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Whispers of Power

A vision of the past raised questions, but none were of it’s truth, no, I could not doubt something I so clearly saw, felt.

What these questions entailed were prompts of unease and fear. Casting such doubt would only further entrap me. He, the King’s son, with tired methods might use the sentiment as evidence of my mercurial disposition.

“You’re quiet, should I be concerned?” asked the man in question.

Slowly, very slowly we were climbing the staircase.

Orynicus offered to carry me. I refused. Nothing made me more angry than feeling at his mercy. To my own detriment, I fought looking as weak as I had become, and yet, it was never enough.

Silence. In moments like this it felt so very powerful. If one thing I knew, a voice held more weight than a blade. In a quiet room eyes land upon the strong.

I knew his eyes were on me.

As I felt his gaze drop, a sigh filled the stairwell, bouncing off the walls and right back to us.

“Cadia, visions are not to be faced alone,” Orynicus finally said, “and I know it involves me, Cadia, so I am worried.”

Visions in the Abbey were only taken as visions from God. Warnings, direction, messages of Faith. That was why the Friar placed me in plant studies.

I saw an image of a spot in the woods containing an edible herb, a rare find, and he was certain I’d been directed by God. I did not doubt it was true for a long time. However, my visions did not stop there.

I saw events far from heavenly direction. Blood and gore, horrific crimes, townspeople’s dirty laundry, things that would get me sent to an asylum if I ever spoke of them.

I always dealt with them on my own. For Orynicus to doubt my capability proved how weak I was to him.

I wasted no breath replying to his query. It was out of pure spite.

Perceived weakness could in some cases be an asset, but only if I were substantially stronger than expected, and I was not. My mind was far more resilient than he gave me credit for, yet I could not outmaneuver him. I was no more calculated. In fact, I acted on high risk impulses. Reckless as it was, maybe being so unpredictable gave me an edge. I just had to wait for the perfect moment to start a fire.

Sweet, sweet silence was my friend the rest of our walk. Not once did Rynic try to start up a conversation after I ignored his pity. If there was one thing I did not want him to feel for me, it was the sad, insulting empathy of a man who viewed me as helpless. Lust was less aggravating, a cardinal sin of all things. Once, just once I wanted him to see me as a threat to his person, a dangerous entity able to crumple him within the palm of my hand. I would be lying if I said that would ever come to fruition.

In the dark tunnels Helene provided light. Fear couldn’t reach me with such warmth, but Orynicus didn’t bring so much as a faded candle to brighten the shadowed world around us.

I shivered. Something about not being able to see frightened me. If I were thrust into a vision I could not prepare for what horrors might befall me.

I gasped slightly as Orynicus shifted his weight next to me. With the arm that steadied my back, he reached around my waist to clasp one of my shaking hands. A warmth from this gesture calmed my body, and I was able to quiet my mind for a moment, just a moment.

I shook him off. My dark thoughts returned, and yet, I could not argue with myself. Leaning into him would only prove his perception of my character correct. I refused to let that happen.

Once more I felt detached from reality. Thoughts took place above my head because they were too large to fit. I floated like a lemure as a shell of myself walked mindlessly below.

I watched curiously as Orynicus led me past the bedroom doorway. It was my stop, I thought, where he would lock me away once again. Further we trailed. Soon I lost all sense of direction. Nothing felt familiar. Carefully, I floated back down, just as soul meets body I felt life again. There was no sensation like the reunion of mind and vessel. It was as if I skipped out on living a bodied existence and had to catch up with myself. Wobbly legs finally remembered the steps I had taken, and stars, did they hurt.

I cringed. Quite the number I did. Those poor muscles would ache for weeks.

“Not much further,” said Orynicus, somehow knowing I was now present. He linked an arm below mine, elevating me as we continued. It lifted the weight of each stride. Still, I felt the searing pain of a blistered Achilles as it chafed against my flats.

I pushed lightly against Orynicus, pleading with my eyes. He let go.

I knelt down and pried the damned shoes off. In my hand was a blood ridden shoe. The white surface became scuffed, and at the base of the shoe, my crimson paint drip-dried into a few diverging paths. Shoe number two was no better.

Silent rage rippled throughout the space. I knew it was his. One look his way might have turned me to stone. So, I cowered in silent fear.

Wordlessly, he lowered himself beside me. Before I had a chance to object, he scooped me into his arms and lifted me from the ground, all the while seething at who-knows-what.

I watched over our backs as we left the bloodied flats where they lie. Heaving sighs of disdain was the man holding me. I pictured the arguing going on within his thick skull. Silence had power, and this time, he held it.

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