The Heartless Dead: Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-five
The Hall of the Drunken Lord

Bree was happier than she had ever been.

She sat on a comfortable bench at a long oaken table. It’s top was worn smooth from use. Hundreds of similar tables filled the immense tavern to bursting. Friends, both old and new, sat alongside her. Tiller, Omig and Kaywen sat on her right, while Norn sat on her left. They smiled and chatted happily. Bree held a crystal glass filled with with the most exquisite white wine she had ever tasted. The smell alone was divine! Like joy and nostalgia mixed in a cup.

The patrons around her all drank and sang happily. No one fought. No one argued. The entire hall was filled with joyous, rowdy, exuberant faces. There was an overflow of laughter, song, dance, love and booze. Bree was in the most perfect place she could imagine.

There was nowhere else she would rather be.

And then He walked by.

His hair was the colour of the oaken tabletops surrounding them, and His eyes were the colour of ripe wheat. He was athletic and lithe. Strong and supple. His smile made a warmth spread through her body. His voice was smooth and sweet as honey. Joyful and unrestrained. When His eyes met her own it was as if the rest of the room faded away, and there was only Him. When she held His gaze she swore that she knew Him, but the moment He tilted His head away, to speak to someone else, she knew that she must have been mistaken. She had never known a man so perfect. Surely she would remember Him.

Eventually the the man strutted off and Bree was left with her comrades and her wine and her joy. Bree sang and danced as only the unburdened can. She laughed and smiled as if she were young and innocent.

And then He would return – the man named Cayden. And He would meet her eyes, and smile and ask her to dance and she would feel joy and love and understanding the likes of which she had never known. She was happier here, at the Eternal Revel in Cayden’s Hall, than she had ever been in life.

Back on the mortal plane, in the little town of Thrice Hills that used to mean the world to her, Bree’s body sat unmoving. Surrounded by healers and clerics and friends, Bree’s broken body knit itself back together. It healed until her heart beat strong and steady inside her chest and her breaths came slow and easy.

In Thrice Hills, Bree’s body healed.

But her soul?

Her soul stayed with the dead.

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