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Something Darker; Chapter 17


By Katarzyna CrevanPublished about a month ago 5 min read

I allow my eyes to slowly open after the door creaks shut. That was the third time someone's come to check on me and the third time I pretended to still be sleeping. It's not that I wasn't ready to face them- it's their questions I'm not ready to face.

Free from whatever influence I had been under, I could now remember everything as it actually happened. I hadn't meant to use my powers on Gaitan or Jax, or even hurt them. I knew they both knew that, but I just can't figure out how to explain what happened.

Thankfully, Zanthus isn't pushing any questions yet. He just silently lays on the windowsill, watching over me. I find his presence calming. He must know that as he's only moved to stretch.

I hear footsteps approaching the door again so I close my eyes, keeping my breath slow and steady. The door opens and someone enters the room. The door shuts and the footsteps approach, stopping by my bed. I wonder how long they're going to watch me.

"This trick might work on Gaitan, but that's only because he's too kind to actually test if you're awake," Micah's voice sounds over me.

I open my eyes to narrow slits to glare at him. "I'm trying to sleep."

"Too bad," Micah sits down on the edge of the bed. I push myself up into a sitting position in the lapsing silence. Zanthus hasn't lifted his head or opened his eyes, but I know he's carefully listening. Micah sighs. "I'm sorry I wasn't here last night."

"There wasn't anything you could have done."

"I know, but still. . . I shouldn't have been gone so long."

"You were only gone for a day."

"I could have made it back yesterday. I should have come back yesterday."

I can hear the pain in his voice. He's blaming himself. "Stop blaming yourself. If I hadn't run off to begin with-"

"Let's just agree that we're both at fault."

I chuckle. "I can live with that."

We fall back into silence.

"Do you want to. . . talk about what happened?"

"Honestly? I'm not even sure I entirely know what happened. All I know is that. . . I wasn't. . . I'm not sure. I was myself, I was in control, but. . . I would never hurt any of them intentionally."

"They all said it seemed like you were talking to someone who wasn't there or rather someone you saw instead of them."

I take a deep breath. "I had a nightmare, I guess. I'm not sure what else to call it. In the nightmare, there was a girl. She was chasing me. She knew what I was and was trying to kill me. When I woke up, I felt like I had actually been running, like I still needed to run. I felt like she was in the shadows, waiting for me to look away before attacking. I went to find Zanthus, that's when I ran into Jax. I heard Janice's voice and I looked towards it. When I looked back at Jax, he was gone. The girl was there." I swallow the lump in my throat. "I know now that she wasn't actually there, but in the moment, I honestly believed it was her standing in front of me. I was terrified. I couldn't- . . ." I look down at the bed, "I didn't want to fight her." I can feel Micah's eyes on me. I can't meet them. "I was ready to let her kill me. If Gaitan and Zanthus hadn't been there, I don't know what would have happened." I can feel the tears on my cheeks. When had I started crying?

Micah's arms are around me. I let myself lean into him. "It's alright," he whispers, "It was just a nightmare."

I hate to ruin such a sweet moment, Zanthus's voice says, But that wasn't 'just a nightmare.' I open my eyes to see Zanthus jump from the sill as Micah releases me, turning to look at him. Zanthus jumps onto the bed, sitting down at my feet. That was a waking trap dream.

"A what?" Micah asks.

A waking trap dream. It starts as a dream that is perceived as a nightmare. Weaker people never wake up. Stronger ones can, but they still have to sever their connection to it, as I did for you.

"Are you saying I could have died?" I ask.

Zanthus bobs his head.

"How did she end up in the waking trap dream?" Micah demands.

Someone cast it over her.

"Someone was trying to kill me." Not a question, a statement.

"Who?" I can hear the anger in his voice.

Zanthus looks at Micah. No one we want to meet.

I remember all the times Zanthus insisted on staying on the move. "The Courts?"

Zanthus looks back to me. No, but it's time I told you.

'The Courts would be the better of the two.' That's what Zanthus had said when we were at the Claus's castle. "The other of the two?"

Zanthus nods.

"I'm sorry, what?" Micah inserts.

I look at Micah. He looks confused. Of course he did. He didn't know anything. I open my mouth to give him a quick synopsis.

Filling him in will have to wait, Zanthus cuts me off, What I need to tell you will be beneficial to both of you. Zanthus glances between the two of us. The Courts don't just stay out of your world because they have no interest in it and your mother didn't just stay away from them because she was done with them. The Shadow World is watched by Shadow Stalkers. Anytime anyone of the Shadow World leaves the Courts, they become fair game to Shadow Stalkers. It doesn't matter if they hurt anyone or not. As far as Shadow Stalkers are concerned, all members of the Shadow World are to be eliminated. They're the reason I have been so insistent about staying on the move, Zanthus looks at Micah, And why you should stay away from the Shadow World. They may deem your assistance of one of its members as a good enough reason to kill you.

"Is that what you think happened to the other Shadow Slave?" I ask quietly.

Zanthus nods.

"Then we leave," Micah stands. "We'll pack, settle the tab, and leave. I'll send word to the rest of the guards that came to pack and head back, but we leave as soon as possible. I only just learned about Shadow Stalkers, but something tells me, if the waking dream trap didn't work, they won't be far behind."

Precisely, Zanthus says with a bob of his head.

"Pack yourself up," Micah says heading to the door, "Gaitan and I will take care of the rest."

As the door closes behind him, a heavy weight settles in my chest. I stare at the door. "My next stop isn't home, is it?"

I'm afraid you've already dug up all the secrets you could there, Zanthus's voice is soft and gentle. His head gently bumps my arm. Go pack. The time for goodbyes is not yet here.

Young AdultSeriesFantasyAdventure

About the Creator

Katarzyna Crevan

Hi! I enjoy writing and have been writing for some years now. I hope you enjoy my writing!

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    Katarzyna CrevanWritten by Katarzyna Crevan

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