• Four Years Earlier:

    The city hummed with the sound of heavy rain falling onto the slick, black pavement. Dark, gray clouds blanketed the sky, denying the sun its right to shine. Festive decorations littered the city, doing little to brighten up a morbid evening.

    A pair of older girls stood, side by side inside of an empty cathedral. The small shack creaked as the wind threatened to tear through it. The ceiling dripped, water droplets being the only sound heard around them. Candles provided the pair the only light in the solemn space. Each flame surrounding a small wooden casket at the head of the cathedral.

    The smaller of the two, extended her small pale hand out, attempting to touch her mother one last time. Her hands grazed her mother's once soft skin as she gasped, unaware the true reality of her mother's fate.

    “This isn’t right.,” she mumbled, hair falling into her face, covering her white eyes.

    “Luna, there’s nothing-

    “Nothing we can do.” Luna mocked, thinking back to what the police had told her days before. She had heard the phrase enough. Hell, she seemed to live by it.

    “Save it, Harlow. Save it for those who still have their faith,” Luna said, her words bitter.

    “Hey! You know you can’t talk like that! The Council will hear you-”

    “And what?” Luna interrupted her voice echoing off of the walls.

    Harlow’s light pink eyes widened, shocked at Luna's unexpected outburst. She looked at, Luna, who shook with anger, tears streaming down her cheeks. Harlow remained silent, her body remaining still. Her mind raced with words to comfort her friend yet her jaw refused to move.

    “Oh, I know! They'll tell me how grateful I should be for them always watching over us." Luna continued, "Well they're doing a marvelous job!"

    Luna's voice broke into a series sobs. She fell, her knees smacking against the floor as she held her head in her hands. Her world had lost its light, and now, she has to find a way to continue with no one left to guide her.

    “What use is having magic if we're still dying? We are no longer the only monsters in this realm! It’s not fair!” Luna screamed out.

    Her arms wrapped around her torso as she cried, her heart aching as she stared at the coffin in front of her. Magic or not, nothing would bring her mother back to her, and nothing would dull the agonizing pain of losing her.

    "What can I do Luna? Harlow asked, consoling her friend as she kneeled down beside her.

    “I want my mom back,” Luna stated, looking up at Harlow's eyes. Harlow's eyes welled as she hugged her younger friend to her chest.

    This was their final moment of grief, of silence, of peace. After today, Luna and Harlow both knew they would never again be able to speak of what happened to Luna's mother. They would never be able to discuss in public the beautiful send-off ritual they had both performed.

    Today would be sealed away from the rest of the world. Seldom as it may be, this was now the very nature of their entire existence.