Without warning, I swing the door open. I should probably start using the peep-hole to avoid having a shotgun blast to my chest. Normally I would have been more tactical and smart about how I answer the door, but I was just so exhausted. However, I wasn’t usually careless. I was distracted at times, yes, careless no.
“Atë?” My eyes cut through the darkness as the raven hopped forward on its two legs. Its black eyes stare back at me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something familiar about the bird. A cold shiver ran down my back as a dark mist covered the room, and just like that, the bird was gone.
He holds up a long silver vial attached to a chain necklace. The ruby filled contents dance as the moonlight touches it. A slow, deadly smile spreads across my face as I open my hand, and he drops it into my palm. I raise my other hand, petting him as he coos and closes his eyes beneath my touch.
I shouldn’t have kissed Amy. It was less than eight hours since our date, and I already couldn’t make good on my promise to leave the past in the past. Not when Atë haunted my dreams, not when I knew she was in hell. I should be there for her. I should have ignored her when she pushed me away.
I woke up slowly, keeping my eyes closed and tried to roll over, but Luke was lying almost on top of me, his legs tangled in mine. I cracked open one eye and found him watching me. “You’re thinking too loud. It’s keeping me awake,” I groaned.
When the music dropped, the crowd in front screamed for more. I looked backstage to see Amy beaming at me. She may be a cheap knock off, but she looked so happy. I owed it to her. I owed it to Atë. I owed it to myself to make the past the past.
I placed my hands on the smooth scales of Sayeh’s back and took a deep breath. As I let it out, I tried to call back the stone that ran over her body, but it resisted. I pulled harder, fighting against an unseen force. Her body had been wrapped in the stone for too long, and it didn’t want to let go.
Quietly, I walked through the graveyard and looked at the old and crumbling headstones. Leave it to the pirates to have the most interesting names. Honestly, I was surprised that there weren’t any Seymore-Butts…oh, wait, nevermind. There it is.
They still saw the illusion, and I had a feeling no matter how many times they walked across the bridge, they’d end up at the beginning. “You have to trust me. I think this is part of a test. We have to trust each other and have enough faith to get through each challenge.”
I looked into the pool at the reflected moon and caught my face looking back at me. Darkened over and cold, I realized what must change…me. I closed my eyes and exhaled, a cold breath of air rushed out in a cloud. I have a home, a family. They are here with me.
“Oh, but I am. I am you. The real you. What would your precious family say if they saw the real you? Do you think they would still love you? Would they love the Athena we both know you really are? Take a good look! This is who you really are. Who WE are.”