Merryn dragged her feet, zigzagging as she staggered on the inn stairs. In her room she struggled to pull off the confounded armor. The top piece finally pulled free of the buckles, she threw it on the floor. Wiggling under the covers she fell asleep.

During the night a burst of rolling laughter resounded in her head. She bolted out of bed falling on her side.

Do not fight this. You require no others, nor spirits. Your prayers to them are wasted. I will no longer be ignored.

"I—am sleeping. Wake up." A punch should do it. She punched her thigh.

Be glad I haven't taken all your energy now.

Another punch. Come on wake up.

Are you listening to me? It shouted in her mind.

"Go away."

Your perfect world is a lie. Everything you know, everything you see is going to shatter. I will be all. I'm what is real.

If her skin could crawl off and escape, it would.

Quiet spirit!

Somehow after pacing the room, checking the windows and washing her face she fell back to sleep.

The next morning she pulled her armor on quickly and rushed out the door smacking right into someone.

He grunted and rubbed his head, several strands of black hair fell loose from a leather tie. His warm brown half-moon eyes scrunched as he rubbed his head again. "Try to watch where you're going Miss."

"I'm sorry, forgive me, I don't have time for this." She lunged towards the stairwell.

He grabbed her forearm before she reached the first step.

She wrenched her arm back and forth. Can't use full strength on him, it's forbidden! "Stupid human, let me go now." She stared him down, unflinching.

A corner of his eyelid twitched. "As it was an accident, I'll ignore it, but insulting me is not acceptable." He huffed.

"Forgive me." How did that go again? She stuck her arm and hand out stiffly. Mother told me to watch my manners around these humans, she wasn't kidding. It was funny, without the treaty he'd be breaking through the hallway wall by now.

His forehead wrinkled while his lips curled into a smile as he shook her hand.

"Now then."

"I have to leave, immediately. Good bye."

Turning around, she walked down to the lobby and bought assorted supplies, filling her backpack, as stealing anything would grant unwanted attention. The guards and Maxwell would be here soon. She huffed.

An hour later, she found him leaning against a tree, near the town's back exit. Muttering several burning curses under her breath, she stopped. Don't panic, it's probably nothing. Doubling back to the seaport might work, can't miss the boat back home. Pushing past the slog of busy people she made it back to the main entrance.

She managed to make it out to the woods just past the front gate. Is he an assassin? He didn't act like one. She rubbed her neck.

Scanning ahead off towards the left was a cleared area with a shack in a grove of trees. It'll be safer than sleeping outside at least. Knocking on the door, she waited a while for an answer before pushing it open.

"Anyone here?" Clenching her fists, she stepped inside and opened them. Spiderwebs glued to her ears and face. "Ach." Nasty! The sticky stuff took forever to pull off. Everything was rotted, had better camp outside. Under a pine tree near the shack she cleared the pine needles. Mother loved camping during missions, and she always made the best hennit stew.

(On Hold)❧ Soul Tear ❧ Book One: The Last Spirit AdaptRead this story for FREE!