From Shadow of the Night:
And from Winter Journal:
“The past cannot be cured.”
You can use these lines in any order, however you must begin the story with one and end it with the other. Please identify the lines in the story by enclosing them in quotes, bolding, or italicizing.
“You have entered the winter of your life.”
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The past cannot be cured. Eliza sat musing in the corner of the room, her thoughts held close. She sighed heavily, the sound loud in the quiet of the hospital. From the bed, her mother stirred fitfully, the nightmare world she now inhabited surfacing. She moaned in horror at whatever being was occupying her dreams for the moment.
Eliza turned away from the woman's suffering, staring out the window at the parking lot instead. She knew what the High Priestess was enduring, but she had no idea why her mother had drank the potion. Drinking another witch's concoctions never worked out well; Eliza's mother knew that as well as the rest of the coven. The potion that Eliza had made for dreaming had been specifically for her, and now her mother was stuck between this world and the next, constantly tortured by vivid nightmares, unable to wake. Bringing her to the hospital was a last resort; the woman was dehydrated and beyond the care of the local shamans. At least here the High Priestess would be kept alive until Eliza figured out how to bring her out of it.
Or not. Eliza could end her mother's suffering, and take her place as High Priestess by right of birth. She had lived for years underneath the weight of her mother's position, as well as her power. Others were constantly comparing the powers of the two, finding Eliza lacking. The coven was unaware that the women in Eliza's family did not come fully into their powers until the previous High Priestess had died, and she meant to keep it that way. Let them all think of her as a powerless fool, working on beauty potions. They would learn soon enough. What to do in the meantime was the question she needed to focus on. That is why she had created the dreaming potion in the first place.
She stood up, stretching her legs, then moved over to her mother's bedside. Eliza stared, watching the rhythmic dancing of the High Priestess' dreaming across her eyelids. She picked up the extra pillow the hospital had brought her, squeezing it close, visualizing the proper placement to complete the job. Eliza stood there, watching her mother quietly breathe, and was standing there still two hours later when her cell phone rang. She pushed the 'silent' button on the device and shook her head to clear it. She suddenly knew that it was not her mother's time. Eliza put the pillow down. Then she leaned over, close to her mother's ear, whispering a small chant for good luck.
Then it was time to leave, and Eliza gathered up her things, putting on her coat and sliding into her warm gloves for the ride home. When she turned around, her mother was sitting up in bed, her eyes opaque. She spoke, an unearthly, eerie, unfamiliar voice that sent cold chills rippling over Eliza's skin.
"You have entered the winter of your life."