The Return

The mountains loomed like sloping giants against the dawn sky. The air was brisk, a light breeze causing a whisper to run through the trees as they shook in anticipation.  Camilia walked to her usual spot on the grass, the same spot where she had said farewell to Godric so long ago when he embarked on his quest.

Everyone had given up hope. He was dead, they told her, and she should carry on with her life, leaving him behind as a fond memory. Camilia didn’t listen. In her heart, she knew Godric would return one day. That goodbye had not been their last.

Camilia wrapped her shawl tighter around herself, keeping her sapphire eyes fixed on the horizon. One morning, she would see a rider silhouetted against the sun, charging towards her on his snowy steed. He would stop and dismount, armor glinting in the morning light. Slowly, he would bow, mustering as much grace as a knight could. He would remove his helmet to free his mud-colored locks and smile. Her Godric.

As the sun climbed over the treetops, a shadow appeared in the distance. A horse and rider. Camilia gasped. As the horse galloped nearer, she waited for it to emerge from the shadow to reveal its gleaming white flanks and silvery mane. But it never did. The animal that was charging steadily towards her seemed to be made of the shadows itself. Likewise, the rider was clad in obsidian armor unlike what Godric wore. The horse stopped in front of Camilia and looked at her, its eyes like twin lumps of coal.

The rider dismounted and took a step toward her. She wanted to step back, but stood her ground. She could hear his breath, metallic and heavy, from behind the helmet. He removed it slowly, revealing a gaunt, ashen face and raven hair. He bore little resemblance to the young man that occupied her heart, but she knew that this ghoulish apparition had once been Godric.

He had returned, just as promised. Even Death could not prevent that.

Godric smiled lopsidedly and she allowed herself to embrace him. His armor and his skin felt like ice. She could feel the coldness emanating from his body and enveloping hers. Her breathing grew shallow and she closed her eyes, clinging tighter to him. He had returned to take her. And now they would be bound together forever.

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