The winter wind whistled through the ancient stone halls. Though not as cold as his previous home, the wind always chilled Reginald.
No, he thought, it’s not the wind. It’s what comes with the wind.
Reginald hurried through the stone halls, crimson robes streaming behind him. He didn’t want to be late. He’d been late before. It hurt to be late.
But that’s better than missing it all together, he reasoned.
He reached the spiral stairs leading to the top of the east tower and scurried up them. Reaching the top, Reginald flung open the iron strapped door and stepped out to the parapet walls. Reginald breathed a sigh of relief. He’d made it in time. He spent the next several minutes scouring the skies, looking for any telltale trace of her.
At first he didn’t see her. His heart raced. Everything was right. She had to come. The old seeress said so. Then, as his panic tightened icy fingers around his throat, Reginald saw the first sign of her. Reginald danced in anticipation just like a naïve schoolboy. The wind whipped particularly hard blinding him for a moment. When he could see again, she was there on the tower with him.
Reginald fell to his knees. Tears streamed down his face. He reached out, hands shaking, praying for a single touch. A touch that didn’t come. She wasn’t even looking at him. She circled the walls, watching the surrounding countryside.
“Sarande,” Reginald whispered.
She turned toward him. Once again, Reginald’s heart raced. Joy threatened to crush him. Just as he believed that this time it worked, she walked right through him without any sign that she knew he was there.
Reginald crumpled, the scarlet fabric pooling around him. It had failed. Sarande was the reason he’d fought to take this land, to take Scarborough Castle. He’d almost died in the fighting. It had all been for her.
The battle replayed in his mind. Each move, each sword stroke. Reginald felt each blow all over again. Wounded, exhausted, numb, he’d finally reached Sarande. She turned to look at him as he’d fallen to his knees in front of her.
As Reginald remembered the look on her face, his mind shied away from the image that was indelibly carved into his memory. Tears poured down his face.
“Why, Sarande? Why did you do that? Was I really so bad?” he screamed into the frigid air as she faded away.