They hadn't thought it would come. When he’d first met Daira many years ago, she had told him the tale of the white beast. How it hunted every last one of her bloodline until there was only her. But that was so long ago, they’d thought it a demon left in her past.
Seeing it now filled him with dread. The beast was huge, with skin that no mortal could hurt. Both hungry arrows and angry swords had sought its flesh, but all had passed through it like it wasn’t really there. “Stop!” Cried Daira suddenly her eyes glistening as she shook her head, “I can’t let it destroy the town.” “The town is lost. All that’s left to us is to flee. We can make a new life far away, somewhere it’ll never find us,” said Anforan struggling to believe his own words. “Anforan, it’ll always find me. How many more innocents must suffer because of me?” Her voice grew hard, “Can you hear those screams? Those are our neighbours, our friends. I can’t let them die for me.” “We have no choice, we must flee,” said Anforan quickly.
Daira’s face softened, “There is a choice,” she took a shuddering breath, “I could let it have me.” “No,” said Anforan immediately, “Absolutely not.” “My love,” she said moving closer and placing a hand upon his cheek, “I have lived longer than any of my family. In my wildest fantasies, I’d never pictured a life of such contentment as I’ve had with you. But my time has come.” Clenching his sword he shook his head, “I cannot allow you.” She nodded and with a heaviness of motion raised her hand and froze Anforan in place.
He swore, shouted and struggled, but it was no use, her magic was too powerful.
Warm tears pressed against his face as she kissed him. For a moment it seemed all was right in the world, then she uttered the phrase that eviscerated his last shred of happiness, “Goodbye.” She turned and began walking toward the white beast. “Don’t do this!” he pleaded, “Please. We were going to have a family, a quiet life where we’d grow old together. Aren’t I worth fighting for?” She stopped, not taking her eye off the beast. Her reply cut him as it came, “My love, you’re worth dying for.” Art-Jakub Rozalski