The horse came back alone. Slay stood staring at it’s empty saddle as it trotted towards him. When the horse, Slay’s sister had named it Diamond, reached him he pulled a bit of carrot from his pocket and let Diamond eat it from his hand.
He then reached up and grabbed the loose reins.
Sarah had left early the day before. She had been wearing a white button shirt and tan pants tucked into her bright red calf high boots. Her long black hair had been pulled back into a long braid that ran all the way down her back.
She had looked down at Slay with her haunting, purple eyes. He had always loved them.
“It’s time.” She said.
“How do you know? Couldn’t you be wrong?”
“No. It’s time. I know it is. Can’t you feel it?” Slay could hear the awe and excitement and fear in her voice.
Slay wanted to shake his head and tell her no, he couldn’t feel it. He wanted to scream at her to stay, to give up this crazy mission, but he couldn’t.
Because he could feel it. He knew as soon as he woke up that she was going to leave. It was like the world was waiting, holding its breath.
Slay played his last, desperate card.
“Isn’t there someone else?”
Sarah just stared at him.
Still she stared.
Slay felt anger and rage boil up inside him. How could she, his twin sister just leave him?
He almost shouted at her then. He wanted to tell her “Fine, go. Get out of here! I don’t need you!”
But he didn’t. Instead he stood there. Hands clenched into fists with a solitary tear running down his cheek.
Sarah reached down and brushed her hand against his cheek. As she pulled her hand away sunlight sparkled in the tear that she had caught. She carefully placed the tear right below the corner of her left eye. It would stay there, now, forever.
“I know it’s hard Slay but there’s no other way. They need a Keeper and I am the strongest one left.”
Something happened that Slay couldn’t sense but that pulled Sarah’s head away from Slay and to the west. She stared off into the distance for a moment then turned back to Slay.
“I have to go now. I’m sorry Slay. I love you.”
She reached her hand out and Slay took it in his own. As always he marveled at how slim and delicate her hand was in comparison to his rough, course hands.
“I love you too.” He said, nearly choking on the words. Tears now flowed down both their cheeks.
Sarah dropped his hand and turned Diamond to the west. She set off at a quick trot.
Slay stood there, rooted, long after she had disappeared over the horizon.