“A New Dawn”

373 words

“Come,” she whispered in my ear. I hadn’t heard her approach, the sound of her steps masked by the noise of the marketplace, crowded even in the evening. She breezed past me, her black robes brushing my arm, smooth, silky, cool.

She pulled back the flap of a tent at the end of a row. I followed her in, hit by the fragrance of cassia, and something else underlying it, something musky that I couldn’t place. The woman turned to me, the candles’ light reflecting in her eyes, the flickering flames leaving the corners of the tent in shadow. She picked up a bottle that shimmered with greens and purples and held it toward me. “One hundred sheckles, and you’ll forget it all.”

Expensive, but I was here for that freedom. I had searched out this beautiful, dangerous woman knowing she was the only one who made the potion, or at least the only one who worked for herself alone, not subject to the whims of the King or a priest. To not remember. To forget all the men I’d killed in the King’s name, all the lives I’d destroyed. To forget Melinda, beautiful, fragile Melinda, lying on the bed in a pool of blood, victim of my decisions, her life taken in revenge. I could start again, a new person, not haunted.

Here though, with the draught in my reach, I questioned my choice. The slate would be wiped clean, but what would my purpose be, could I survive without the skills I’d learned over rough years? Who would I be without my past, with nothing?

“Trust me,” she said softly, as if she knew my thoughts. This was what I had longed for, had dreamed of. I handed her the gold coins and gently tucked the bottle into the bag slung over my shoulder. I trudged back to the dank, musty rooming house and climbed the stairs to the third floor. I sat on the rickety bed, laid my sack on the dusty floor, and pulled out the bottle. I stared at the swirling colors. I took out the stopper, smelling the sweet, tangy liquid.

I drank and lay down. Soon sleep would come. Tomorrow, a new dawn, a new beginning. 

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Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.