Chapter XXV

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I remained in that state a couple of hours, in that bridge between light and darkness. My mind still had problem to process everything that was happening around, the images, the sounds, the feelings, but knowing that Pandora was still alive made know it had been worth it as well.

Pandora and I were in the beds while Gail and Draxen prepared something to eat. I had forgotten how much I missed my meals, and now, just smelling what was being done in the improvised kitchen, was a slow and sweet torture.

She was the one who woke up first after some minutes. Pandora was used to this kind of things, her body generated the energy to recover, but mine did not. It will take me longer to be in my senses again. However, while I waited, still numb, I was somewhat aware of what was going on around me.

I knew Pandora was preparing herself for another spell, I knew Wiese were asking her some things, I knew Gail was worried, and I knew Draxen tried to calm down the whole situation. I also knew they were worried about me, except for Pandora. She understood how no magical creatures, mortals, were affected by her kind of magic, and that it was a matter of time before I could speak again. It was the wait that tortured her.

There were many things to think about during the time I would pass in such a state, mostly, the last wishes of Martin. I still couldn't believe he decided just to give up, to die the way Elizabeth choose years ago, but then, what could I know  about it? It could have been a before I was born, hundred years ago, and my mind wasn't capable of imagining what it was like to resurrect such a nightmare again and again. To see the life in front of you every single second but being a mere viewer.

 One part of me wanted to understand him, but the other had real, big problems with it. Why would you swim so much just to drown when you just saw the beach? I just couldn't get it, my head hurt by trying to make some sense of it. My head...

Then I remembered what Wiese had told me about thinking in my own, real body. Pandora always said that altered states of consciousness helped when doing magic, and I knew I wouldn't die, that I would only be a couple of seconds, being optimistic, in my body, feeling for real once again.

I imagined my hair, remembered its color, the way it caressed my back when I danced in the gardens of the castle. How was it to look with my eyes, the brightness and the darkness I could see, how they hurt when I looked at the sun by accident or when something feel on it. I remembered the rain in my skin when I was a little girl, the wet ground, the mud, the way the grass felt under my feet.

That only caused a chain reaction in my mind. I came all the way down, got lost in the memories, one after the other. From the smell of meals in the big room to the clothes I used to put after a bath in my room, the aroma of roses on the right side of my bed to the tiredness after reading a good book or listening to the royal orchestra.

I felt as if I lost all the air inside my lungs, as if my heart had frozen for a second. Everything collapsed, just as if a tower crumbled over me, breaking my bones and my skull. However, it felt as if, after the hell and pain, something better came inside of me.

My head started to hurt when the new sensations hit me, everything became so confused it scared me. What if this was a mistake? What if it was better to wait? But there was also a tiny voice in my head telling to keep going, to keep pushing and keep remembering being ... alive.

The word struck me like a lightning when I finally felt something.

There was a deadly silence and something hard against my back. It was difficult to tell, but it was as if I were lay on something, not a bed, but maybe a rock, although it was comfortable somehow. My eyes tried to move under my eyelids, feeling some kind of light, brighter, stronger than the one in Dreamare, but I had not the enough strength to make them do so.

A breeze came out of nowhere, freezing me completely, making something move, something that covered my body. I realized it was clothing, maybe even one o my dresses, maybe something else, but it was cloth, real one. I had forgotten how it felt like. I had forgotten how everything felt like.

I had no time to feel all of that, as my body collapsed once again, wrapped me in pain, hurt, sorrow, sank me in a dark hole and left me where I was, or where my spirit was. My eyes were able to open, still confused for so many different sensations, for such intensity, and my heart was beating, excited, infusing energy in my veins.

The first thing I saw was Wiese drawing more runes in papers. They felt when I rose and came running to hug me. I was still dizzy, nothing was as clear as I wanted it to be, but my eyes started to focus after some seconds.

"Alynne! Alynne!" They sobbed in my shoulders. I couldn't do anything else but hug back and feel sorry for causing them to worry about. It felt as if I had lied to them. The first thing I told and the one I kept doing again and again.

"I'm sorry, but I'm back." Was all I could say.

I listened something near to us. The first thing I thought about was putting Wiese out of danger, but they took my hand before I did any movement.

"It's only us, there are no shadows, not now." They said, already worried again.

"But..."

"Good morning, Ally," said Pandora, scaring me. Where had she came out from?

"I was starting to worry," now it was Draxen who was speaking.

"Me, too." Although she did in a low tone, I recognized Gail's voice and the blurry image I had of her.

"People, please, I didn't die or anything," I was ashamed and wanted to die for real when they came to me with so much relief in their faces.

"That's because of Pandora," explained Weise, "she cast a spell on all of us."

"What? Wait a moment, wait..." I tried to get up, but I fell once again into the bed, but this time to fall dead and sleep.

" I tried to get up, but I fell once again into the bed, but this time to fall dead and sleep

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