raaja (Rosemary Beard)
Lucian opened the door and stepped into the sunlight. Standing under the shade of a nearby awning, he shielded his eyes from its rays, he looked up at the sun. It had been centuries since he had basked in its warmth. The brilliant colors all around him, filled his senses. He knew that this would be the last sights he saw. He stood there silently, drinking in the sounds, colors and smells of the world he was about to exit. All those who had really mattered to him were gone.
Fleur, long dead, came to his mind. Thoughts of her gentle touch, the warmth of her in his arms, the feel of her lips on his, sailed through his mind. He loved her still. The centuries without her had been filled with the constant pain of her loss.
Divia, the daughter he had loved more than life itself, dead. He had killed her, yet she still haunted him. He had killed his own child. Guilt, eternal guilt, was the price he had been forced to pay.
Nicholas, too, was gone. His son, the one bright spark in this lonely existence, snuffed out by his own hand. Nicholas, who yearned to be mortal, died for love of a mortal. How useless it all seems.
Janette had achieved the mortality Nicholas had been denied, yet she too was gone, dead at the hands of a mortal.
"Is this all that life holds?", he asked himself. "Pain and death?"
Talking a deep breath, he braced himself for what was to come and stepped into the full sunlight. As the wisps of smoke curled up around him, the acrid smell of flesh burning assaulting his nose, he closed his eyes to the world and prayed that one day he would be with those he loved, and that they would forgive him his failings.