Chapter 15: The Final Song

Priscilla and Flora (6)    Flora knew that there was not much time left to save Arlwyn’s daughter. But she did not know how to break the magical connection that was now draining the child of her life.

She left the church and headed at once to find Hazel Thornbush, the old, toothless witch who had taught her craft to Flora so many years ago.

“Such a connection is a very rare thing, indeed,” said Hazel, stroking her whiskered chin and squinting at Flora. “And very powerful. But I am afraid there is no way to sever the link.” Sick Child (1)

“Please, there must be a way!” Flora cried, grabbing the old witch’s apron. “I cannot just let her die!”

Hazel’s eyes clouded with sympathy. “Dear girl. You cannot fix this. It was your life force which gave life to the child. And now, it is your life force that drains the life of the child.” Sick Child (2)

“No!” Flora stared in horror. Could it be true? Could she be the reason why little Isolde now lay on her death bed? She imagined Arlwyn at that very moment, looking down at his daughter, sick with worry and grief, knowing that any moment, she may cease to breathe. And Arlwyn, her beloved Arlwyn, would be forever brokenhearted. Flora could not allow that to happen.

The Sacrifice (8)The Sacrifice (7)

In a daze, Flora rode all the way to the shore. She stood on the cliffs, overlooking the gathering clouds and the vast, dark sea.

The Sacrifice (13) Then she pulled her violin from her sack, and though her fingers were stiff with cold, she offered to the universe one final song. The sharp, sweet notes rose into the air, and were devoured by sharp, salty wind.

The Sacrifice (12)

As the final note died, Flora cradled her violin like a child and placed it tenderly in its case. Then she descended a trail which led down to the sea.

The Sacrifice (3)

She was not afraid as she stepped into the icy waters. The gray, choppy waves beckoned her forward, away from the rocky shore, away from the green hills of Tylweth Teg, away from this world of beauty and hideousness, of love and hate, of light and shadows.

The Sacrifice (4)The Sacrifice (6)

She swam and swam, and was not afraid, even when her arms began to ache and her exhausted body could not take another stroke.

The Sacrifice (1)

And as the sea began to claim her, she could feel the link dissolving, returning life to Arlwyn’s daughter, and she gave herself over without fear.

The Sacrifice (10)The Sacrifice (11)

The Sacrifice

THE END

(And now, as an added treat, please enjoy this music video of A Royal Story)

A Royal Story from Violeta Bastida-Ray on Vimeo.

ALTERNATE VIDEO LINK: https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=D33F7A3420571AE0%21111

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