Tales of Earth and Leaves – Xandra Noel
“Find it, Anwen.” He stopped to inhale a breath, so abruptly that it seemed dirt had entered his lungs rather than fresh air. “You have to find it. Tell no one…” His hold on my wrist twitched, the struggle of keeping me in place taking a toll on his remaining strength, but he gathered enough energy for one final breath. “Evigt.” As soon as I nodded, my brother’s hand fell limp after the exhaustion of the words. His mouth closed, dragging his soul away with the last remaining traces of light from his eyes. That was it. The last time I would hear his voice, wasted on a delirious phrase I did not understand. Winter scattered by, and the request remained as untouchable as his presence. I missed the noises he used to make in the corridor while secretly sneaking someone out of his room. They fell as silent as his grave. Erik, we used to call him. Now we barely say anything at all.