An Abandoned Son-Forever Isn’t a Very Long Time

Family. She had always wanted one. At least, that was the lie she told herself, millennia later. It dulled the edges of the sharp choices she had made in that forgotten era. Flames reflected off her wet eyes.

For the one’s I love, I do this.

She had raised them in her image, human males and females, twisted ever so slightly into the lupine featured warriors and sorcerers that they would become.

Bred to hunt. Bred to kill.

But the others, her real brothers and sisters, her real family, they had been enraged. She had tipped the scales. Her children, she had taught them the kind of hidden knowledge that was hidden for good reason. Her children, they had flourished under her tutelage.

Learned to hunt. Learned to kill.

Unable to reign in the children and the empire they raised in her name, her siblings had given her an ultimatum. Put the children into an eternal slumber, or they would strike her down, a punishment that they had only issued once before. Grief stricken and with a heavy heart she acquiesced. The children would never know of what she had done. She abandoned them.

Tears now fell freely down her face, sprinkling the ground.

For the one’s I love, I do this.

She covered her face with her hands, sobbing uncontrollably. She felt the waves of terrible power flowing through the dense forest towards her from all sides. The campfire had been snuffed by a sudden gust of arctic air. The smokey embers wafted subtle hints of burnt rosewood. The quiet murmurings of the night had gone silent.

The thing about eternal is that it is never quite long enough.

The mother looked up, her subtle makeup marred by streaks down her flushed cheeks. Attempting to command her breathing, she slowly turned to regard the nine pairs of dully shining eyes surrounding her.

The hunters. The killers.

The thing about children is that, sooner or later, they learn the truth about their parents.

She hadn’t heard him approach her from behind, but she felt his blade hovering above the nape of her neck. The frigid radiance could only have come from her youngest son’s rime encrusted sword. She closed her eyes.

The cold should have comforted her.

Should have.

His voice cracked from disuse.

“Mother, why?”

How many times can a heart break?

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