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day 5: sombrío manor, 1428 hours.

yerim has been sitting in this carriage for hours, she realizes. maybe it's the silence that has been stretching on far longer than her sisters' lives, or perhaps it is the 15,960 seconds she has been counting since their departure, with her chain in the mystery man's hand as he brings her into the dark interiors of the carriage, decked out in ebony wood and rich carmine velvet, she couldn't quite tell. all she knows is that a lot of her time has been wasted and she would've preferred sitting in a homey motel, playing around with her enchanted crystal ball with her human boy asleep right next to her, letting out slow, peaceful breaths. she misses it dearly, really.

and she has only known him for a little over five days.

she understands now, why she was always so cautious of mortals since a long time ago. they bring on a handful of trouble and a truckload of emotions in the blink of an eye, and they all prove to be vexing for already exhausted immortals to handle. yerim knows that.

yerim sighs, hanging her head low as her dark hair gathers around at the ridges of her face, by the curves of her jaw cut straight from marble. the mystery man sits at the other end of the carriage as far away from her as possible, gazing out the other window idly as he sips on wine colored blood from an old bronze goblet, staining his pretty lips crimson and making his skin appear more faded than the plaster on the statues in temples at east. the man is beguiling to the eyes, she must admit. the ghostly kind of gorgeous.

he doesn't speak to her at all, however. and yerim doesn't speak to him. the carriage is left in silence, with only the sounds of the stallions' hooves meeting the ground and the low humming of the anonymous coachman. she didn't manage to catch his face when she was escorted into the carriage, unfortunately.

through the small window of the dark velvety walls that enclose the large space they sit in, she has seen sceneries shift and change, be it a bright yellow paddy field fresh with sunlight and morning dew drizzles, bustling villages soaked in peachy apricot to vermillion to salmon to deep mystifying mulberry to navy noir of night sky, and golden deserts that unleash harsh sandstorms of barren wilderness, snarling and clawing at the walls of the carriage with an imperishable ferocity.

and now, color is no more.

the carriage encounters a bump and her heart bounces around amongst her trapped lungs as the structure stutters and jumps, and suddenly the world feels different, drowning in dark mist and murky atmospheres. yerim feels like she has just dropped straight into the underworld, with how death lurks around at every corner.

suddenly, she doesn't want to look outside anymore.

but she does, because immortality does not erase curiosity, and so she looks out with her starry eyes, through the looking glass, framed by burgundy-hued velvet curtains that feels nice to the touch. her fingers grasp on the windowsills gently with the cold golden chains on her wrists clinking upon the subtle motion, and she bores her eyes into the dangerous outside, feels the corrupt air stinging her eyes. she inches back just the slightest and wrinkles her nose, discomfort entering her as she opens her eyes clearly and sees.

eyelids fluttering away like unlucky crows into the night, yerim sees death all around. in the rich, ancient earth that the wheels of the carriage digs its crafted oak wood in, in the dark forest green leaves that fall to the ground and wilt into desaturated nothings, in the shadows that weave around the minuscule light shining down and barely giving life to the vicinity, and in the withering tombstones that remain wedged into the dead ground, burying the dead, undead, and those who cannot rest. yerim knows where she is. where they are. where they're heading.

cracked marble • jungriRead this story for FREE!