Thanks to tweety and H.Ge-C.Liu, who have so kindly spent time to create the lovely posters below for my prequel story.
A tall handsome man, his leanly muscled body clothed in a long black gown, sat in front of a grave. At first glance, he appeared to be a statue, his posture proud and tall, immobile and silent, as he simply stared at the tombstone facing him. However, upon closer inspection, one would notice the hint of melancholy mixed with loneliness buried within the depths of his deep brown eyes, the only sign of vulnerability in his otherwise carefully controlled expression.
Slowly, the man reached forward and gently glided his fingers down the cool granite of the tombstone as if caressing a lover’s cheek. A bittersweet pang pierced his heart as he traced his fingertips across the carefully etched words on the slab of stone.
Leaning forward, the man planted a soft kiss on the words. He closed his eyes and easily conjured up the image of a beautiful maiden, his sweet angel, whose face and infectious laughter had been haunting his dreams ever since she had left him.
“Are you thinking of me right now as I am thinking of you, my little fairy?” He whispered tenderly to the grave.
As if acknowledging his question, a gentle breeze swept by, lifting the rose petals he had scattered around the gravesite. One petal floated upward and lightly brushed against his cheek, hovering there for the briefest of seconds, caressing his cheek like the kiss of an angel. Reaching up, the man touched his cheek, his finger barely brushing against the velvety softness of the petal. Then, the petal fluttered away with the wind. As he watched, the petal drifted further and further away from him, leaving him with an empty void that can never be filled.
As another breeze whipped by, this one more chilly than the first, the man shivered slightly and looked toward the tombstone with concern. Standing up, he retreated into a simple wooden cottage situated a few feet away from the gravesite. Several seconds later, he emerged with a fur-lined cloak. Leaning down, he carefully draped the cloak protectively around the tombstone, stroking the top edge of the stone slab as if rubbing a woman’s shoulders.
“This should keep you warm, sweetheart. I know you get cold easily.” He smiled at the tombstone.
Settling down next to the grave again, he removed a journal from his gown pocket. Flipping through the pages filled with poems and drawings of his lovely wife, he stopped at about halfway through the book and glanced over his latest entry, which he had just written earlier this morning after waking up. Smiling sadly, he ran his fingers over the words on the page, lost in his own dream world.
At that moment, a little boy of about six years of age peeked around the doorway of the cottage, his wide eyes darting back and forth. Spotting his father by his mother’s gravesite, he started toward his father, dragging along with him two swords, one glowing in a cool shade of blue while the other radiating a fiery shade of orange-red.
“Papa?” The little boy patted his father on the shoulder, jolting the man out of his reverie.
Turning to look at his son, the man smiled. “Yes, son?”
“It’s my birthday today!” The boy announced jovially. Turning to look at his mother’s grave, he grinned. “Are you whispering to Mama about what present to get me?”
The man’s smile, an almost exact replica of his son’s grin, deepened. “Of course!” The man answered, his gaze trailing to the twin swords his son was hugging lovingly. “Your mother and I think you might want to learn some sword skills as your birthday present. Would you like that?”
“Yes!” The young boy leapt up and down excitedly. For as long as he could remember, he had always wanted to be a famous swordsman like his father. Today, he would finally learn the proper way to hold a sword!
“Let’s go inside the cottage to feed your baby brother first. Then, we can start your first sword lesson today, all right?” The man patted the young boy on the head indulgently.
“All right!” The boy beamed. Hauling the two swords behind him, he skipped awkwardly back toward the cottage, his agility slowed down by the large weapons trailing behind him.
As the boy disappeared into the cottage, the man turned back to the grave and laughed softly. “It looks like our son will become a great swordsman one day, sweetheart. I will make sure he learns everything I know. Are you proud of me, my little fairy? I am keeping my promise to you to live on and raise our sons.”
Placing the book of images and poems on the ground in front of the tombstone, as if intending to share what he had written with his wife, he caressed the stone slab one more time before walking back toward the cottage, toward his sons.
As the wooden door to the cottage closed behind the man, a gentle breeze blew by, wrapping itself around the tombstone, stirring the pages of the journal set in front of the grave. The pages fluttered lightly as if an invisible hand was flipping through the book. Finally, the fluttering stopped and the journal opened to the page containing the man’s latest entry...
Last night, I dreamt of you,
A single rose, slender and elegant,
Luminescent in the pearly moonlight,
Unrivaled in grace and beauty.
You turned and glanced at me,
Your skin like dewy petals,
Your lips curved, innocently yet alluringly,
Your eyes, deep sapphires, dark and mysterious.
You walked straight into my embrace,
Your warmth melting the coldness in my heart,
Filling my world with just us,
Your heart against mine, beating as one.
Seven years of bliss,
Seven years of heaven,
Even though you have now left me,
Not a day goes by that I do not think of our seven years together.
I shall live on as promised,
Without you by my side,
Hoping that when the time comes for us to be together again,
You’ll be waiting, ready to walk into my embrace once more.
I love you, my little fairy, in this life and in every life thereafter.