Prompt: “You waited with me.”


When I open my eyes, I’m lying in the grass, facing a darkening sky. Somewhere to my left, the sun is almost done setting.

I don’t even remember passing out.

My head feels like it might explode. I don’t feel any bumps, but when my hand comes away so I can check for blood, I’m shocked to see the scribbles from the now blank wall etched into my skin.

“I told you not to touch the damn wall.” After how eager he’d been to move on, to finish what I’m now starting to see as a doomed quest, I half expected Arius to leave me behind. Death hasn’t exactly made a secret of how little he cares about my fate.

“You waited with me.” It’s not like he needs me anymore, either, now that I’ve located this place for him. “Why? Why wait with me when you could just leave me here?”

The look on his face tells me he’s almost – but not quite – offended by my words.

“I’m not a monster, you know. And left to your own devices, you’d likely go around touching more things you shouldn’t.” He gestures at my skin, at all the markings.

“Are these permanent?”

“Let’s hope not.” He offers a hand to help me up. Reluctant, I take it anyway. “Now let’s go. The sooner we find that book, the sooner I can get those markings off you.”

I’m not sure if he continues to hold my hand for his benefit, or mine.


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As always, think happy thoughts!