I open my eyes and find myself in a dreamy land I recognize soon.
I’m probably dreaming. But it is the Fade… well, after all, it is here where we go when we sleep, isn’t it? The funny thing is how aware I am it is the Fade… other dreams don’t allow me to notice so easily. Maybe it is because we’ve been there so many times?
A whisp of light starts moving around me. Like thousands of them in the Fade before. I remember Lirya also had one around the last times we met her here. I wave it away, not paying it attention, trying to decide if I let the dream guide me or I prefer to struggle and wake up so I have normal dreams again. Then I hear a whisper.
I turn my head around. “Who?”
But there’s nobody to be seen. Just the whisp moving frantically from here to there.
“Mom…” I hear this time closer. I shiver, and look around again. But only the whisp… A whisp can whisper, I hear in my mind suddenly. “Who said that???”
"Mom?”. The whisper is now a bit hesitating. And the whisp slowly flies around me. I wave it away, more scared than I want to admit.
"Go away, I'm not anybody’s mom!"
The whisper freezes me in the middle of the movement. I follow the whisp with my eyes. "No... no... It can't be...", I deny. "He died. The demon killed him"
"If i can...". The whisp moves around my leg, like trying to hug it like a baby. My heart breaks and I fall on my knees, covering my face out of sadness and shame.
"How can it be? Are you his soul?". I feel a soft tickle in my leg, as if the whisp were stroking it, and then in my hands over my face, so I slowly move them down and cup them, as if I were going to drink, allowing the whisp to shelter there. I realize tears are falling down my cheek. "So you're stuck here?"
The whisp stops flying around, as if it was happy to be in my palm, and it moves just enough to sort of rub my cheek softly. "Many things want to catch...” it whispers.
I look around, worried. "Demons?"
"That’s their name?"
"How do these things look like?"
"Purple…", but more than a word, I see the color in my head. I picture that horrible female horned demon who tried to put my baby in her tummy and I choke. “Sometimes I have a person who keeps them away..."
"A person? Who?", I ask suddenly. "Someone cares for you?"
"She feels like a mom", the whisp puts in my head, and I feel even sadder
I shake my head, guilty. "Not me... not me... I thought you were lost...". I cry again. How could I neglect him? How could I continue living without wondering what happened with this little soul? How could I have known?
"But she feels a bit like dad too?" the whisp rubs against my cheek. I close my eyes and hold it closer to my face
"How does she look like?"
I sighs. "Black hair, blue eyes? Pointy ears like me?"
"You know!". The tone of the whisp sounds now happy that I could realize
"Lirya...". The thought of the kind elf makes me smile warmly. "She hasn't forgotten us completely". I look at the whisp… at my son… "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I let you alone, I'm sorry I allowed the demon to take you away from me...". My voice breaks. "You should have grown up, become a baby..."
"Now I have you here...", the whisp says softly, and I suddenly feel scared. I’m I going to be trapped here? Decay and die outside? Not… seeing Kyle again?
"But I can't stay here forever" I say, torn into two.
"In the middle of the chase... poof... a thing went through that purple thing", the whisp is saying. Suddenly it moves, nervous. “You leave me?"
I look at the whisp, eyes crying again, heart broken. "Living beings can stay here forever. But... I will come back, I promise". I try to offer some comfort. "Now that I know you're here, I'll come for you all the nights...” Then I remember Kyle… he’ll want to know… his son… is here…. “And... I will try... to bring your father too"
"Dad just... passed by here!?"
I turn around. Kyle here? Where?. "You saw him? He already knows... you're here?"
I suddenly feel down. "He... never told me". Why didn’t he?
"So I shouldn’t say?....Arrow on the chest... purple", the whisp says cryptically.
"What? You mean...now? He's hurt?", I ask, suddenly worried. The whisp flies around a bit.
"No. He not... "
I get up. "Not here? Not hurt?"
"I mean the demon...". I shake my head trying to understand. He’s probably learning how to speak to humans so I can’t blame him but I’m so lost.
"Your father... killed a demon?", I ask finally.
"The first is not him", he says determined.
"So... who shot the arrow?". I’m very confused.
"Like you...", he says
"Evelyn?" I open my eyes wide. It’s the first person who comes to my mind who looks like me and can shoot an arrow, but how could she know? Maybe we’re still linked? The whisp starts to fly toward a path, playing with my hair
"Not same colour"
I blink, suddenly understanding. Tahl. "Her hair is yellow?"
The whisp stops a bit. "Time for mom to leave", he says. And he flies back to me like pushing me out. And now I don’t want to go!
"Wait! I need to know more!!", I say, reluctantly stepping back.
"Then yes ", the whisp replies, while the ground around us starts moving like waves in the sea. I look around, feeling hysterical.
"I can't leave you here! This is not safe!" I try to catch the whisp to keep it in my hands and protect it, but I find myself falling back to my bed.
I wake up, gasp and look around, and then I look into my hands, half expecting to see the whisp there. Of course it isn’t here anymore, though I have the feeling I see a shinning blurry image vanishing, along with my dream. I breathe deeply, defeated, and then turn to make sure Kyle is still sleeping by my side. I sigh of relief when I see him, and hug him tight, happy to be back in our world, the world we share. I’m starting to wonder if this has been true or just a weird nightmare, when I notice his sleep is not normal. He shakes in his sleep, uneasy, and suddenly I realize he’s stuck in the Fade, like I was moments ago… maybe facing that danger the whisp was trying to warn me against. No... No... No... Not stuck in the Fade, not you, my love! Please come back to a place where I can help you, where I can fight by your side!!!! I shake him, terribly scared, and don’t stop until he opens his eyes, after what seemed to be an eternity. Then I grab his face, and look into his eyes. "Are you all right?"
He blinks, sweating. "Right, right"
I stroke his cheeks. "Did you see him?"
"You know her?", he asks suddenly, and I startle.
"Her?”. Then I realize. “The whisp... the baby... she... was going to be a girl?" How does he know? I feel my eyes about to fill with tears again. Why is it even more painfully? Because now she has a gender she is even more real?
He touches my cheeks. "No, no, don’t cry, please"
I stare at him, trying not to cry. But you know me, my love. I cry too much. "What did you see?", I finally manage to say, choking a bit. "Please tell me"
"She’s safe. Don’t worry", he says with a calm tone.
"But what happened?" I hug him. "We'll have to protect her in the Fade?"
"I want to find someone who can make she go happily as she deserved", he says, thoughtful.
I nod. She can’t stay there. Wherever the dead ones go, that’s where she belongs. We’ve had our share of unrest ghosts; we don’t need to have to protect one too. "But who? And how?"
"Mage", is his only word, and I freeze.
"Oh no, no, no, not mages again" I shake my head. "Please tell me we're not going to ask help of that fanatic of Håkan"
He perks his brow, surprised. “Ehhh, I don’t think so"
"He would say we're crazy and we did everything wrong and we're going to be unhappy and the sky is going to fall over our heads or something like this" I say almost without breathing, half joking but knowing he would react that way.
"But I don’t think Håkan is the right person to solve this??", Kyle mumbles softly, kissing my hair.
I shrug. "And who is? Not my father, either"
"I was about to ask him" he jokes. "With your permission" he adds
I snort. "I don't know if there's a mage we can trust. Moreover, one who knows about what we need to know". I sit on the bed and hug my legs.
"So I’m in a dead end about ideas. Your suggestion?"
I deny with my head. "I don't know. A priest, maybe? If it is a lost soul, maybe they will know what to do"
"The chantry??". He gets up slightly to hug my body, but he bites his nails.
I shrug again, seeing his discomfort. "I don't know. But isn't that their bussiness?"
"So try no matter the cost?". I thought he liked the chantry better?
I grab my own head. "I... I don't know. I... didn't even know she existed until now...". What can I say? I have no idea how to handle this. He wants a mage? Let’s look for a mage. I turn to look at him. "Because... if we were to talk to a mage... did you have someone in mind?"
"Apostate Ryan" he jokes
I blink. "Ryan? You mean... Ryan Cousland?"
"Who else?". He scratches his head
I open my eyes wide. "I... didn't know he was a mage!"
"He hides it well". Of course, he has to, or he would lose his noble title.
"Then we lose nothing for asking him", I nod. "At least he looks saner than other mages we've met"
He chuckles at my words. "You seem to dislike mages a bit?"
I shrug. "Except Lauren, I know no mage who has done anything good for us". All right. Håkan has saved the day a couple of times, but that doesn’t compensate for the times he has treated Kyle and me like shit, so I’m not going to give him the merit. "Well, now I include Ryan" I chuckle.
"He’d be proud if he knew"
I smile softly. "I can't imagine why. As if my opinion mattered". He pecks my lips, and I return the soft kiss. "So we should come back to Highever" I say almost in his mouth.
He gives me a nod, staring deep in my eyes, and I feel so sad again I have to hug him and start to sob. "We must do something", I mutter. "She... she can't stay there... risking to be eaten by a Demon or something worse"
"That’s what I thought... ", he says stroking my hair.
Ryan is an apostate, I think to myself before getting asleep again. Who would have imagined!!!!
"Tomorrow we leave to Highever", I finally mumble, determined. Goodbye, my old Mabari, it was good to see you again!