Orphic Phantasia

43: Changing Perspective

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If only it were that easy. “But I thought it was just a dream,” he said. “I didn’t have any control over it. It—it just happened.”

“And this is why you’ve got to talk to Shelley.”

“I don’t know…” Dante pulled the bed sheets towards him. They were asking a lot. Too much. Even with help, it could take him years to reach the level of skill Phoenix and her friends required of him.

Kat clutched his arm. “You can do this, Dante. You’re not useless. I don’t care what anybody tells you or has told you, but you’re not. Whatever happened in the past, get over it. We need you. Emily needs you. And you made her a promise, remember?”

Ahead of him, the vibrant panorama of green hills and blue skies looked back accusingly, a reminder of a youth spent snatching moments from dreams and putting them to canvas, of illustrating his mother’s stories, Shelley’s stories…

Shelley, whose stories he had dismissed as farcical fantasies, all so he could win the approval of the Saptamatrikas.

Kat stood and pulled her bag over her shoulder. “Good job we packed your paints after all, right?” she said with a wink. “Don’t worry, you can thank me later. In the meantime, you can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep while I pull an all-nighter looking through a load of old gobbledygook about reincarnation.”

With an exaggerated, exasperated sigh and a crooked grin, she left the room, and Dante, feeling a sudden invisible weight on his shoulders, sank down into his bed.

Emily was out there, risking her life, while Veritas pored over secret documents concerning the work of what could very well be Pleiades, and here he was, stuck in hospital.

But it didn’t have to be that way. If he could just reach out, he could see beyond his prison, just as he had in his dreams. All he had to do was close his eyes, relax his thoughts, and let his mind drift into the aether beyond…

There was Katrina, leaving the hospital with a big smile on her face.

There was Shelley, hunched over a notebook, staring at a blank page.

There was Byron, sitting in candlelight, focused on some ancient tome.

And there was Emily, standing alone beneath three titans, skin pale as snow, hair silver as moonlight, a winged rend in the world across her shoulder, growing ever greater.

Each image a flicker of a moment, each vision a fraction of a thought, caught somewhere between the truth and his overactive imagination.

If only he knew the difference…


For the slightest of instants, for a mere slither of a second so fine it could slice time itself in two, the shadow-form hung there in space, a flicker of an image wrapped in a cloak of its own deluded ignorance.

Byron drew a deep breath from his pipe and furrowed his brow. “Either Orpheus regards me with greater intimacy than I ever realised, or this weed is more potent than I initially assumed,” he said, before returning to his research, and his quest to decipher the mysteries of Ketos.

Chapter 43 End

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I guess this means it’s time for a change of perspective!

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