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Severed

Alexandria stands tall despite the heavy silence. Her once bright and warm eyes now cold and sharp. Her cheeks are damp, but she does not waver. The mob that had stood by her side as she charged into the fray, swearing to defend her home, now stood a distance away. Horrified by what she had done. Alexandria stands alone, save for the man at her feet. The Mage who had suffered the brunt of her sorrow and rage. A man who still wore clothes stained with her Husband’s blood.

The man says nothing, gaze locked on his trembling hands. He grits his teeth, flexing his fingers, twisting them in learned formations. No light comes, no magic sparks. The crowd watches, waiting to be told they are wrong. That Alexandria was wrong. That her spell had failed. That such a spell could not exist.

They wait. Watching as the blood drains from the Mage’s face. He clutches at his chest, and finally turns his eyes to her. She says nothing, this woman he had called weak no less than twenty minutes ago. Tears fall from the Mage’s eyes. The crowd shudders, but none dare flee. Alexandria had not been lying.

She had taken the Mage’s magic. Her golden spell tearing it from the very fabric of his soul. The weaponized spell the Mage Society had once begged and then demanded of Alexandria’s Grandmother was real. She had taken his magic, the man was no longer a Mage. She had only one thing left to say. One declaration;

“Give me back my Husband, or I will tear out the magic of every Mage who stands against me and my people.”

The Mage scrambles to his feet. His legs shaking, wide eyes locked on her. He looks to the crowd beyond, but sees only his own horror and hate mirrored back. No one steps forward, no one challenges what she’s declared, and why would they? After what he had done, after the power she’d demonstrated? What else could this woman do?

Well, she’d told him what she could do. What she would do. The former Mage turns and ran from the town. In the safety of his own mind, he prays her Husband is still alive back at camp.

Alexandria watches him run. Watches until he is no more than a speck in the distance, and then she collapses. She sobs into the dust, hands clenched around her arms. As she trembles, the crowd parts for four bodies. Her two friends, and her sons.

“What did you do?” Her friend whispers, his hand warm against Alexandria’s back. She shudders, clutching her trembling children to her chest.

“What I had to do.” Alexandria answers, pressing kisses to her children’s heads. Raising her head, she stares into the distance, and she prays. She prays that she’ll never have to utter that terrible spell again. She would, if she had too. She would tear all the Mage’s down to the level of the people they saw as so inferior. She would be their monster, if only to feel to Husband’s hand in hers again.

And if they had killed her Husband, if her children would never again feel their Father’s love, she would do as she swore. She didn’t want to, she really didn’t want to, but she would. She was a woman of her word. She had promised her Husband long ago that she would walk into Hades and drag him back up into the sun if she had too. And Alexandria was a woman of her word.

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