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Chapter 1


Written by Karen Bruce
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

"Dear Runaway,

You will guess the rest when you wake up this morning and see the envelope on my pillow. You may even realise what I have done before then, when you finds herself alone in our bed without a wrinkle on my side to mark my presence in your life. You'll walk to the closet, disbelieving the evidence of your eyes, open it and find my clothing gone. Still in denial, you'll run to the bathroom we share and see a single razor, toothbrush and towel. You'll know then, and it will hurt you. But not as much as my darkness would have if I had stayed.

You see, I've noticed the change that has come over you recently. Watched helplessly as you became more violent, more mercurial, more impetuous, every time we touched. You said that I was the first man you could do that to without repercussions, without pain, without losing yourself. (I remember the delight, the child-at-Christmas surprise on your face, at that discovery.) And you have, Runaway; have lost yourself in my inexhaustible night, although you are probably unaware of it. Le bon Dieu knows I pretended I couldn't see it.

It was small things at first. So small that I could dismiss them as my imagination, or your tiredness and irritation on a day. I should have realised it when you got annoyed at things that wouldn't have bothered you - one pillow instead of two on your side of the bed, too much salt on your eggs, Mr. X's orders - but I hoped that it would be a passing mood. I was wrong to do so. I should have left you then, before I could taint the light within you irrevocably.

I admit it now - I remained knowledgably blind when the severity of my influence on you became more apparent with each passing day and fleeting touch. When you started to revel in the hunt and the kill. When you started enjoying draining people to husks. When you started caring more about how you felt, about your survival and comfort, than the cause and team. When your first reaction started being a violent one. When the Runaway I loved started dying.

Please don't construe the last sentence incorrectly. I still and always will love you, love you too much to deprive the world of you and your light.



He glances back from the door at the creamy rectangle of the envelope nestled in the maroon pillow. Even in sleep, her arm stretches towards it, towards where he was a few hours ago. He swallows, forcing himself to look at her and remember every detail. Her face has a secret, inward smile as she dreams, her hair is an ink-swirl across the pine-green sheet. The white streak in her hair is a luminescent ray of the moonlight. Turning away, he does not see how her free hand comes to rest over her flat abdomen, guarding the seed of darkness deep within her.

This short story is what happens as the result of too much angsty 'Buffy' episodes, decoupage fumes and 'JLX'. Anyway, all characters belong to Amalgam - yes, the odd combination of DC and Marvel - and are not used to make me a cent of profit. Which means that you can read this without shelling out $1,95! In your no doubt profound gratitude for that <sarcasm>, you will send comments to [email protected]. I'll respond to all of them, however unflattering, although I'd obviously prefer bouquets to brickbats. (Hmm. What *is* a brickbat when it's not being metaphorical? I used to know, but have forgotten.) Oh, just a note before the story begins: imagine all of it accented, it's painful to the eyes to read pages of Cajun and even more painful to remember to type 'th' as 'd' or 't'. :) Besides, Waid doesn't actually accent Wraith's speech that much in the books, because it is more formal than Gambit's is. I'm not too certain of the actual voice of the character, but the register is a formal one.


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