He finds her sitting on top of the kitchen’s table, a hand holding a book, Dark Side of the Universe, and her other one lifts an apple to her mouth. She bites and chews. Peeking through her dark long hair, her eyes, those ruby eyes he missed, focused on the book.
How is this possible? She isn’t supposed to wake up for another 260 years. This didn’t make sense. Who woke her and, more importantly, which side did she choose this time? Is she here to bring peace or create chaos?
He doesn’t know what to do, how to deal with this. He’s used to a life without her, without them. He’s unprepared. The image of his wife and little boy sleeping soundly upstairs brings him terror. Is she here to hurt them? Does she even know they exist?
And as if she read his mind, she looks up at him, the book sliding from her hand and she says, “I see you’ve started a family.”
His fists relax at the gentleness of her words. She is choosing peace. He hoped.
“Isn’t it wrong to have a family?” she says; the corner of her lips rise and her eyes gleam. Her soft features twist into a feline glare, killing the hope and lighting a fire in his heart. The spark reminded him of his powers. The powers that could destroy cities at the snap of his fingers. The power he hid for almost a century.
Dropping the apple, she crosses her legs. She looks so thin, like a starving model. Oh, how he forgot how fragile they were after they awaken. She wore a long leather coat that hugged her slim form and brown pants that hid under an ankle boot. She’s already familiar with the fashion of this decade. This means she’s been here a while. Unlike him, she had time to prepare.
The last time he woke up, he felt lost, empty and simply bored. He didn’t want to play the game anymore and with that came the decision of stopping the pattern he loved and hated so much.
“You don’t understand our language anymore?” she hisses, tilting her head.
“I understand,” he replies, his voice steady. He will never show weakness. He is and will always be the strongest of them all. “And having a family is not wrong.”
She climbs down from the table and glides toward him like poisonous mercury dancing on a mirror.
“It’s just so…”—she circles him, one hand sliding from his chest to his back—“unfair.” She stops before him.
“When did chaos care about fairness?” How is she awake?
She tsks. “Oh, but that’s what we do, dear peace. We bring balance to the world. We’re not meant to live it. Or,”—she grabs his shirt and pulls him closer, hissing—“was that a lie you told me before you cracked the skull of the one I loved two slumbers ago.” Her eyes flare with anger.
He remembers that day like it was yesterday. It was one of the rare times they chose to be on opposite sides. It was his idea to be chaos while she was at peace. She never truly forgave him for that fight. He should’ve known.
“It’s part of the game, you said,” she spits, her fingers digging into his chest. “We control life, right?”
Before he releases his power at her, she lets go and snaps a finger.
Every frame that holds a photo of his family cracks.
“You think I will allow you to harm them?” He is fed up with her games. “I don’t care how you woke up. Let’s not forget who is more powerful and if I put you under once, I will do it again.”
He lets his power seep through his eyes and fingers, intimidating her. But she only … laughs.
“Oh, darlin’.” She tries to calm her laughing fit, her hands on her stomach, “You’re so cute. Oh darlin’. You thought you could escape the game.”
She straightens. Her features sharp, eyes gleaming red, her powers rippling around them.
She stands before him, darkness incarnate.
“All of us are awake darlin’ and we are all coming for you.”
Kummam Al-Maadeed is an author from Qatar, who believes in magic and the existence of fairy worlds. She started writing in 2007 when she was attending Qatar University to study Mass Communications. She now works at Qatar University as a Section Head of Media & Publications, as she dreams about her next novel. The Lost Rose is her debut best-selling novel.