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Oneirophobia ~ Fear of dreams.

I'd had a sister once. And, although hardly anyone believed it to be true, she had been my twin.

We had looked nothing alike. I was all bold and dark. Dark hair, orange eyes, thick eyebrows, dark freckles and skin the colour of burnt cinnamon. I was like my mother, completely. Leto, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. She'd had our mother's curly hair, but had inherited nothing else. Leto was all sun matter. Dusty red hair, greens eyes, splays of dark orange freckles along cheeks of gold.

Leto was the day and I was the night. So completely opposite that all strangers had found it hard to believe we were even sisters. But, despite our differences, we had been utterly inseparable.

And now, all I had left of her were scattered dreams in which she would come, and visit me.

Leto died a few days after our fourteenth birthday, almost three years ago. After months and months of pain in the abdomen, doctors had found a cancer ball the size of a tomato tangled in her bowel system.

Things had gone downhill quickly from that point onwards. And in less than six weeks after they delivered the news, Leto died in her sleep.

If anything, that experience—the worse days of my entire life—had proved all but one thing to me. Despite everything in our seemingly indestructible nature, people like us weren't bulletproof.

Now, after three years of not having her, my mind had created its own coping mechanism which included dreaming of Leto. It was always in the same place; some dreamscape I wasn't sure actually existed in the real world. It was covered in fresh, green grass, always dewy. We would sit under the same oak tree that overlooked the same, misty lake, each time.

Leto was always different, though. Not once, did she ever come as the same person. Sometimes, she would show up looking more Zombie than Necromancer.

She would have rotting flesh, holey skin that exposed her teeth in her cheek, rib cage or fingertips. Her hair would be wild and full, filled with twigs and dirt. Her dress would be tattered and yellowed. She wouldn't speak much.

She might look at the tattoo on my thigh and recite the verse over and over again.

Fire, metal, blood & bone. Protect thy haven from creatures that roam. The Reaper's Oath, which she had herself, but wasn't ever nearly as interested in.

Other times, she might catch birds flying past and break their wings, find squirrels and set their tails on fire.

I constantly had to remind myself that it wasn't real.

Other times, she would come in an immaculate white gown, skin glowing and hair perfect-- a crown of flowers braided into her curls. We would talk for hours. About school, about our family. She would ask about my training, ask her my younger cousins Bethany and Persephone were going at school, how the hunting was—almost as if she were real and not an entire figment of my imagination.

Tonight she was like that. I sat at the base of the tree in my sleep after the hunt, braiding long blades of grass together in my hands. Behind me, I heard the hush of feet on grass and the familiar scent of Leto's homemade rose soap. She sat next to me, kissing the top of my hair.

She didn't speak, just smiled out at the water.

I smiled at her, feeling quite proud of myself for being able to memorise and recreate her image perfectly in my mind. She looked just like herself.

She didn't speak all night. Not until the very end, right before I woke in the morning.

Leto's smile deepened as she thought about something, still looking out at the water.

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