Cherry Blossom
by Maidenjedi

Because they fall
we love them --
the cherry blossoms.
In this floating world,
does anything endure?
- Ariwara no Narihara

Lost. As the blood sprayed on Willow's cute little shirt, she knew she was lost.

Tara, in her arms, eyes half-open in the stare of the mostly dead, felt the same as she had not an hour earlier. Willow felt the blood pour onto her hand and tried to believe it was something else, that this was all a very bad dream. A coda, perhaps, to the fear that she had lost Tara forever.

Lost Tara forever.

There was truth in that thought, and Willow screamed.

Tara didn't move in response, so Willow shook her a little, cooing "baby" in a panicky, cracked voice. Somewhere in the distance, another voice cried out. Willow just kept screaming.

There was blood on her shirt, on Tara's shirt, on Willow's hand, spilling onto the carpet. Blood. Tara lost so much blood. Like her heart was broken open. Willow was still screaming (it might have been the screaming in her head) and was suddenly unsure who was dying in whose arms. Was it Tara, or was it Willow?

Was it part of them both, flowing river-like onto the floor?

And she felt the anger coming. Like a storm building in the distance and coming up fast. No time to run from it or find shelter. Tara was lying there, maybe dead - dead, Willow, she's dead - and Willow knew no strength to fight any longer.

A quiet whispered at her, taunting her with it's elusive peace. What was it, that poem about cherry blossoms, the one Tara had whispered once? We love them because they fall? She hoped faintly that someone would still love her, because she was most certainly falling.

Blood on her shirt. Tara's blood. On her hands, on the floor, Tara's spilt blood. Tara, dead.

She was lost.


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