Solace | I

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─── ⊹⊱❤︎⊰⊹ ───

sol·ace || noun
comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness.

A flatline. The score of ever present death; life's last hurrah, it's first funeral dirge. It was a long, clear sound, echoing through the empty halls of the little hospital like the notes of the little old piano hunched in the corner of the waiting room. It rung in Noelle's ears, reverberating from her horns to her hooves, numbing her to the rest of the world, fixing her to the ground with the terrible crushing weight of cold dread.

The tough old reindeer had held out for as long as he could. Up until the end, he had never once let down the act, had never once let anyone see how sick he really was. It had always been "It's just some tests, Noelle!" "I'll be out in a jiffy!" But no one could really ever win in a tussle with death.

Not even her father.

Her mother was crying hysterically beside her. Noelle had never, not once in her short life, seen her mother cry. She was always tired eyes and graying buns, carefully ironed clothes and the scent of linen. Perhaps she had been somewhat distant as a mother, but one could never have called her neglectful. She had always been occupied by work, and work occupied by her. She had been set at great odds with her husband, who had always been full of the joy befitting the family name. He was all holly boughs and Christmas carols, firewood and snow, by comparison, indeed as if everyday were a holiday.

And now he was gone, gone, gone, taken away, to a place where Noelle could never see him again, could never ask him for his advice, could never hear another one of the stories from his glory days. Never again.

Noelle rose from her chair as if in a trance. She did not—could not understand, could not comprehend, could not grasp the enormity of what she had just lost. All she knew was that she had to get out of here, could not bear to be ensconced within these white walls for a moment longer, surrounded with the trappings of death. She turned, and with the click of her hooves on the cold linoleum, she fled from the room.

She heard their half-hearted attempts to stop her, to call her back, as if she were underwater, as if the rest of the world were far, far away. As if she were falling, falling, falling down.
She passed the Dreemurrs, waiting anxiously in the waiting room, Kris with their tousled hair hanging low over their face, Toriel, for once, too overcome to object to the comforting hand Asgore rested on her shoulder. Noelle caught the vague scent of cinnamon and flowers as she passed.

She burst out of the hospital and into the cold night air. Anywhere but here.
She tore down the street under the baleful yellow gaze of the streetlights, her heart pounding in her ears and her hooves against the concrete. The cold dread in her stomach seemed to have been replaced with boiling oil, bubbling, dripping, burning her alive. Anywhere.
She ran and ran until her chest ached and her legs shook, aware of nothing but the inexorable fact that her father was dead, gone, nothing but dust settling silently within the confines of the hospital, and she fell to her knees in the grass.

The tiniest part of her brain that was still functioning registered her surroundings. She was on the very outskirts of town, where the road ended before the wide blue expanse of the bay. The stars glimmered faintly on the surface of the water, like schools of silvery fish swimming through great swaths of inky sky.

She thought of the roses wilting quietly in the corner of the hospital room, the video game she had hoped to play with her father lying discarded beside the sink. It dawned on her that she would never be able to finish it with him now.

"Noelle?"

That voice. She knew it all too well; like the fleeting call of a rare bird; Susie. She hiccuped and pawed desperately at her tear-streaked face. She couldn't let Susie see her, not here, not now. Not like this.

Cinnamon & Spice || Suselle OneshotsWhere stories live. Discover now