Image Credit: Nereid by Claire Elizabeth Flickr CC 2.0 (via Luminous Creatures)
Death comes to everything, eventually. The whispers tickle Branwen’s ears, burgeoning within; butterfly bodies beating within her stomach, as they tell her so. “Shut up,” she says. “Give over now.” The teenager clasps a hand to her stomach, rubbing it, over and over. “Not yet,” she says. “Not now.”
The raven haired girl scans the sky for a small silhouette as the light fades. “Come, Corvie,” Bran bids, swallowing saliva. Her eyes dart upwards, shifting, here and there. “Quickly,” she adds, word clipped.
A dot on the horizon plummets towards the slim figure, who stretches out a hand. “Four score, seven times seven,” Bran whispers, voice trembling. A tear forms at the corner of her eye. Her fingers curl into a trembling fist, knuckles whitening. The girl’s brow is sweaty as the black bird descends. She watches it; avid.
Moments later, Branwen opens her lips wide – hasty – all pink tongue and black backed throat; the image of the parted beak from which an indistinct grey blur drops from above. Within moments the girl has swallowed it whole, throat working quickly to pass it through her oesophagus and onwards into her system.
“Hallie,” Bran says. “Hello and welcome.” She sighs once, eyes closing, fingers caressing a slightly distended abdomen. “We travel a little together – until you disembark.”
“I’ll take another, tonight,” Bran commands quickly, addressing her jet winged companion, whose feet grasp her right shoulder. Beady eyes shine before feathers fly skywards, up and away.
“Perhaps still another,” the girl murmurs, frowning. “I hunger – today.” She clears her throat; guttural. “So it begins, in the end.” The girl nods, eyes clouded; unfocused. “I will take you – all – when I go. We are one with another.” Silence surrounds her as her chin levels.
“Though you must direct me,” the girl says, voice lifting as she finishes speaking. “What is, is unavoidable. We are what we must be, in the end,” she adds hastily.
Time lengthens. “Come, Corvie. Quick,” Bran says, voice thin.
Death comes to everything, eventually – but Bran must fill herself from them before she numbers amongst them.
The phrase to include this week was "Death comes to everything".