Part thirty-two of Misplaced Fire
Nesrin felt herself ripping in two. She screamed, but couldn’t hear it over the sound of hurricane-force winds. She saw the fire rise in her veins, then burst out of the skin. When it was over she collapsed on the floor.
Half of her was gone. It was the half that defined her. It was also the half that had kept her alive for so long. She felt a wave of adrenaline flood her bloodstream and drench her in mortal fear. All at once she was cold, shaky, and too. Freaking. Aware. Of her own heartbeat. Every thought was scrambled by the knowledge that any slight movement, careless word, tiny mistake, little surprise, or insignificant oversight could easily kill her. Even her own panic, if she didn’t get a grip on it soon, could overwhelm her hopelessly fragile system any second.
She knew now what her human friends when they said somebody was beside themselves. She had the experience of being outside her body looking down at herself, watching her own movements as if they were still part of a stage show. She heard the words and movements of her sisters and uncle, but only distantly, like she was at the bottom of a canyon and only the echo was reaching her.
Ceylan rushed to hold Nesrin while Dinah attempted to assault Patanī.
Patanī formed a circle of lightning around himself that repelled Dinah before she got near. His voice was dark as the emptiest part of the universe. “When I learned that humans of the current generation believe their elders to be stupid, I hoped that our people had not fallen into the same condition. Judging from the treatment I have just received from you three, it seems my hope was misplaced. Dare I now to hope you will learn from this experience, now that your arrogance has left one of you pathetic and powerless?”
The last three words plunged into Nesrin’s heart like a stiletto. She looked desperately into Ceylan’s eyes, and saw something that she knew was still in herself too. Inside herself, Nesrin picked up the shattered particles of her courage and self control, and put them back together.
Nesrin’s eyes changed into black water. “You’re wrong.”
She raised her left hand. Water flowed out of a plant pot and turned black. It shaped itself into a liquid cord and wrapped itself around Patanī’s wrist. He howled as smoke started to rise from where the cord made contact with his body. He dropped the necklace.
Continued next week
Link to next installment: https://anindeterminatenumberofnights.blog/2020/02/07/greetings-from-the-styx/
Link to previous installments: https://anindeterminatenumberofnights.blog/category/misplaced-fire/