A Sacrifice for the Sun

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: End your story with somebody stepping out into the sunshine.... view prompt


Mystery Teens & Young Adult Coming of Age

this is my first submission so be kind

jk, I know it's good. ENJOY!

“Three days already and there’s no improvement.”

“Yes, the weather is very gloomy still.”

My eyes darted to where he was seated on the window seat, his eyes fixed on the stained glass patterns with all the carelessness in the world, but I noticed the slight movement of his fingers scratching his hand in perfect circles.

“I’m talking about aunt’s health”

“I cannot believe it’s been a week. I was so sure that... that,” He trails off and I watch him as he straightens his back and turns his face further from me. Guilt finds its way around my throat, blocking any words of reassurance, but soon jealousy loosens its grip, making me glare at the door leading to the old woman’s suite. At least my anger isn’t directed towards him anymore.

That was the case, however. When the subjects of his deep affection were our parents. Affection that they didn’t falter to match generously. The only thing they were capable of being fair with. The one time they did him injustice was when they couldn't offer any words of condolence, throwing the burden of comforting the young child at him. I always wish I could’ve offered him the care he needed too, but I was too overwhelmed by the fear of what was to happen to us that turning a blind eye to his shaking shoulders and tearful eyes was not that hard.

Carefully, I sat by his side, bringing my knees close and wrapping myself as small as possible. With less fear than expected, I noticed the dirt my boots left on the velvety cushions. Was it not for my sympathy towards the servants I wouldn’t have removed them and started wiping in their place. They liked playing with me anyway, given the lack of possible activities. Aunty hated it of course. She wouldn’t go anywhere near the kitchens or their rooms and cut interactions with them as short as possible.

With a heartsick smile, I remembered how three years ago the muddiness of my boots would have been completely my fault. Well, I did technically lend them to the cook’s daughter when he sent her to grab a few carrots from the garden knowing she only had her torn slippers. But the fantasy of being the one who hurried over the dewy grass and dirtied their hands with the rich soil trounced the foreboding of the punishment that would follow.

“You think she will make it?” he suddenly asks, though it sounded more like a statement. I realized that he was watching me faintly grin while cleaning our seat. Always keen on analyzing my gestures, yet he misunderstood this time.

For a moment I considered mimicking the doctor's overly authoritative manner as I explain that she would be able to jump on the sofas as she did before to humor him a little, but his glossy eyes and suffering expression halted me.

“You don’t think she would?” I dodged, trying to sound as if I’m ridiculing his concern. Although I was more ready to be there for him this time, I was not going to diminish the little hope he must have now.

He didn’t answer, just stared ahead with slightly furrowed brows. His concern had grounds after all. She rarely ever got ill. Moreover, when somehow she did, she would recover before the birds woke in their nests. Just another of her abnormalities.

“You should suggest that she open the curtains like the oblivious doctor advised,” he suddenly offered, interrupting my inner argument as to whether I should go read the book she assigned me or just act like the worry for her made me forget. She still is very capable of a nice scolding if her cough is not annoying her too much.

I opened my mouth to argue that it was impossible. That he should be the one to do it, except that his face was wearing a lighter mask than the past few days. His brief smirk told me that he thinks it would be funny to hear her shout at me as always. If I was able to get a shout out of her this time, that is.

“Okay, I was planning to anyway,” I stubbornly declared, sitting up and hiding my shaking hands in my coat pockets. I stepped slowly, halting at the door before his snicker got me knocking on the door quickly with the rhythm of my dying heart.

She’s sick. She’s dying. She’s sick. She’s dying. I kept repeating to myself as I stood at her door waiting for her to look up at me from her book. Again, guilt found its way into my head, scolding me for finding comfort in such thoughts. It was not that I hated the woman, or maybe I did, but whenever her eyes met mine I felt a hand seize my heart, making fear seep in through the slashes caused by its piercing claws. To my shock, as she looked up from her book the hand was still there, but it squeezed lightly.

“Speak,” she ordered. If she was surprised by my visit, she did not show it.

I looked around at the mysterious patterns on her stained-glass windows. The dominating color was red, the light rosy shadows illuminating her sharply sculpted face to make it look like her cheekbones, chin, and under eyes were flushed.

“I..uhm...I was just wondering if..if-“

“You’re trying to kill me out of boredom now?”

You’re dead anyway. I thought, noting the way her hands trembled at her lap. The way her back bent and her shoulders slumped. Her skin as white and nearly translucent like a cloud. Not that I’ve seen a cloud in some time.

“The doctor said that you should...I mean might want to open your windows a little”

“I don’t care what the doctor says, so don’t come here acting like a concerned adult who knows what they’re talking about”

“well I’m not a concerned adult,” I said calmly, slightly lingering on the ‘concerned’ part, “but everyone knows that a little sunshine could cheer you up”

"Well, it would ruin my mood."

“Have you always hated the sun like this?” I snap. Maybe that was a mistake.

She regards me for a second, those burning eyes ready to set me and any tiny glimmer of confidence aflame.

“I don’t need all that so-called nature”

“All of nature?”

“Yes, all of nature, look.” She grabs one of the candles by her bed and barely musters up some breath to put it out.


“I was able to destroy it, and I can bring it to life again. On. My. Own. Accord”

“aaand..you can't do that when it comes to the sun.”

“Have you always been this smart?” she says sharply.

“Okay so you don't like the way you can't control it,” I conclude slowly, trying to keep my voice calm for the next part, “then why do you prevent us from going out?”

“Oh you’re so weak, I always knew it, making your happiness dependent on such unpredictable things.” She literally shakes her head. “You were not worth my effort, unlike your brother.” Oh great.

“Too bad he did not have enough patience,” she says gloomily.

Her words surprised me, but so did the realization that for the first time, we had a normal exchange, as far as normal could go. But we truly never had a conversation. Just her scolding and my apologies. And my curses of course, but they didn't count when they were whispered angrily behind closed doors. And now it felt like she confided to me. The secret behind her vampire behaviors. Yet for my mind kept trying to understand why she described my brother as impatient, I tried to keep the chat going.

“But every day that passes is unpredictable anyway. Shouldn’t you fear life more than the sun?”

My sentence choice surprised me. If anything she’s fearing death right now, not life.

“My mundane life has nothing unpredictable,” she says with a different tone of melancholy, “but my death most certainly is.” She finishes, tracing her redden finger over a teacup as a tear hits it's empty inside. Her favorite teacup, I realize, trying to ignore the fact that she was openly crying in front of me. The one brother brought with him from our home as a gift for her. She loved it so much that she wouldn’t let the servants carry it to her. Nor me.

Since when do you care about the old woman? Pull yourself together! I rebuked myself as tears welled up in my eyes. But as I rushed through the unusually light corridors I knew that that was not the reason behind my choking throat.

“There are you are!”

My legs nearly give away beneath me as I stared at him. He stood a little close to the door near the back stairs. An open door. The few rays of sunlight that broke in swirling between his now golden curls. The only thing about him that reminded me of the angels in that one storybook mother gave me when I was younger. But as I gazed longer I was reminded of demons. Aunt’s stern eyes were nothing compared to the wild excitement in his eyes, painted by a darker reflection of the red light. Crimson illuminating them. I cursed the person who designed the stained windows when I noticed the rose garden perfectly placed to glove his hands in the same blood color.

I hear people calling our names but my eyes kept fixed on him. His mischievous smile only grew wider, and I got my answer.

Turning around he sprinted outside and I had no choice but to follow him. (That’s the only reason of course)

For a moment I regretted my choice, shielding my face and closing my eyes tightly although its light nearly penetrated my eyelids anyway. At last, I couldn’t resist, fluttering my eyes open and slowly looking around.

My eyes roamed over the dewy grass first, watching as my bare feet drowned in, then I looked further up and I was met with the pleasing sight of the blue bulbs of growing daffodils swarming up the little hill in a wave. At the top stood the red roses proudly, dancing together in a circle like the villagers during festivals.

And in the middle stood their king, head thrown back letting the sun shower over him. He opened his eyes to meet mine to pass a look I was too familiar with. The look we exchanged when one of us was in trouble and the other was willing to do anything to help them out of it.

The blissful sun on my pale skin, the vibrant colors blessing my eyes, and the strong smells dizzying me made my inner struggle last for only a few seconds.

I let the singing of the birds fill my ears, my euphoria blocking the other sounds of sobs and calls, and stepped eagerly towards my only family.

Come to think of it, helping with this one sacred broken rule would not be much of a problem.

June 22, 2021 22:16

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Jerry Nourrie
17:26 Jun 29, 2021

I enjoyed your story. It was a good read. Thanks Hend!


Hend Nasser
18:25 Jun 29, 2021

Thank youu Jerry! I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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