October 3rd, 2016 | Published in Dragon Wars
“Other son?” Ophelia asked.
Alsia just shrugged. “Tilaran isn’t her only child. One of the others happens to married to someone I’m sort of allied with at the moment.”
“Really?” Ophelia filed that away to ask Kira about because she could sense that Alsia wasn’t going to elaborate. “So you think they’ll listen to me when they won’t listen to this other person?”
“I don’t know if they will,” Alsia replied. “In fact they probably won’t. But it’s a non-zero chance, and at this point it’s the last one I have to get them to listen.” She clenched her fists. “I need them to listen. I don’t think they understand what’s really at stake.”
Ophelia tilted her head and considered this. Her gut was telling her that Alsia was being honest and her instincts were usually good. “Okay, I’ll tell them.” She stared at the pretty bangle on her wrist. “But if they won’t trust a member of their own family I doubt they’ll trust me.” She hesitated. “And I think they understand the stakes better than you think.”
“Do you now?” Alsia said. “I hope you are right.” She reached out and laid a hand on top of Ophelia’s head. “I’m sending you back now, dear. You need still need to rest.”
The mists closed in around her, obscuring her vision completely, before clearing abruptly and she found herself back in Sera’s room sitting on the edge of Sera’s bed even though she was certain she had been standing before and had no memory of sitting down.
Kira was asleep on the camp bed and Sera was curled up in a makeshift bed which Aunt Sophie had made up for her on the floor. She considered waking the two of them but Kira had been tired after her date and needed her sleep. It could wait until tomorrow, couldn’t it? She had proof after all.
Ophelia looked down at the bracelet on her wrist. It didn’t fell cold where it lay against her skin but it certainly looked like ice. She prodded it cautiously and gasped at the chill she felt in her fingers. What in the world, how could it be both cold and not cold to the touch at the same time. She shook her head, bewildered. Still it was certainly ice and it showed no sign of melting. Which was a good sign given that Alsia had said it would melt if she chose to forget.
Still Ophelia pursed her lips at the thought of forgetting. She wanted to remember and yet even while she was still awake she could feel the encounter taking on a dreamlike quality and trying to slip away from her. She pressed her finger tips against the chill bracelet again using the stinging cold to remind herself it was real and thus her conversation had been.
Stay solid, she told it. I want to remember! I will remember! The bracelet chilled further and she got the sense it was solidifying further at her command. She nodded to herself and lay down. As she drifted off to sleep a refrain of ‘remember’ whispered through her head.