NEVER WISH UPON A STAR
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Abigail took a seat beside Levana. “You cursed the stars,” she blurted.
“Why would you do that?”
“I was angry.”
“That’s all you can say?”
“I did what had to be done.”
“No.” Abigail crossed her arms. “You didn’t. You acted out of jealousy and tore this kingdom apart.”
“I sought retribution against the men who had hurt me, but this land was already in turmoil before I came along. The kingdom split into three before my curse, not because of it.” She shifted in her seat to gain a better angle of Abigail.
“Is that your justification?” she replied heatedly. “It was already broken so might as well break it some more?”
“I didn’t understand what I was doing at the time. Not fully. I admit I reacted out of anger and didn’t anticipate the result it would bring.”
“What exactly was the result?” Abigail asked, failing to remove all of her anger from her tone. “What does the curse do?”
“The effects change from person to person. The curse reflects the wish. The curse is on those of royal blood. It is connected to love and lust, the deepest desires of a person. You wished for love, so you got it. Abundantly. In some ways you are lucky. It could have been much worse for you.”
“Others have wished for wealth and ended up with the property of another and charged with theft. One woman wished for his mother to disappear, and she did. Literally. Therefore, so did the woman. One man wished for the death of his enemies, and all his friends died. Another—”
“I get it,” Abigail interrupted, afraid to hear more.
“People are weak. They desire the things they don’t have. So much so that they wish for them. But over time, the reality of such an action became clear amongst the royals and they warned one another against it. You’re the first person in a long time to make a wish. But of course, you didn’t have your mother to tell you otherwise.”
“Tell me about Kai Sisu.”
Levana drew in a breath as an obvious shiver passed through her. “Don’t say his name,” she hissed.
“Why not? What did he do to you?”
Levana stood and walked to the fireplace. Her face dipped to the dancing flames.
Abigail pushed on. If she was going to get any answers, it would be now. “You showed me that gallery for a reason. I know you want to talk about it. About him.”
“I have spoken to no one about what he did.”
Abigail stood and stretched out her hand, carefully placing it on her shoulder.
“He tricked me. After what happened…after I enacted the curse, I isolated myself even more than I already was. People were already judging me for my behaviour, wondering how Ora could be so perfect and I so flawed. I put an end to the parties and guests. I closed off my palace to everyone except those most loyal to me—the dwarves.
“Then, after years of seclusion, he came to me. I’d never seen him before. I watched everyone in this land, and yet he appeared out of nowhere and came to my palace. I was intrigued, so I let him in. He made me believe that he loved me. He comforted me in my weakness. He made me feel like I deserved to be loved by someone. He made me think I was better than my sister. He made me believe that cursing the royals was justified. He toyed with me, learned the deepest secrets of my heart.” She reached a finger to her cheek and wiped off a tear that lingered there. She eyed it curiously before she wiped it on her gown.
“Have you ever had your heart ripped from your chest and crushed in front of you? Have you ever felt your inner self torn to pieces because of the actions of another?” She paused and turned to look at Abigail. “Yes, I suppose you have.” She turned away again, staring at the dancing flames of the fire. “He broke me down, piece by piece, until I was nothing but an empty shell. Then he stole my necklace and left.”