Athelea's time ticked away.
The whispering willow trees danced in the wind, like party streamers left behind from a birthday party. The glass lake held its breath, ripple-less. Life-less. Mom had flung rose petals across the waters to make it prettier, but only three or four petals could still be seen. The sky hung overhead, a canvas of cruel beauty. The clouds moving in from the east were heavy with saturation, similar to an overdue mother. Any moment, the clouds would give birth to a torrent of rain.
Athelea would probably be dead by then.
She couldn't wait.