Chapter Three

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Three

Farren strides out of my chambers, his shoulders straight as ever. Sometimes I wish I could be like that: the perfect child, everything Father expects.

But then I remember wishes are useless.

The log in the fireplace crackles, sending a shudder rippling through me. I haven’t had a vision of death since… Ashe. I used to get them all the time when he was my Guardian. Always a man about the die, always with the pure-black eyes of my Ashe.

And always me as his killer.

But this time, it’d been different. The man’s eyes were red, not black. Why? Why was I even seeing these visions? They can’t be real. Unlike my other visions, these ones aren’t just images and sounds and scents. They contained thoughts. My thoughts. Which is impossible, because I’ve never killed anyone.

Yet.

I let my head fall back and my mind wander away from the vision. Farren said he’d see me in two days, but he visits me weekly. He probably just misspoke, but it’s not like what he says matters. If there’s some dinner or event I’m supposed to attend in two days, I can always ask Father to get me out of it. He favors me, since I’m his only daughter. Father still thinks my mind will recover and I’ll be queen someday, the perfect person to whisper his “suggestions” into the ear of the next king.

He’s wrong. But that doesn’t stop me from using his favoritism to my advantage.

The remnant of the fire catches my eye as it casts shadows over the room. First on the mantel, then the couch, then the chair, quickly flickering and slowly fading. It reminds me of Ashe’s wings, how they used to shimmer in the sunlight. I watch the fire until it dies, leaving one last shadow strewn across the entire room.

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