~The Knowledge~ pg 5

“Fiora!” The visions cleared at his urgent voice so close to her ear. He had moved to her side without her noticing and his hand rested on her shoulder. “Are you alright?” Between hearing her name on his lips and the genuine concern he stared at her with, she could almost believe that nothing had changed between them. Almost.

Self-conscious of his sudden nearness and how much she wanted to lean into his comfort, she pulled herself back instead and swiped the tears from her cheeks. “Yes, well, I’ve never seen anything even close to that before. It was… not something I’ll forget easily.”

He seemed to pick up on her posture and sat back on his heels, dropping his hand. For a moment he seemed lost – vulnerable in his indecision – before he sat to the side and offered a quiet condolence. “A maiden should not have to witness such things.” 

She laughed a bitter agreement to his obvious statement. “No one should have to witness such things.” His statement replayed in her mind, though, seeming more significant than her quick reply had made it out to be. Maiden? When had she become more than just a girl to him? The way he had been acting – trying to be kind while a storm raged underneath… Something was different. Something had changed. The wind could not tell her his thoughts, though, and Civyl did not seem to be offering. She moved on to keep the conversation going. It was nice that he was willing to talk. “But as bad as that was, it was not the worst.” She brought her hands up to her neck again, testing the tenderness, and wondered how only a dream could have caused her real harm.

Civyl seemed uncomfortable and shook his head. “Please do not recount such images for my sake.”

But it was helping her process what had happened by talking about it and she didn’t want to stop. “It was worse for the experiencing, but not for the remembering I think.” With pursed lips he gave a single nod as he stared down at his hands. Whether it was permission he was offering or not, she spit out the nightmare her ‘sleep’ had started with. “I dreamt that a man tried to kill me.”

The End

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