A messenger (Talia, p. 102)

The air was cold, crisp and silent.  The night did not stir and the moon hung full in the sky bearing witness to the world below.  She stood beneath the trees and waited.  No one passed by.  The cobblestones of the market were wet from a recent rain and reflected the moonlight.  She waited.  The moon shifted across the sky and she waited.  Was she wrong to have come here?  She stretched.  It was time to leave.

As she turned, she saw it.  Creeping low over the stones was a pale white fog.  It moved from the far edge swirling and snaking as if alive.  It moved with purpose, towards the center of the market.  She took a hesitant step forward and the fog changed.  It bulged, pulsing, a blackness now visible at its core.  It pulsed again and then rose up to be of a height with her.  Wisps of white fog peeled away, drifting to the ground and dissipating, leaving a dark figure standing faint and intangible in front of her.

She stood firm before the figure.  “Why have you come here?”

Its response was a bare whisper, a hiss of air, almost snakelike.  “Hhhhheee is disappointed with your progressssss.  Whhhhy do you not join the otherssss?”

“The others he has sent to me have disappeared.  If I cannot reach…”

“You waste your time ssssssearching where you should not.”

“I will do what I must.  What I see as best.”

“What is besssssst?  It is bessssst you do not forget your baaaargin.  He will not waaaaait forever.”  And with that, the shadow faded completely, leaving her standing alone beneath the tree.


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