And the River Will Flow Through UsAuthor: trascendenzaFandom:
Aurora/Rose (a.k.a. Briar Rose/Snow White)Written For: angelqueen04Prompt:
Betrayal and life after. Summary: What if it wasn’t the sleeping, but the waking, that is the curse?Rating:
The texts I used for reference are from this website
, and this piece of art
also inspired me.And the River Will Flow Through Us
I dream of my children being killed, being served in a brown sauce. The jesters laugh, the huntsman is crying at my feet, and my husband is nowhere to be seen.
I wake and wonder if this is my happily ever after.
*“A hundred years?” He says, running a finger down the side of my face. “Did you dream?”
“All the while.”
“Of me?” His smile is confident.
“I do not remember,” I lie, and turn away, at guilt. But I do not want to share, not even with him.
“What is your name?” She asks, leaning close to me. “I see you so oft—surely you are more than a dream.”
Shyly, I write my name in the mud of the riverbank. The silver-shimmering waters flow in quickly to fill the letters and render them in jeweled tones.
“Aurora,” she says, and I love to hear her foreign voice curl around me. I think she does not speak my language, but I have no trouble understanding her, no trouble understanding the sunshine in her laughter.
And she looks at me, her green-meadow eyes imploring me, stirring wind along my lips, but I cannot speak.
I am afraid that if I do, she will disappear. I can imagine nothing worse.
“Not all of us are lucky enough to have him in our beds every night,” the courtesan spits venomously before whirling, her skirts flaring out in indignant fiery trails behind her.
I cannot but laugh. How little she knows. My bed is never cold, but not for the care of my King.
*“I am asleep, too.” She sighs with her whole body, a leaf in the wind. Her dress, divinity in fit and green to her eyes, hasn’t changed since the first day we met. She is as ageless as I, but her weariness is that of a much older woman. I want to touch the black flow of her hair but drop my hand to ground instead.
Why are we asleep? I trace in moist red earth. She runs her hand over my letters thrice before answering.
“Rose,” she says, instead of answering, and her fingers smear wet red sunset across the leg of my dress. “Call me Rose.”
“I will give you all the riches in the world.” No matter where I look, I cannot escape his smile.
“May I travel?”
He frowns, wrinkles marring his handsome forehead. “And for what shall you travel? Everything you need is here. This is our land, my love.”
Not her, I don’t say.
“A campaign in the North,” he clasps my hands, but fain does he notice how his own tremble. “You must understand.”
“To keep our kingdom safe,” I intone, and he nods, pleased.
I kiss him on the cheek, and he leaves, to fight his battles.
Gone are the years I plead after him to stay. I no longer desire to keep him here.
*“I am afeared.”
The silver waters have stopped flowing, and the riverbank has dried to a pale yellow crust, cracked with age. I can count nearly one hundred rifts in the earth; I wonder if they have been forming beneath our river all this time.
Her face fits like a mirror in the crook of my neck.
I would tell her not to fear, but mine is worse than hers. If this is death, I do not want to go back to life.
The children are grown; I talk to Morning of marriage, of dowries, and Day struts through the castle like a cock with every feather on display. They are at the age where they cannot look upon me but to see through me.
I do not recognize the glow of excitement that haloes Morning when she contemplates her suitors; my own countenance has not held such youthful vigor.
Except reflected, in the silver waters of a dream.
She comes like washes of moonlight now; hard to hear, harder to see. I miss the strength of her voice, once strange, now a comfort in my memory. I sleep well into daylight hoping she will linger.
“He leaves you for the last time.” I think I see her smile in a wash of pearls against water. “Come to me when you are ready, Aurora.” My beautiful Aurora
, she ripples, fading, fading… but I reach out, I must know. I speak to her in my old way, lips aching.Would you have kissed me softer?
But she is already gone.
He is buried at full moon, a king with his crown intact, gold committed to a flaming pyre. Here is his last testament; here is my vow, at last freed to the heavens.
“Rest in peace, my lord.” I erase the letters of his name from my riverbank, because he has been my lord and master. The space between us is forever hollow: a blank slate.
The mirror lays cold in my hands, cold as the day I woke up with it clutched to my breast. I was a girl of sixteen unaged in one hundred years, yet I feel younger now than I ever have. I think, perhaps, it has shielded my heart for long enough: now its surface blossoms open in the moon light. Now it calls my name.
I hold my reflection beneath the river’s silver-backed rush. I laugh when I see her, freedom chiming my voice like the sweetest bell.Are you ready?
Now it is she who is silent, she who is afraid I will disappear. My lips burn to take her fear.
“Open my eyes, Rose.” Cold glass and water become warm lips beneath my touch, and in the softness of her kiss, my dreams are made flesh.