Lara opened her eyes. Something woke her. Moonlight shone through the window in a strange silver-and-gold light. She padded to it in bare feet and flushed cheeks despite the glacial cold; it was winter.
The frost on the window framed the glass, and she gazed out into the snowy meadow. Lara loved the silent snowfalls when they muted all nature’s noises. Through the falling snow she glimpsed a light on the field, just before the copse of trees that lined the edge of the woods, their bare branches now affording a strange, transparent visibility not available the rest of the year.
“Skeletons,” she whispered, “memories of summer.”
The meadow shone gold and, bathed in moon rays, it gave off the silver-and-gold light that entered the window. She beheld a small orb of gold light moving towards the house. The nearer it came, the more it grew and, when it reached the gate, Lara recognized the figure of a man emitting such light. He glanced at the window where Lara stood in her white nightgown and burning cheeks, a ghostly figure in the crisp midwinter’s night. The stranger smiled and unfurled golden wings.
He flew and tapped on the window. Lara shook her head.
“If you are a vampire, I do not invite you.” She said, her throat hoarse.
“Not a vampire,” the winged figure smiled, “and I need no invitation.”
The window flew open with a gesture of his hand and he floated inside, alighting before her.
“Who are you?” She whispered.
“You know who I am.”
“Why are you here?” Her voice quavered, and she held back a cough.
“I’ve come for you,” he extended his hand.
“May I say goodbye first?”
Lara didn’t need to wake me, I’d awoken when the silver-and-gold light glistened through the window. As she stood over me, I knew I was gazing into my sister’s lovely eyes for the last time.
“Must you go?” I bleated, my voice meek and muted by the blanket.
“Yes, he says so, and he knows.”
“I love you,” I said, tears brimming and stinging my eyes, a knot in my throat.
“I love you too, I will always be with you.” She bent and kissed my forehead.
Lara turned to the stranger and held his hand; they flew out the window. I jumped out of bed and ran after them. I leaned out calling her name into the silent night, but they’d vanished. My knees buckled, and I slid against the wall sobbing such tears of sorrow they constricted my chest. My heart broke when The Angel of Death took my sister.