It takes a while, but finally, the crate is dug up and eased out of the hole. The workers shift back as one of them wrenches off the lid. It looks past the box’s top and then turns to me. It can’t speak, but there’s something in its features, something I don’t think I like. I step past it, every fibre in my body jangling. I think I’m ready for what I’ll see.
I wanted Phobos to yell back at me. Like Dionysos always said, our family was the most normal it could be when we were yelling and railing and fighting. It was when we all went silent that something was truly wrong. And when Phobos gave a hard glare but didn’t say a word, I knew that I had fucked up.
There’s a flash, and I’m looking into the face of one of my clay men. The grey features glare at me, perfectly created eyebrows dipping over unseeing eyes. Its grip around my neck tightens, but I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. Why is my own creation turning on me?
I made my way to my office, feeling a stiff drink might help calm my nerves. I turned on a small lamp that sat on my desk and noticed something lying on the carpet. It was an envelope that had been slipped under the door.
I let out a groan, pulling the pillow over my head, drowning out the birds from outside. The woman from my dreams with jet black hair was still haunting me. I needed to know who she was. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. She could be just a figment of my imagination. People dreamt of strangers all the time.
I found a bench nearby and sat down, letting the air waft over me. We were a distance from the ocean, but I could almost feel the Atlantic calling to me. It was both confusing and warming. Like a lover I had never known, beckoning me home.
I watched as I stepped away from her, looking out amongst the crowd. It was there I saw the most breathtaking woman across the ballroom. She had jet black hair and the warmest brown eyes. She looked troubled, sad even. I instantly felt a pang in my chest. I wanted to go to her, console her, but my feet wouldn’t move.
The brisk air greets me, lifting parts of my hair as I grip the edge of the balcony with both hands and look over. Clouds form, spreading out beneath the mountain as sunlight dances on my far left. Closing my eyes, I lift myself upward and place my feet on the rails to steady myself. It only hurts for a second, and then I’m free.