Shavings of lemonwood curled under the blade of the prince’s sword, until Elena had a respectable pile. Enough to start a fire, to burn a fallen prince and his enchanted bow. She glanced up, considering the daylight left to her. The fire would have done its work, well before the glow might give her away.
Elena’s fated prince wasn’t much to look at. The pyre around him elevated a gaunt form, grayed in wait too long of a throne. Symmetrical features, soured with impatience that followed him even to death. He’d come hunting her in these woods, wielding goddesswrought weapons to claim her. The sword and bow had Ellora’s hallmarks – the earth goddess, docile and harnessed in the employ of the king.
This prince was fated. He was born to glory. He would free a goddess of the forest, bind her to him, and usher in a new age.
Elena hacked his bow to bits.
She added it to the pile as the shavings began to smoke. Lines of magic dripped from the wood, unfettered at last, into the earth.
His fate had always been to free her. They both knew this story’s grain. But the paring away of details uncovered destiny of a different shape.
In his case, at least.
“It is done, then,” the unicorn said, ghosting into view across the fire, “are you ready?”
Elena added more wood to the pyre, feeling the slicing edges of her magic burn her excesses away. “For centuries,” she replied.