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.
I had a plan to get out of this hell. It was ripped from my grasp, sending me into helplessness when my locker was discovered. I slipped into the locker room as I had done so many times before and opened my corner locker. I gasped in horror to find it empty.
I should be terrified that the man will use the gun that is currently shoved in my back to kill me. I’m not. A still calmness flows over me and time seems to stand still. I don’t know how, but I know exactly what to do.
The rock radiates heat, and I feel it on my skin, awakening me. It is not like the artificial heat of the mortal furnaces. It is something raw and ancient. The rock in front of me has become a pool of yellow liquid. The mountain is awakening, the volcano welcoming me home.
I settled into the plush chair as Bromley poured me a glass of wine. Moonlight glinted off the silverware, grabbing my attention. I looked up to see a clear sky with a full moon. The view tugged at my heartstrings. I felt a strange pull towards it, almost as if I was falling in love with the moon!
“Look, I’ve been your doctor for a good number of years, and I know it wasn’t easy finding your twin brother’s body. The way that Henry took his own life was such a shame. I am really sorry, Tom, but you have got to stay on your meds. Any problems you call me day or night, understand?”
“What the hell?” I questioned softly. There were piles of sand with pieces of statues sticking out of them. Kneeling down, I brushed some of the sand aside and picked up an arm. It looked like it could be one of mine, but that wasn’t possible. Glancing around, I noticed several more piles like this one.
Lily breezes past the little desk in the corner of the flat, the random scattering of paperwork lifting as she does. She’s such an untidy person. So opposite to me. I think that’s what made us work so well together. As she steps past the tiny sofa, I notice her toenails are bright red. It’s not a colour I’m used to on her. I find it alluring. There’s so much I want to say, but so little I can.
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.
He knew about my trust issues. He knew the pain, and he knew all about the trauma of before. He had my trust. He had shown me another way, a way to unleash the woman in me. I felt him shift on top of me, and my thoughts were back in the moment.
“Really?” I asked him, completely shocked. “Now?” I motioned around at the shadow that was so close we could smell it—if you could smell shadows, of course. “My taste in decor can wait. Besides, this is the Underworld where dead people live. What do you expect?
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.