Book III Chapter 6: White Petals
The ground was blanketed in soft, white petals, falling gracefully from the sky like snow-- as was always the case here, in this ethereal vision.
Elliot sat quietly upon her knees, blinking slowly to adjust her eyes to the brilliant scene.
It had been a long time.
She paused with the usual answer on her lips, raising an eyebrow in concern.
Elliot Christoph's dreams had been haunted for years now-- shortly after she had founded the Somnambulist Project, in fact.
Ever since, she would find herself in these very gardens just after drifting into restful sleep, and just before her mind continued on its aimless path through the mists of dreams. It continued every evening for years, beginning with a simple question that had been answered in the same way every night.
...until her younger brother had been tragically altered during a freak accident in Ros Albion.
Elliot knew he had felt responsible for the attacks, but his absence had left her wondering if she would ever see him again, if he had decided it best to stay well away from her out of guilt or some other pain.
If not for the obvious dread in his voice, she would have been glad for her friend's return. "... I've missed you, but I'm afraid to ask why you're making an appearance again now after all this time."
"You didn't say no."
The ritual, it seemed, was still intact after all; Elliot managed a faint smile.
"No, Nefirian. Now... talk to me. Please?"
"I can't say much, but I still need to warn you. Times are... changing, and it will affect everyone...everything."
"Ah, so the truth comes out. I don't like when things worry you; I've got mortal concerns to struggle with. Changing how?"
"Ke--... a friend is missing. I can't sense him any longer, and that has potentially dire ramifications for the rest of Valenth."
A chill wind blew, sending petals scattering over the ground. Elliot bit her lip and shivered slightly, aware that her companion seemed not to so much as notice the temperature. "I'm not sure what to make of that, but thank you for the heads up."
He nodded slowly, his gaze averted; the once-aeneski's green eyes darted to and fro nervously. "How... is Cazwell?"
"You haven't truly stayed away for so long because of that, have you, Nefirian? He's fine. We're both fine, and what happened wasn't anything you could've helped-- I don't believe you would've let it happen, if it was.
"Now, please... enough of this silliness. We're still friends..."
But as swiftly as he had come, the Chapter was gone, and the dream of the white garden with him.
Helplessly, Elliot's mind spiraled away into the comforting darkness of deep, peaceful slumber.
Next Chapter: Book III Chapter VII
Category: Book III | Story