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Writing Strangled Remorse (short story [PG])

Chikara Kokoro

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This is a short story that I wrote recently, and I felt like getting some feedback on it. Its themes are somewhat dark, so if you want to read about butterflies and cotton candy, look elsewhere ^^;

[CENTER]Strangled Remorse[/CENTER]

?[I]Running away again... what a [B]wise[/B] decision[/I].?
Cecilia ran, her long black hair streaming behind her in oily ribbons. The forest closed in around her, antagonistic branches clawed at her bare feet. With nothing else to consider, she weighed the possible reasons as to why she was running away. In her mind, she hadn?t done anything wrong, for her phantom had told her it was all right. Yet, at the same time she knew that anything that could change the outlook of her life so drastically could never be correct. She would no longer trust it. She continued her flight.
?[I]This is just so [B]economical[/B], really, every time you do this we get to start all over[/I].?
?No one gets hurt...? she said these words in a volume that was just above inaudible. She hoped that saying the words aloud would make them easier for her to believe.
?[I]Then you get to screw up [B]all over again[/B][/I],? the voice let out a long cackle that caused Cecilia to shiver, and made her insides freeze with dread.
?Stop it...? she mumbled, trying desperately to silence her phantom. Another cackle. Her jade colored eyes began to shine as tears threatened to run rampant down her cheeks. Without rest her legs pounded, mechanically, up and down, up and down, in a steady rhythm that made an unavailing attempt to match the rapid beating of her heart.
?[I]That was a lovely town too, I almost thought that you could [B]survive[/B] there[/I].?
She kept on running, not wanting to hear the specter?s words. She had to get away, as far away as was feasibly possible. The sun commenced its steady descent. The leaves of the forest turned almost transparent as the shifting rays struck through their core. Only the veins, the life giving force of the leaves, were truly visible. With her whole being, Cecilia wanted to be like one of those leaves, to be purified by something as simple as the rays of the sun, and to be thus reborn. She had spent her whole life either running away, or trying to recreate herself. Never had she held the strength or will to try anything else.
?[I]And what was the [B]boy?s[/B] name again?[/I]?
The forest fell silent. The trees strained forward in anticipation as the girl ceased her movements. The winds whispered meaningless words, and carried them through the quivering boughs.
?[I]Oh, yes, [B]Wyn[/B], such a nice boy... Pity about the-[/I]?
?BE QUIET!? the young woman?s voice reverberated through the forest. Her body shook with exhaustion. It had been too long, too tiring of a journey for her. There had been too much mental strain. She collapsed on the ground, her body now completely motionless. The phantom?s dark laughter reigned the night.

The light of the sunrise streamed through the sylvan leaves, christening them anew. Cecilia woke, the fatigue of the previous night still felt within every part of her body. Now certain of what she had to do, she stood up. The crushed branches and leaves that marked the path of her twilight flight remained as undeniable evidence. Not being able to run any longer, she began to walk back to the town which she had so desperately fled.
?[I]You?re going back? We both know [B]that[/B] will only end in tears[/I]...?
She continued on undaunted, perhaps she even walked a little faster than before. For the first time in her life, Cecilia felt that there was something that she had to do before she could go on living.
?Don?t pretend that you care for my well being.?
?[I]Never [B]dreamed[/B] of it[/I].?

It was once again sunset when the young woman arrived at the town which she had previously escaped. She stood on the crest of a lush green hill overlooking the many terracotta roofs of the small community. A rustling sound came from a place slightly lower on the highland. A young man began walking towards her, hand placed above his eyes in an attempt to shield them from the sun. Once Cecilia saw him she immediately realized that it was Wyn.
Intuitively knowing that it could only be Cecilia that he saw before his eyes, Wyn stopped abruptly, shocked. He looked around him, perhaps trying to find a way to prove that she was an illusion. Apparently finding nothing, he began to unsteadily walk towards her. His way of walking was like that of one who was in a dream-induced stupor and was unsure of whether they were in a state of waking or one of sleeping.
?[I]How terribly [B]dramatic[/B][/I]...?
?Leave me alone,? she hissed with as much intensity as she could without letting the approaching Wyn hear. The wind blew her now completely unkempt hair about her face.
She had been concentrating on what that word could possibly mean, so the sudden appearance of Wyn directly in front of her startled her greatly. He looked just as he had before she left. Only two days had passed, but she was somewhat disappointed that his features were not obviously careworn with worry for her well being.
?What are you doing here?? he asked. His face now showed only fear, and revealed no thoughts of the happy times she thought they had shared.
?I thought you could help me...? she said, sounding petulant even to her own ears. Even so, she stretched out one of her arms towards him. She wanted so badly to hold his hand with her own, to touch his face with her fingertips, but she couldn?t bring herself to. What if she could never let go? Despite her ill thoughts, her expression was one of pleading, one of hope.
Wyn, however, refused to meet her gaze.
?You know I can?t do that,? he replied coldly
Cecilia choked back tears as she cautiously stepped closer to him.
His face suddenly twisted in rage. As though driven by some unseen force, he lashed out and struck down her outstretched arm.
?God damn it! How can you toy with my emotions like this? You killed my brother! Why did you have to come back? Can?t you just leave me in peace??
?[I]In all due [B]fairness[/B], it was his brother?s fault[/I].?
Ignoring the wraith?s inconsequential words, she sank to the ground. Long onyx hair covered her face, masked her features. Tears that had been held in for what could have been as little as two days, or as much as a thousand years, fell onto the otherwise dry earth.
?But... it wasn?t me,? she managed between sobs. The once kind and sensitive Wyn was now merely a harsh and angry stranger.
?[I]You moved the knife into his chest, I just gave you the [B]courage[/B][/I],? the voice whispered
?I can?t take this again!? the young man yelled in frustration.
?No!? Cecilia shrieked, she didn?t want to believe what either of them had said. Heaving sobs racked Cecilia?s body uncontrollably. They just wouldn?t stop.
The stranger?s face returned to its normal self. He bent down and briefly, entirely too chastely for Cecilia?s taste, kissed her forehead. He gently lifted up her head with his hand. Their eyes met. His blue completed her jade, or so it had long before. Those blue eyes now revealed to her only anger and an overwhelming sadness. She wanted so badly to be able to rid him of the cause of that pain.
?[I]It?s you, you know [B]that[/B], don?t you?[/I]?
?Just leave, alright? It will be better for you in the long run, I promise,? a pause, then, ?I?m so sorry.?
Those were the last words that Wyn said to her. Cecilia watched his golden hair slowly descend down the verdant hill. She knew that there would never be a time where she could see him again. Once he was fully out of her view, Cecilia looked up at the ruby sky and tried yet again, unsuccessfully, to ignore the words echoing within her mind.
?[I]I told you... these things can only end in [B]tears[/B][/I]...?
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That was simply brilliant, and yet I can't help but hate it, because it introduced such brilliant charachters who I will never be able to know further and come to love. Now I will have to create in my own mind a future for each of the charachters, and that's not something I can do! Damn you and your awesomeness! By the way, the phantom totally kicks ass.
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