The door slammed open, shattering the glass in the window next to it. She tore at the vine around her neck, trying to stand up. Trying to reach the knives on the counter to cut it away. As she formed the thought, before she formed the thought, the knives flew out of the block and imbedded themselves deep in the door frame. She sunk to the floor, weaker and weaker, the mark on her hand burning. She held the mark to the vine, smelled rather than felt a burn as the vine curled back under the mark.
The caged creature’s lips curved slightly. Almost a smile.
“Well done,” she heard.
“Did you know that would happen,” she asked.
He tilted his head. He could not say.
“Cannot or will not?”
His lips curved up again. “There is much that cannot be told, and much that I will not. Some things are the same. ”
She wondered if there was a reason for the mark, and knew there was. The mark controlled the vine.
“The vine is a weapon, and I control it?”
“Not you,” he replied. “It.”
The mark. Yes. But who was he?
“I am who I am and must be, and no more.”
What are you?
“I am what I am and must be, and no less.”
The lips curved. Of course. Riddles.
And then tiny bells. Wind. The creature looked…not afraid, not worried, not wary, ready for whatever might come..not grim, not nervous..steadfast? Steadfast. He nodded.
Your name? Yes. Or something like it.
She wondered what he was prepared for.
She knew she needed to be ready for it, too.