Chapter 48.6


She felt so many things.

Elmiryn wanted to say them all at once, but the words clashed and fought with each other, and so none of them made it to the air.

She stared.

Stared so long, the time to reply felt long departed.

Only, who the fuck cared about etiquette anymore?

What did any of that matter to her when her reality was disintegrating around her? She had lengthy arguments with beings cut in half—entities that lived in the corners of eyes, reaching long from places unseen into her animal thoughts. The dream-eaters.

They giggled and flickered. They were half-beings who only partially existed in their realm, like phantoms, and they were just tickled by the sight of the half-breed.

The human-fae…thing.

From her mind they plucked her fears of losing herself. Fears of vanishing like a ghost, not only from the life she knew, but from the world that had cradled her existence.

In contrast, the inverted ones, the upside-downers, did not laugh at her plight. But they nettled her with sharp remarks. Sometimes even promises.

“You waste away in this place,” they remarked coldly.

“Do not worry.”

Oh, but she did. Very much.

“We will come, when your twilight arrives.”

She didn’t know what they meant, but every time their heavy eyes were on her, she’d gaze back with tense vigilance.

These spirits could see her through rips in their reality. Never could they come through completely, but she could hear them. Sometimes she even saw them. Seeing never made it better.

And then there was the Far Away Lady…

“I feel tired,” Elmiryn finally murmured.

Her low voice was raked through from all her hollering, and phlegmy from disuse. She disliked hearing it. It didn’t sound like her. 

Inasmuch as she could remember her true self, anyway.

Her eyes focused on the shape before her. The shape said it was Nyx. Elmiryn could only see self-pity at first. A Self-Pity-Nyx-Shape.

Now it looked like Sadness. A truer anguish.

Elmiryn could feel the wrath in her go dormant. The Sadness… she could sit with this. It felt like regret. She had that. Could share that.

She looked down at her bare feet. They were dirty. A large straw of hay was between her right toes. She squeezed the golden piece in them before half-heartedly kicking it away from her.

“I feel tired about us, Nyx,” she went on, not looking at the Sad-Nyx-Shape. She was afraid it would change and become a new Nyx-Shape. 

She was tired of things fucking changing all the time. 

“At first, I thought I was angry. But now I just feel… Tired.”

Her eyes tensed, but she still refused to look up. “And I don’t mean that I’m sick of you. Just… that I don’t know what to do. I feel powerless. My anger isn’t really for you. Or entirely for you, I guess. It’s for everything. Every gods’ damned thing!

The Nyx-Shape spoke. “I don’t know what to do either, Elle. I want to know. I wish I did.”

Elmiryn’s mouth pulled to the side, the corner of it digging harshly into her cheek with disgruntled energy.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re already doing what you need to do,” the woman snapped.

“And what’s that?”

“Talking to me! It’s all I ever wanted from you!” Elmiryn’s face twisted, and she allowed herself to lift her gaze.

“But is it really you, Nyx? I’ve been calling you her name, but for all I know you’re just another spirit playing tricks on me. I can’t tell anymore! She’s been gone so long that I honestly can’t tell!”

Elmiryn clenched her teeth, making them audibly squeak. Her gums ached. “Do you know how much that hurts?!”

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