Chapter 7: Dream of the Soothsayer

Aeolyn gasped for breath, fighting for air. It was like being physically smothered to death by darkness. But her mind told her it wasn't possible darkness was intangible, nothing physical. It couldn't hurt her corporeally. Yes, she told herself, darkness cannot hurt me.

Much to her relief, air filled her lungs as she gasped again. She opened her eyes to darkness as she lay on her back. Aeolyn sat up and looked around, bemused. What in the name of the gods was going on? The strange dreams, they were supposed to stop, weren't they?

But suddenly, a gossamer figure appeared before her, glancing at her. She tilted her head to the side and narrowed her eyes at the figure to get a better glance at it. But her vision – or was it the figure? – wavered. Aeolyn shook her head and rubbed her eyes impatiently before glancing up again.

It was a man, defiantly a man. His hair seemed colorless as it hung in disheveled waves, framing his long face. His eyes watched her with distinct horror and desperation. Anguish and sorrow. He reached out one hand out to her before he began to fade away.

"Aeolyn," he breathed as the world disappeared.

Her body jerked involuntarily suddenly, wakening her. Her leaf green eyes fluttered open to blue eyes hovering over her nervously. Aeolyn groaned sat up with Lilah's help. Oh ye gods, what happened to her? And what was with the strange dreams?

"Aeolyn, are you all right?" Lilah asked nervously.

Aeolyn nodded slowly and looked around. She was still in the sick room, slouched on the cold white marbled floor. Suppressing a shiver, she glanced beyond Lilah's winged shoulder to Asher, who struggled to sit up.

"Aeolyn… I did not mean… Please tell me you are all right," he wheezed, his brows puckered.

Smiling weakly, she nodded. "I – I'll live."

Asher's eyes watered as though to say Will you? Aeolyn stifled a shudder and gave a halfhearted grin. On shaking legs she stood, leaning on Lilah's arm for support. She placed a gentle hand on Asher's shoulder.

"Don't worry about me, friend. I'll be fine. I promise. Do I ever break a promise?" She shook her head when he opened his mouth to answer. "No, save your strength, Asher. Save it for something truly worth saying. Don't waste it on me."

Asher gave Aeolyn a weak but heartfelt smile before his eyes closed. She turned to Lilah, who nodded in answer to the silent question in her eyes. Both turned to go, bidding the ashen Asher farewell and left the sickroom.

Aeolyn sighed, the pace of her gait slowing. Lilah glanced at her friend, worry flickering in her eyes.

"What troubles you?"

Aeolyn shrugged. "Well, this is all so sudden. Overwhelming. And now…Oh, I don't know how to put it."

Lilah frowned. "Asher's illness?" she offered helpfully.

Aeolyn shook her head. "No. Well, it's part of the mess to put it lightly. But that's not what I meant. It's just…when I blacked out something happened."

"Like what?"
Aeolyn frowned. "I had this vision. A dream, if you will. But I know I shouldn't be having dreams like those anymore. The gods took that power of foresight away from me after I brought the gods down to Terithiea's Mortal Realm."

Lilah cocked her head to the side, truly interested. "If you don't mind me asking, what did you see? Perhaps it could help."

Aeolyn moistened her dry lips. "It was truly strange. I – I saw a man. His face, it was full of anguish. Pain. Horror. Despondency. I swear I know him. Or at least he knows me. He said my name in this…this voiceless voice."

"Voiceless voice? How's that possible?"

Aeolyn shrugged. "I don't know. I heard him speak, or at least I think I did. Perhaps I felt it. But I know there's something with him. Something wrong. But I don't know what it is."

Lilah shook her head in bemusement. "Strange it is. I agree. I do not know how one might go about interpreting that because I can tell you now, that dream is not the work of the gods, for they do not interfere with the our realm."

With puckering brows, Aeolyn felt her throat tighten. "But if not the gods, then who?"

A/N: Sorry for the shortness of the chapter. Found a break in studying and decided quickly to write this. Hopefully,the next chapter will be longernow that exams are coming to a close soon.