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 locked my gaze with his, and the hunger and need in his eyes so matched my own that it shoved me over the edge. I slid my hand from beneath his and placed it against his chest. Then, never breaking eye contact, I pushed him back onto the bed.
One by one, I laid the lilies at the eternal resting places of my friends and comrades in arms. I only spoke in my head, not yet comfortable with letting Kimmika hear what I had to say.
I’m sorry. I miss you all. We were supposed to save the world together. How the hell am I supposed to do this alone?
“As I sit here, I feel lost at sea, unsure of my next move. Whatever that move will be, I can assure you that it will be based on my utmost respect for what the human race can be and the power of the truth. Thank you.”
I shouldn’t have wandered so far from the dig site. I knew the sands were unforgiving and that I could easily become one of the many lost to them. There are precautionary tales that are told at these sites to warn you of the dangers. I knew better, but I could have sworn I saw something or someone.
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.
Once my muscles loosened up, I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the water lift my legs and carry me around. With my head half-submerged, all I could hear was my own breathing and the gentle trickle of water bouncing every surface around. I loved floating like this. It made me feel like I was part of the water. Like seafoam on a gentle wave. Seafoam!
I dive over the counter to escape whatever these things are. My medication must be failing. The prescription amount must not be right. I am having another break from reality. I land on my face as the room begins to fill with more and more of these phantoms. All of them yell things at me, their voices overlapping. I look under the counter to find a gaunt-faced boy staring at me.
There was no order, no balance to what was happening. It was chaotic and wrong…unbalanced.
I glanced back at Nakia, and she looked dipped in gold, with wings sprouting behind her in front of an office building of reflecting glass. She was majestic, and for a moment, I didn’t hate or envy her. I adored her, my sister.
Wait. Two hands, with five fingers each. Two arms… Two legs and two feet? The sheet covering my lower limbs raised and bumped unevenly, showing the lack of symmetry beneath my torso. I threw the covers back, wanting to know what was wrong with my leg.
The past few days, I had struggled to hit my daily word count. The story seemed elusive, unwilling to come to life. But today, for some reason, I didn’t seem to have that problem. My fingers flew across the keyboard as the battle raged on the screen. Swords clashed, blood spilled, men died. When I finally took a break, I noticed it was late afternoon.
That grabbed his attention like a hook. And like a proper catch, he was pulled into my orbit. He blinked. “Dammit, devil woman. No.” He shook himself out of it, giving one of my breasts a squeeze and kissing my forehead before rushing toward the door.
I finally turned off the water and reached for a towel to dry off. As I did, I looked at myself in the mirror, and for a split second, I didn’t even recognize who I was. “What the hell is going on here?” I said out loud to no one in particular. Was it just nervous energy leftover from the stress of the tournament? Was it jitters from making it to the finals? I had no clue, but I knew something was not right.