[Story] When the Lights Go Out

100 Blood Elf Rogue
9105
“… sentenced to hang by the neck until dead. Any final words?”

The condemned man said nothing; instead his brown eyes searched the crowd as the noose was tightened. He caught the eye of a dark haired woman, neither young nor old, who returned his gaze with intensity. The two passed the remaining seconds until the gallows called its death toll, and the four men dropped – their bodies shaking in the high winds of the afternoon.

The crowd turned away, the entertainment of the day done. The crowd itself was meager; there were no murderers or thieves among the hanged. Debtors mainly, an embezzler - economic crimes never brought out the throngs. The dark haired woman followed the crowd, not wishing to bring more shame to herself than was already done.

Hours later, when her husband’s effects were being passed to her - his journal, his wedding ring, his clothing – did the full impact of the afternoon’s events come upon her. Her house, gone, and everything in it reclaimed … she vaguely heard the words of the official stating that she would be living in a workhouse for women in “similar states,” but all the dark haired woman could do was sigh.

She reluctantly climbed into a carriage with two other women, dressed like her in dark colors, which set off through Andorhal to their new accommodations. The three women stole furtive glances at each other’s faces. New widows all of them, disgraced, all of them, set off for a new life of hardship.

‘But wasn’t my life hard enough already?’ the dark haired woman thought to herself, running her thin hands over the dark skirt of her mourning dress.

That evening, over a dinner of bread and soup, the new faces in the workhouse said nothing to each other. They ate hungrily, almost like animals, sopping up the last dredges of their soup with the crusts of their bread. The seasoned residents laughed and carried on, already having made friends and lives post tragedy, they were long past mourning, shunning the remembrances of their past to a small table furthest from the hearth.

That night, under stiff sheets, the dark haired woman remembered.

She remembered holding her husband’s calloused hand in hers. Him sweeping her off her feet as they crossed the threshold to their home the first time.

She remembered their feet sc%!@@%@ across the dirty floorboards, as he hummed to her a tune. Her skirts twirling, he wrapped his arm around her small waist and pulled her in for a kiss.

She remembered winter mornings long after the fire had gone cold, the two of them using each other for warmth under the quilt. Sometimes making their own warmth where there was none.

“We have to make Light where there is none,” he said to her, “we may owe more than what we make to everyone in this cursed town, but we have one another. And you produce more Light than Azeroth itself could ever claim to have hold over.”

She tried not to sigh. The night of the workhouse was full of sighing women.

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100 Blood Elf Rogue
9105
The next morning awoke with illness throughout the workhouse. There was work to be done, and the shaking and pale women dressed and went about their days with little strength. Meals were eaten quietly, only the sound of moaning from illness and fervor with which the food was consumed.

The dark haired woman was so hungry. The bread and soup did nothing to sate her hunger. In looking at her new colleagues, their eyes reflected her own hunger back upon her. What an awful life. What pity for herself.

As she shook under the stiff sheets that night, the dark haired woman remembered.

She remembered the hands of her husband across the table, his wedding ring large over the hairs of his thin finger. She remembered tracing it with her own, smiling at him.

She remembered that after the collectors came all of those times, he would always turn to her, and they would go walking in the fields outside of the city. Picking flowers for her hair. The yellow ones suited her best.

She remembered the night they took him away, she spent the evening staring out the window at the stars, wishing … wishing that they would take her, too. One day, one week without him would be unbearable.

She coughed. The night of the workhouse was full of coughing women.

---------

The next morning awoke with progressed illness. Some women could not rise from their beds, only able to moan and rake the sheets with their hands. The dark haired woman tried to brush her hair, but her grip failed her.

Work proved futile. The hunger present the day before was only magnified, the sounds of eating were nigh stomach turning. Near feral.

They were sent to rest, a Priest would be called for in the morning.

As she raked the stiff sheets, the dark haired woman tossed and turned. She did not remember.

---------

The next morning awoke to chaos.

----------

When the dark haired woman regained consciousness, a corpse stood in front of her with a lantern in one hand, he regarded her curiously.

“You are being given the name Lizaveta Eustace Black. Does this suit you?”

The dark haired Forsaken nodded.

“What do you remember?” Undertaker Mordo asked.

Lizaveta Eustace Black’s yellow eyes looked around the crypt for a moment, and down at her clawed hands. Slowly, she turned her gaze back to the Undertaker.

“I remember nothing.”
Edited by Caeryn on 3/9/2011 12:27 PM PST
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45 Goblin Mage
8005
That was amazing! I loved the progression!

Your writing always delivers! Hope to see more.

x clair
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85 Dwarf Paladin
5310
What Clair said. Quite a powerful story, for being relatively short and 'uncluttered'. (Not sure else how to describe it; 'simple' doesn't seem to work, perhaps 'direct'.)
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