Fight For A Better Day; Merl

Looking back on it this had been a bad idea; of course she knew that now, now she was doubled over one hand on one knee and the other holding her ribs. It was all her own fault though and she wasn’t about to stop now she just needed to get her breath back first. Or at the very least she needed her lungs to stop burning there was nothing she could do about the ache in her ribs that wouldn’t go away anytime soon. A bead of sweat slid slowly down her nose and dripped onto the dirt. She hadn’t hurt this much since she’d first started training.

The first few months had been rough and it wasn’t as though things were easier now but she was getting used to acquiring new bruises and her muscles didn’t ache quite as bad at the end of the day. Everything changed after what happened when the flood receded. Saffron had thought she’d flung herself into training after she’d found out about her mother. Thought she’d done so again when Grayson had left once more. Maybe she had but it was nothing like now. Now she needed to keep training. Saffron needed it more than ever to keep her distracted from the empty hole that kept churning away inside of her.

Nimueh was gone. It shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did, she kept telling herself that. It had become a recurring trend in her life already; people always left. They were never what you thought. First her mother, the killer, that left because of her crime. Then her brother who left to search for her only to return empty handed and then leave again. Now Nimueh the woman most responsible for raising her had vanished too and she didn’t know how to stop it hurting. Morgana had said they were searching for her but that didn’t help. It didn’t help that Tristan was gone too and the things people were saying… she didn’t want to believe them. He’d been her brother’s friend; he’d brought her books when Grayson left it didn’t make sense. Then again finding out her mother was a murderer hadn’t made sense at the time either.

Biting her lip she straightened up and started off at a slow jog again. Pain blossomed out from her ribs but that helped. Like the running it was a distraction and distractions well they were the only thing that helped. At least for a while she would stop thinking about everything. Guard training had been great for that until she’d gotten a little too slow, a little too clumsy and one missed block later she’d been on the floor clutching her side.

Fractured ribs had put her out of training and left her in a mood that was a little more than sour. Two days she’d tried to rest up but she couldn’t do, couldn’t sit there with her head so noisy. Instead here she was running laps around the gardens as the sun slowly started to rise in the sky. One more she could make it one more. Just once more around the lake, she was nearly there. Her ribs were throbbing and the burn was coming back in her lungs but her mind for once that was mercifully quiet.

Completing the lap she collapsed at the edge of the lake her breath coming in deep gasping breaths. It was worth it for at least a moment she wasn’t dwelling on Nimueh or everybody else who left her. Instead she just stared up at pale blue of the morning sky and pushed her fingers through her hair, unsurprisingly they came away damp. Chestnut locks a darker colour where they curled wet against her face and brushing at her shoulders. The muscles in her legs were screaming at her and she should sit up and start rubbing them but that could wait a moment. All she wanted to do was stare at that light blue sky and listen to her breathing as it slowly evened out.

Squinting at the brightness she tried to just enjoy the stillness of that moment. Still moments weren’t exactly a common occurrence living in a castle that bustled with faerie life. She’d hoped to be out early enough in the morning to avoid that bustle and had almost thought she’d succeeded. The footsteps she could hear just over her breathing were evidence of her obvious failure however. Amber eyes blinked but she didn’t turn her head in search of whoever was also out and about there was no reason they’d be looking for her. The only people who’d cared about her were gone after all. Damn it, there was that thought creeping back again. Staring at the sky she waited for the footsteps to pass her by.

Stand Up and Fight! Stand Up and See The Sky Turn Bright

photo by Shan Sheehanat flickr.com


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