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Violet Sky -- fiction by Annika Liss

I sigh as I look over the crowd, their smug smiles tinged with that little glint of fear. I’d hoped I had a little longer. Even just a few more days to get my affairs sorted. Still, I shouldn’t be surprised I’m here already. After all, I’ve been on this path for a very long time, and every side path, every alternative route, I’ve strolled right by. I close my eyes. I don’t want the last thing I see to be a crowd of people who will never understand me. 

Wicked Witch Wildflower, that’s all they’ll ever know me as. No one remembers that I was just a girl. That I am just a girl, only seventeen with three minutes left to live. That my name is not in fact Wildflower, but Violet, after the purple buds that sprouted through the cracks of the abandoned cottage I was born in. My sister, Blossom, used to braid my hair with violets. We’d hide away on some leafy bough, deep in the forest where no Hunter dared to walk. She’d tame my frizzy locks and I’d tell her stories of made up places, where men were kind and unicorns grazed and happily ever after was for everyone. 

Of course, in the end, it turned out there was no such thing as a place no Hunter dared to walk and no one gets a happily ever after, least of all a little witch girl with nowhere to run. 

There are so many people here, too many. I’ve always hated crowds, I’m a creature of the shadows. That’s what all the stories say so that’s what I’ve learned to be. Out here, in the broad daylight, with thousands of eyes on me, it is so hard to breathe, to think. I almost wish Eugene was here. It would be nice to see a friendly face, to know someone would shed a tear as my head rolls down the steps. I’m glad he isn’t though. I’m glad I told him not to come. I don’t want him to be here when Wicked Witch Wildflower commits her final crime. 

I wonder what Dahlia would say, if she were here. Probably she’d roll her eyes and ask me how dumb I’d have to be to get myself into this big of a mess. Then she’d figure out some insane way to rescue me and we’d go off into the sunset. Well, probably we’d hide out in the mountains and annoy the hell out of each other until things calmed down, but in my head there’d be a sunset. I’ll never see another sunset. My head rolls at noon. I hope Dahlia gets to see every beautiful, glorious sunset, wherever she is now. I hope she’ll think of me when she does. How I wish I could throw myself into her arms one last time. That might be my biggest regret, that I never told her how I felt. Not that it’d matter anyway. She’s engaged now, to a man who will protect her in a way I never could and who lives so very far away. 

The ropes chafe at my wrists. Only a minute and a half till my wrists stop feeling. Till I stop feeling. 

My mother would laugh at me, if she were here. She’d think this was hilarious, just like the time I came home covered in rash because I made a flower crown out of poison ivy. Violet Aurelia Greenwhispers, to be executed in seventy two seconds for the crimes of cursing the floats at the King’s Day parade to sing traditional witch hymns, healing all the sick kids at the orphanage, and the biggest offense of all, cursing flowers to cover the entire surface of the palace. The only real crime I’ve ever committed was murdering the man who killed my sister, and they didn’t even put that one on the wanted posters. 

Eugene burst out laughing when I told him that. Eugene. My other biggest regret. I only got to spend two weeks with him. I still don’t know what he meant to me, only that he’s important. I’d never met someone like him before. Never met someone who lived for something other than survival or vengeance. I didn’t think they were real. Just another legend, like the unicorn. Then again, unicorns used to be real. I’m still not sure how we ended up in the same cell. He was in for busking without a permit, I for domestic terrorism. Maybe the universe just wanted to spite me, give me someone to live for just two weeks before my death date. He told me about his sisters, his mothers, his neighbors and friends. I was happy to listen, happy to stop screaming and just listen. I knew he wanted to know my story too, though he never asked. The night before he was released, I told him. I told him all of it. By the end, we were both crying. It had been a very long time since I’d cried with someone. I wonder if he’ll tell my story. I hope so. He’s the only one who will ever know all of it. He’s the only part I will keep from the world. 

I smile as the ax falls towards my bare neck, teeth ripping into the spell capsule I hid in my cheek. One last curse. One last memory. My story will live even as I die.  I glance upward, one last time. The sky is violet. Flower petals rain down, the remnants of my life. I see the crowd’s eyes widen as my memories meld with theirs. Every moment, every scream, every laugh, it's all theirs now. Maybe now they’ll hear me. Now, that my thoughts will forever be one with theirs. Cold metal slices through my vertebrae, my arteries, my pulse. I fall. I am weightless, I cannot even feel myself. My blood seeps into the wood as screams fill my ears. I am gone. 



 

Annika Liss is a junior from Durham, Connecticut. Her work has previously been published in Under the Madness and jGirls+ Magazine. When not writing, she enjoys playing the French Horn, Guitar, drawing, and D&D.  



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