Will felt heaviness urging him back to unconsciousness, but he fought back and awoke. Grey triangles danced at the rims of his eyes, so blinded by the white light that he could see the veins of his own eyes. His head throbbed from the intensity, and soon he felt the bitter taste of sickness at the back of his throat as he remembered what he had seen.
'Will...can you hear me? Wake up.' Andrel...his voice was muffled but he recognised it.
As the blurriness of his vision eased, he saw that his friend was leaning over him, shaking his shoulder. Will began to remember what had happened in the moments before he'd fallen unconscious, the book...and the symbol.
'Eurgh,' Will said, his tongue felt like a slug at the back of his throat, to speak was painful. He turned his head slightly, through the screen of starchy hair he could see the book thrown at the corner of the Attic and threatening to tip off of the edge - had Andrel thrown it?
After a minute or so of rehydrating his mouth, Will was able to speak and asked, 'what happened?'
'You tell me,' Andrel replied, 'I heard that you were up here, when I came up, you were both unconscious and that book,' he said vehemently, 'was making a God-awful noise.'
'It was...screaming -,'
'It was talking.' Will sat up slowly, his back creaking, and saw Tayna sitting with her knees brought tightly up to her chest, her cheek on her knee and her eyes drooping like woken in the middle of a pleasant slumber. There seemed to be a darkness within her.
'It was what?' the boys asked, but she didn't answer, far too absorbed in thought.
'What happened to us?' Will asked, 'I just remember seeing that symbol on the page and then I got knocked out. And then I saw...' the words caught in his throat as he visualised once more. My family...but my memories...they're supposed to be gone...
'The Evil Eye,' said Tayna bluntly. When Andrel heard the name - as if by instinct, both of his hands went over his eyes in a gesture that Will couldn't fathom.
'No - no way,' Andrel stammered, 'are you sure? My mum said the symbol hasn't been seen for years,'
'Hold on,' Will said quickly before Tayna could reply, 'what's the Evil Eye? Is it what we saw that knocked us out?'
Tayna nodded glumly, 'it's a symbol that's supposed to carry an awful curse. It brings misfortune to anybody who sees it. There are legends to guard against it...but we both saw it -,'
'On that page?' Andrel interrupted, 'but there wasn't anything on the pages that the book was open on.'
Tayna's brow furrowed, 'that's impossible. Me and Will both saw it, why can't you?'
'It better not be an Elemental thing,' Andrel grumbled, crossing his arms, 'I don't need to be excluded from another activity.'
'We should tell the principal about this,' Tayna decided, easing herself up using the railing behind her for support. 'He might be able to figure it out.' Hesitantly, she grabbed the book thrown facing downwards, making sure to close it without a glimpse of the pages. She and Andrel headed to the stairway, but the contents of his unconsciousness were bothering Will too much, it didn't make sense, he had to tell somebody -
'I saw my mother.'