Chapter 23 - Wandering Otherworld

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Jaylina considered waiting at her present location until Michael and Bellamy were able to return—assuming they were able to return. But a sound to her left caught her attention.

Further down the edge of this floating island soul catcher, just below its rim, a nest of shadows emerged from some kind of cavity and sniffed their way toward her like dark and slithering hunting dogs.

They smelled the fire of her essence.

The soul catcher she stood on was gigantic, much larger than the one she encountered in the library. And she guessed it was old. Old enough to have accumulated the dust and debris of this universe layer upon layer until it formed small mountains along its back, like barnacles on a whale.

After a moment's deliberation, Jaylina made her way toward higher ground. She could feel the drag of her silver cord behind her and prayed the magics Michael taught her would keep it hidden from the Darkness while her solitary soul, still connected to its living body in her own universe, sought refuge.

In the Otherworld, everything seemed familiar and yet so alien at the same time. Perhaps this catcher is the Isle of the Dead, she thought. Her imagination began to get the better of her until she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

Now is no time to panic. I will know the Isle when I see it.

As she climbed the strange elevations along the back of the soul catcher, she realized her mistake. The higher she went, the more shadows sensed her presence and slipped from cold, dark fissures to search for her. She had been very wrong about this place being free of shadows. Darkness was everywhere. But it was too late to change direction. The writhing pack of shadows following her was amassing quickly.

She climbed.

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