to see, if you like!" he exclaimed desperately. "You can come below and see for yourself what is in need of more power than I have."
"This Heart must go to Queen Geneva so she may seal the Ancient Rifts," Elias pointed out. He faintly heard Rebecca stir behind him and approach the edge. "I must fulfill this duty. Surely your matter can wait until the Rifts are sealed?"
"I won't!" the boy screamed. "I can't! It won't!"
"It must."
A pang of terror and guilt tore at him. Was he so cruel? Would he really abandon Elisa—and Aura— for his duty? What kind of person was he? 
A loyal one, he told himself firmly. He reminded himself of the people that had suffered--and were suffering-- in all the realms since the Rifts had opened. "I cannot forsake my duty.”
Don't want to lock me up inside Lithium. 
Don't want to forget how it feels without Lithium. 

"Fine," Rune snarled, suddenly hostile. "I suppose I have no choice. I cannot force you to give up the Heart, and I see that your loyalties do not lie with either kin or love." The boy spat the last words out, emphasizing the relations he kept. 
"You will let us leave then?" Elias asked, a spark of hope flaring in his chest. 
"Of course no--"
"He's going to keep them both captive," Rebecca noted, sounding happier than she have faced with the concept that she was condemning two people to their deaths.
"Idiot girl," the boy not half her age sneered. He turned to Elias. "I will keep only one of these two. You will select one of them to return. Be warned--she that returns will be stripped of her memory. The other shall remain here, her secrets shall be her tether to her servitude. She shall die and her soul destroyed under my rule.”
"Elisa, I'll take Elisa." Elias said instantly, even though a flash of hesitation struck him like a lightning bolt.
"Don't be daft," his sister snapped. "You're taking Aura back with you."
"I can live without Aura," he said, though it was forced. "I mean, I’m fine now, right? I can live without Aura. You’re my sister!"
“Yes, choose, Elisa,” Rebecca urged, though her tone indicated she would rather they both died.
Elisa closed her eyes and nothing betrayed her thoughts. "Elijiah Lyona Gilfax," she said clearly, enunciating every word as if she had rehearsed it. "If you really cared about me, then you would know to take Aura with you. I swear, by my own name, Ellasyn Lyona Gilfax, that it is the choice you must make."
She stopped speaking there, and did not even offer a retort to Rebecca’s muttered, “Fool.”
Elias too closed his eyes, knowing the severity of his sister's words for her to call him as she did. But would he--could he, leave her to suffer at the face of this young fiend? 
Cieonna… He knew the name as well as anyone would. Elisa knew what she was asking to get involved with. 
But whatever Elisa said, it was still Elias's decision. He could picture Aura's sleeping form now, and compared it to Elisa's fearless captivity. His sister had been his constant companion throughout life. Without her--I wouldn’t be myself.
Stay in love with me. 
I'm going to let it go.

"I have chosen," Elias said, his eyes still closed as he said the words. He opened them and murmured apologies to both captives.
"Rune Cieonna, Keeper of the Chasm of Secrets. Come forward and let me say what I have chosen."

Artist's Note: :) My second songfiction! I beat the Constitution's word count this time ^_^
The song is "Lithium" from Evanescence, which according to itunes I have listened to 155 times. By now I have listened to "My Immortal" (my first songfiction written in October 2010) 184 times. 
This is the longest post on DiW. But I'm only half-proud of that. If anyone sees somewhere where I can cut in this post, please tell me >_< The first draft of this was around 7.8K words. I rewrote it down to around 6.4K and then cut it down to the present word count. 
If you dislike the cliffhanger....it's because I don't know how I wanted it to end. 
I'm pretty sure by now the theme of the month is evident. If not...well, I'll probably mention it in my reflection rant next week....nothing really to say now :/ You like? 

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