Everything froze. Glass shards twinkled in mid-air like tiny stars reflecting the bright heat of her rage. The first drops of blood that had begun to stream from their eyes hung like macabre parade streamers.
She looked up. The old woman was shaking her head as she stood up. Her form blurred as she moved toward Rita. By the time she’d crossed the short distance to stand in front of Rita, the old woman had become a stunning raven-haired woman in her thirties.
“Morrigan,” Rita whispered.
“Did you not recognize me?”
“I’ve never seen you as an old woman.”
Morrigan shook her head, “Where is your awareness of power? Surely you sensed mine.”
Rita paused. She had felt something. That was what brought up those memories. It wasn’t the eyes; it was Morrigan’s power that conjured the eyes.
“Forgive me. I should have known.”
“You know I am Death; therefore, not so very forgiving.”
Rita bowed her head. Death was never lenient and she knew it. She’d known it back when all of this started. Part of her regretted her choice back then. So many things would have been different. Easier.
“Come, child. Do not regret your choice to serve me. I may not be forgiving but I am not unreasonable. I know the pain you have suffered in my name. The memories my presence stirred up.”
Rita began to sob. She would have fallen had Morrigan not caught her and guided her to a seat. Certain Morrigan had left by the time Rita could breathe again, she squared her shoulders and braced herself to face the mess she’d created.
Looking up, Rita blinked several times, uncertain what to do. Morrigan still sat across from her. Death was patient, or so it seemed.
“I can give you peace.”
“I’m not certain I’m ready for that.”
“Not death, my dear, though I could make that an option if you wished. I have another option; a plan if you’re willing.”
“Will it give me peace from this torment?”
“Then I am willing.”
Morrigan crossed the aisle and wrapped her arms around Rita. A bright light filled the bus. When it dimmed, Rita was gone. In her place was an iridescent black raven.
“Go, my child. Be at peace. I will find you when I have need of you.”
The raven flew away. The bus continued down the road unharmed.