24: The Day That Never Came
Dante groaned as light flooded into the darkness, revealing images, memories, ideas he would have rather kept locked away. He pulled the darkness around him, tried to escape back into that comforting cocoon of ignorance, where he didn’t have to face the outside world and its harsh truths. Things were easier there, in the Dark, where no one could hurt you and no one could challenge you and no one could lie to you. A world without people. A world without light.
Then a hand grasped the darkness and flung it aside, casting him again into the light.
Katrina Ritches stood over him, duvet in hand. Dawn filtered through his window, highlighting her wild mane of hair, the unimpressed furrow of her brow.
“Get up,” she said. “The ship leaves in an hour.”
He lay there for a moment more, his surrogate sister never moving a centimetre. Or was it an inch? He couldn’t decide which. His entire world now balanced on the edge of a knife: on one side the wild babblings of his insane mother, with her cursed shadows and faerie courts, on the other side the reasoned arguments of Malkuth, the ideology of the Saptamatrikas, Arided’s promise.
One side was truth, the other a lie, and now he faced the choice between them—or else the blade’s edge would slice him in two.
A tear slipped down Katrina’s cheek.
“Idiot,” she said.
Chapter 24 End
I guess it’s time for a holiday… and the holidays! I hope you all have a lovely festive season, and thanks for reading!