A Cold Day in Hell

I’ve been rocking an empty crib. I have been for the past two months. I don’t know where she’s gone since the wedding, or why she took our only child with her. All I know is that night after night when I wake up, her side of the bed is still untouched. Morning after morning, there’s nobody there to greet me when I wake. The house is silent, and all I hear are the echoes of my own footsteps as I go from room to room, staring into empty space.

I miss her, if I could ever have believed myself capable of it. I had hardly thought I’d ever marry, but Faylilith had a way of talking to me that made me see things… differently? She opened me up, and asked me to share everything. I tried some days to tell her who I had been before she met me, but it was a long time ago that I last made so foolish an attempt. To try to tell her what I did in the name of the Horde… I can’t help but wonder if it in some way contributed to what I do now, roaming from room to room as my time to be spent with her sifts by, disappearing into that maw of infinite depths that makes the past. Tonight I sat again in the nursery, by the crib which remains unused. It’s a cold night for so late in the spring time. The raindrops land fat and heavy against the glass and in the streets outside. It’s three in the morning, but I feel as though I’ve only just gotten here, and I’ve always been sitting here.

My hand fell from the side of the crib tonight. I cried for the first time since… I can’t remember when. I’m hollow from without, and I see it in the mirror whenever I get ready for the daily routine. I’m as empty within, and tonight for the first time someone has taken notice. I can’t keep this up any longer. I’m slipping. And what scares me the most is that I don’t know where I’m slipping to. The bottom of my long slope is shrouded in darkness, and I feel that without a hand to grab, I’ll slide until I end up where I had long ago predicted I would.

It’s no secret that she hasn’t been around. It’s no secret that I go home alone every night, and leave home alone every morning. It’s no secret that sometimes I’ll be caught in the midst of a reverie when I was supposed to be having a conversation. Mostly the memories of the war in Outland return to me… but sometimes, when the world grows quiet and fades away, and all I can see is the infinite blackness of the end… a laugh rings in my ears, faint and sweet like the scent of the newest flower after winter. An image of a red-haired woman in a fair dress, her skin, her eyes and her lips all calling to me. Everything moves so slowly when I’m caught up in it, and I’ve only relived a few precious moments before I am returned to the waking world, only to find that minutes, or even hours have passed.

Tonight was the first night I’ve cried, and the sound was lost even to me as the rain came down and struck noisily in the street. The nursery is as dark and cold and lifeless as ever, and I stand in the window, looking down to wait for the carriage that would stop at my door and leave but two small figures to rush to safety in here… with me. But the only carriages are few, and they all rush by in their hurry to be home. None of them stop for me.

Erubadhron Valorbane

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