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Fate and Chance

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She stepped through the portal, flushed with grim determination. Fate no longer weighed upon her, which in turn meant that she could end its tyranny.

“Let me go!”

She knew that voice. The bottom of her stomach dropped out and her heart leapt into her mouth.

A second voice spoke, soft and sweet and drawling poison. “Why do you whine so pathetically? Don’t you know that nothing can change what will happen here?”

She ran along a path marked by dancing blue fires, praying that she was going the right way. Praying? She was a God. And yet she whispered her plea over and over to the uncaring stars.

Kim’s voice was high and terrified. “I beg you; just let me go! I’m nothing! Please!”

The path ended at the gaping maw of a hallway disappearing into the rock, gated only by ancient hinges. She plunged into the darkness without another glance.

The woman’s laugh dripped like poisoned honey. “You hide like a worm facing fire,” she said. “You know that these flames will consume you. You cannot cheat Destiny.”

A cry of fear. She thought that her heart would surely pound out of her chest. The bright blue glow of the portal was barely registered before she was through, and found herself skidding forward over an arena of polished stone and burning fire.

Kim stood at the base of a pedestal where a tall woman stood, her face twisted in a mask of self-righteous cruelty.

KIM!” she screamed.

He turned, fear becoming shock turning to relief.

“No!” the woman snapped, but Kim was already speaking.

“I love you,” he said the words tumbling out of his mouth. “I love you. I should have told you before, but I love you. I’m sorry.”

The woman snarled, and with a sick crack Kim’s neck twisted sharply to the side, and he fell in a tangle of limbs.

She screamed and Sarantha laughed.

 

 

“Wake up.” Sirius hissed. “Wake up!”

Still half-asleep, she sat up, blinking the blear from her eyes. The tiny fortress of crates and boxes was filled with flickering lamplight.

“Sirius?” she muttered. “What did I do?”

He shrugged. “Must have been a bad dream,” he said. “Another one. Can you remember who it was about this time?”

She shook her head slowly.

“No,” she said softly. “I don’t.”