Raeza should have been dead, that was a fact. At the very least, the boulder should have given
Raeza should have been dead, that was a fact. The explosion had knocked down the entire wall, only
her several broken ribs, but no. Her left arm was bent at an odd angle, probably broken, but
the door still stood, bent at an odd angle, but not broken down. After an explosion like that, there
the boulder still should have done more damage than that. It had landed on her chest, heck, it
should have been more damage, it should be flattened, she should be flattened. She wasn't.
was on her chest now, and she was still breathing.
"Did you really think I'd let all my daughters fall to Mevolent?" the voice was raspy, hissing
"Did you really think I'd let you escape your destiny that easily, Raeza?" the voice was raspy, hissing
and eerily familiar.
and eerily familiar.
"Mother?" Raeza went cold. She didn't care, she couldn't care. 'Why me?' she wanted to shout.
"Mother?" Raeza went cold. She didn't care, she couldn't care. 'What you're asking is too much!' she
'How can you expect me to live when Faeris...and Mae...' She didn't say any of it, though. Aevil
wanted to shout. 'I can't just betray them all, both good and bad!' She didn't say any of that, though. Aevil would only
would only have waved her hands and brought stars to Raeza's vision. Rae was long beyond
have laughed and waved her hands, bring stars to Raeza's vision. Raeza was beyond caring, though.
caring. If her sisters were dead, there was no point to anything she did. They'd always been her
family, Aevil, though her mother, was an outsider.
"Honey, I know I'm not your favorite person in the world, but you didn't really think that you
"I know I gave it to you decades ago, I know you're trying to forget..." Aevil actually had a pretty
could use that much magic without me noticing, did you?" Aevil's voice sounded softer than it
good singing voice, softer than her usual vocal punches. It was almost like she was trying to be a Mom.
had a minute ago, as if she was actually trying to be a decent mother. As if she were trying to help.
"Maeve's the musical one, not me." Raeza wasn't accepting any kind of unspoken apology.
"If you really cared, why are Maeve and Faeris dead?" Raeza wasn't accepting any apologies.
Aevil stopped and frowned. "Mae--Ah, yes. Annaleah." Aevil squinted. "You're Angela," she said, as if only just realizing this.
"Raeza." Aevil sounded like she hadn't realized which daughter she'd bothered to save.
In that moment, Raeza snapped. "Of course I am. Your other two daughters have been dead for
In that moment, Raeza snapped. "It wasn't me you wanted to rescue this whole time! You
twenty-seven years and one-hundred thirty-three days! I know you long-living types have no sense of
couldn't bother to keep track, could you? Silly mistake to make, you should've saved Maeve!
time, but seriously, more than two decades? That's gotta at least appear as a second to you!
She's nicer than I am, more powerful than I am, and she doesn't hate you! She doesn't hate
Surely you'd notice your own daughters' deaths. No? You pathetic excuse for a mom, you outsider!"
anyone, she's much too nice. Or she was, anyway. She would have been an actress, you know.
'Don't you see what you did to me?' Raeza wanted to shout, to cry, but she couldn't. 'I still don't
No? You didn't know? You pathetic excuse for a mother, you outsider!" Raeza found that she couldn't cry, no
understand why you couldn't have saved Faeris and Maeve, too: the "explanations" you gave me are
matter how hard she tried. All that sadness, all that pain and she couldn't cry.
nothing but stupid excuses and diversions!' She didn't say any of that, though, the words stopping after 'outsider' and not starting again.
Aevil's eyes glowed silver and she hissed. "If not for me, you'd be dead, Angela--"
Aevil's eyes glowed silver and she hissed. "I don't play favorites, Angela--"
Whatever. Without me, you'd be dead twice. Faeris never needed saving, and Maeve...she had
"Whatever. I'll leave you alone to your little tricks for a while. You're not blind, Ang--Raeza.
another chance and she spent it. You've done better. That's why I gave you a new, more resilient body."
"See if you can figure out what I'm up to."