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Black Swan

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The birth of a newborn baby should be a joyous occasion, but on the day you were born your father knew only sorrow and anger.

The sounds of his desperate, heartbroken wails drowned out your fresh cries as you drew your first breaths.

You had been on the earth for less than an hour and you were already resented. unwanted. a mistake.

Your brother, only four years old at the time, watched as his father poured his heart out over your mother's body, blood staining the sheets below her waist and coating the cold, gray skin of her legs. He would remember the scene vividly for years to come. His mother that he adored, stripped from him without even a chance to say goodbye.

She had been beautiful and so loved. And you killed her.

It was the first act of your life, one that you would have to face the consequences of every day for the rest of your time here on earth. Not only did your father and brother blame you, but within the next few years you would also learn to blame yourself.

"I can't let you go Liz, I won't let you go," your father wailed as he clung to her lifeless body on the bed.

Your mother's best friend that had lived next to your family and that had been there to help with the birth held you in her arms as tears streamed down her cheeks. She had been doing her best to hold it together at this point, for yours and your brother's sake. But after another minute she couldn't bear to hear your father's anguished cries and she moved to touch his shoulder.

"Warner, your children need you."

He didn't even spare you a glance before snapping back at her.

"Get her OUT! I don't want to see her. Elizabeth's dead. She's dead and it's HER fault!"

She pulled her hand away as fresh tears welled in her eyes, then grabbed your brother's hand to take you both quickly from the room.

You didn't know it now, but you would come to realize the depth of your family's resentment towards you for being the cause of your own mother's death.

Sobs wracked through your father as he knelt at the edge of the bed, head leaned into the side of her lifeless body. He had failed to keep her safe, to protect her like he had promised to do when he married her. They had never even planned to have another child after conceiving your brother. They'd been happy with their only boy. But when she had found out that they were going to have another baby, she'd been ecstatic.

Warner let out another choked sob as he pictured her beautiful, trusting eyes. She had been the love of his life and the mother of his child, and now she was gone.

"It's time to let go."

Warner jolted at the sound of a cold, unfamiliar voice in the room. His head snapped up and he was met with the presence of a tall dark stranger, hovering by the edge of the bed with his sharp eyes trained on your mother's face.

"Elizabeth," the striking man said, speaking directly to your mother on the bed, "Take my hand."

Your father's eyes widened and he was about to speak up, to shout at the man dressed in all black that was now reaching out to his lifeless wife, but the words caught in his throat as he watched a shadow of her hand return the gesture.

"N-No!" he screamed. "Who are you? What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

The stranger looked at him then, his piercing eyes cutting into your father's soul and making him hesitate for a moment. But he wouldn't let her go that easily.

"I said who the fuck are you? Don't you dare touch her!"

"You need to let her go. She's dead."

Your father sputtered and clung to his wife's hand, willing the shadow of her that was now being pulled into the stranger's grasp to stay in her cold body.

"Liz, Liz please! What is happening? Help her!" he pleaded, his anger turning to desperation as he watched her be stolen away from him for a second time that day.

The man let out a dark chuckle then, turning to face your father head on while he locked the shadow of your mother in his arms.

"I can't help her. And I wouldn't want to even if I could. You see, I'm an angel of death and I fully intend to deliver it. This was your wife I gather?"

Warner just nodded as fresh tears filled his eyes.

"Do what you will with her body, but her soul is mine."

A wicked smile appeared on the angel's face as he spoke, almost mocking the pain in your father's eyes, before he turned and flexed the two massive feathered wings on his back.

"I will find a way to take the thing you love most in this world too. I swear it. I don't care who, or what you are," your father croaked out as he rose to his feet, his fists clenched at his sides while he shot a murderous glare across the room.

What had been a dark chuckle before turned into a throaty laugh and the angel's eyes flashed as he looked back over his shoulder.

"I'd like to see you try."