Nealy stood in the wood-paneled study, in her beige suit and red ascot. She poured a glass of wine from the glass decanter. Lightning illuminated the room, splitting the sky in two. The faint lamplight flickered across her face.
Alli sat in front of her, in a simple cashmere sweater and jeans. The rain raged outside, racing down the windows and pouring onto the balcony nearby.
The darkness pressed in on them, suffocating and urgent. All along the walls were tomes, ancient, leather-bound manuscripts, shrouded in dust, some of them written hundreds of years ago.
“There can be no future, without the past,” Nealy growled. Thunder snapped and cracked, in the distance. She poured a second glass for Alli. The scarlet liquid seemed to hover in the air, forever suspended in time, even as it flowed inevitably to its endpoint.
Alli stopped glancing around, and looked back at Nealy, her eyes flashing with a look that could have also cut the sky into pieces, “If that was the case, Nealy, then why did you leave me?”
The thunder grumbled in reply, rolling mindlessly, over the hills dotting the landscape.