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Falling Snowflake

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 “It starts, with the unexpected loss, of something dear”

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It was a snowy morning on the outskirts of the great Ivory city of Atlas, there was fresh snow everywhere and a chill hung in the air. But in spite of the chill, Willow Shnee felt nothing but the warm glow in her heart and the tears of pure joy running down her porcelain cheeks, and the tight embrace of her daughter of course. The woman closed her eyes, bringing Weiss closer while she began to think of everything that has brought her to this point, being perfectly happy for the first time since a snowy morning a long time ago. One could even say it was once upon a time...

 

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A young girl was standing on a chair, leaning on the window sill and looking outside intensely “Miss Shnee ! You’re going to fall !” said a frantic maid, getting Willow  down “But I want to see daddy come home, we’re visiting mommy today. That reminds me, I have to go” she said and ran off to the garden and to a very specific flowerbed that belonged to her and only her because Daddy said so and Daddy was always right. The little ten year old began to softly pick flowers that she and her dad were growing together. Atlasian White Lilies, known for their rarity and beauty. ‘Dad says mommy used to like them so she might want a few where she can see them’ thought Willow  while picking the most beautiful lilies for her mommy “Busy ?” asked a gruff voice, roughened by years spent in the Dust Mine that still kept some of its former smoothness that made the young girl to look up with arms full of flowers which she immediately put down and ran to hug her father “Daddy ! Oh, how I missed you”

The man smiled as he picked up his daughter, allowing the girl to rest her head on his shoulder and planting a kiss on her head “Ready to go ?” She nodded and he helped her pick up the flowers

 

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It had been a short airship ride, not quite enough to finish coloring the picture for mommy but Willow  hurriedly added the last few splotches of color before running down the ramp and onto the snowy field dented with tomb stones and looking for the one under a willow tree while Daddy walked behind her carrying the flowers. The petite girl sat down on the cold stone “Hello Mommy ! I’m sorry we couldn’t visit you last week but daddy had to oversee an expedition. He fought those really big and really scary Grimm to keep the workers safe ! That’s so cool, right ?” she asked swinging her feet back and forth as she spoke until she noticed Daddy was crying and went up to him to offer a hug “Why are you sad Daddy ?” she inquired “You said Mommy is still with us”

 

The man hugged her tightly “Yes, it’s a bit hard that I can’t talk to her but as long as we remember her here” he pointed to his head “And in here” he pointed to his heart “she’ll always be with us” he said and together they left

 

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”Mirror, tell me something, can I stop my fall ?”

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Now it has been five years since that beautiful frosty morning but now Willow ’s thoughts weren’t nearly as joyful “What ?” she asked once again trying to grasp what the doctor had just told her, vaguely aware of her father holding her hand with all the gentleness in the world as the Doctor shifted her glasses “You have Nada, a rare disease that weakens your muscles, you...won’t be able to become a Huntress” said the Doctor

 

A young girl was holding onto a strong, burly man, crying her heart out at the news as her father whispered “Don't worry honey, it will be alright, I’ll make sure of it myself. You’ll be happy, I promise” he kept talking to her in a soothing voice until Willow  sniffled and blew her nose. If she couldn’t be a Huntress then she would be the best CEO possible in order to keep up the good name of the company. She was going to be happy, for her father.

 

Once they were at home, Willow  walked trough the greenhouse, casting a look at her blooming flowers and smiling softly as she saw a boy her age wave from across the street as he watched her tend to the lillies.

 

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”Born to live your legacy, exiting just to fill your needs”

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Oh, if only he could see her now. It’s been ten years since the fateful day when Willow  had been told she couldn’t become a Huntress and two years since her father died. She sighed, rocking her newborn baby boy as she looked at her husband Jacque who had generously taken up nearly the whole workload during the last weeks of her pregnancy which had been very physically and emotionally taxing for the woman. She leaned back on the white pillows to feed little Whitley a bottle as she looked at Jacque “Are you sure you don’t mind doing the paperwork for the newest transport to Atlas Academy ? The Headmaster can be a bit fussy if there’s even a minor discrepancy” she said 

 

“Of course I don’t mind dear, you’re still recovering. So don’t you worry about a thing, I’ll oversee the workers and pay the nanny” he said already getting up from his seat

 

“Do you have to leave right now ?” she asked and he looked at her, nodding “Yes, I need to meet up with the General to negotiate a price for the Dust infused bullets and update the Rules and Regulations” he said and calmly got up “I’ll bring the girls tomorrow if they finish their schoolwork on time” and whit that he left the room, leaving Willow  to put her newborn baby in his crib and get some rest, looking endearingly at the flowers in the pot by her bed although they looked a bit droopy, maybe they needed more sunlight.

 

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”Enemies surround me but the worst appear as friends, liars and pretenders only seek to reach their ends”

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This had all been a mistake, a big mistake ‘This has to stop’ was all the woman could think trough pain and tears falling down her flushed cheeks as she took another sip from the wine. She couldn’t believe it, the man she had married, the one who fathered her three children and the person she thought she could share her life with didn’t love her. He married Willow  for nothing but her family name, that was all she was to him, a name, an inheritance, nothing but an accessory to the big prize.

 

Oh if only her father were here, he’d advise her, he’d listen to her, he’d hold her in his arms and not let her go until she was ready to face the world. The only semblance of comfort she had were the glasses filled with a liquid as red as his old scarf that promised a few hours of blissful forgetfulness and warmth which she desperately longed for as it was preferable to watching everything she had held dear being taken from her, her father, her company and now, her children.

 

Willow  sighed and began walking to her room, deciding to cut trough the greenhouse so she’d avoid passing Jacque’s office, the man had hearing like a bat. She cast a short glance at her beloved flowers, the Gardener needed to water them more often, the leaves were drying up. The woman sighed as she headed upstairs to her bedroom

 

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“Everything’s breaking, right before my eyes, looking in the mirror, I see someone that I don’t recognize”

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Willow was running, in spite of her muscles screaming in agony she was running. After all of that she needed to go calm down, in the one place she always sought solace in. After everything that’s happened tonight... she had just watched her daughter do everything the woman wished she had the strength to do herself. Once the song was over, Willow had applauded her daughter’s talent loudly, feeling happy that yet another one of her children got out from under Jacque’s thumb to stand on her own two feet. That happiness didn’t last long...

 

Her side still hurt from the blow she had received once Jacque was alone with her, the woman entered the greenhouse and nearly screamed at the sight she was greeted with. Her beloved lilies, the flowers she had lovingly cared after for years were dead ‘No, it can’t be’ she reached out for a pair of scissors to cut away the dry bit, when a sound caused her hand to jolt knocking several pots and tools to the ground. Willow  fell to her knees and cried, for all the pain she had stoically endured, for all the grief she had silently felt and for all those years when she was blind.

 

Willow didn’t know how long she had been crying there when a small patch of white caught her eyes. The woman got up to examine it and it was a small bud that had grown outside of the flowerbed, outside of the gardener’s care, all on its own

 

“If there is hope for this bud then there’s hope for me” she took a deep breath and placed the bud in a small pot, she had preparations to do...

 

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