• E. Paige Burks

The Story of Gladianima - Part 15




The 36th day at sea in the 56th year of the reign of King Brieuc of House Erdos.

I nudged Kegan with the toe of my boot, jostling him from his sleep. I'd been up for hours, listening to the nagging voice in the back of my mind, and I had decided we needed to move. Not just me, we. No matter what that little whisper said.

"Kegan," I said, my voice hoarse from the lack of rest and sufficient water. "Kegan, get up."

He rolled over to look at me towering over him. He seemed disoriented for a moment, but then he noticed that I had my bag slung across my shoulders. "Where are you going?" he asked, his voice hoarse like mine, but guarded.

"It's calling me again," I said, feeling a chill seep into my bones. "I can't tell if I'm crazy or it's the dehydration, or what." I rubbed my arms, despite the humid morning air. "It wants me to leave you behind..."

Kegan had sat up by this point, but he didn't move to his feet. His eyes were shaded. "Is that what you want?" he asked slowly.

"Of course not!" I barked, a bit more emotion in my voice than necessary. This thing was driving me mad, and the last thing I wanted, or needed, was to be alone with it telling me things.

Kegan lifted his hands in a placating gesture. "Okay, okay," he said gently. "Give me a moment to pack my things." He moved to his feet and pulled a few things we'd managed to scavenge from the beach into a pack of his own. It didn't take long for him to be ready, but to me it felt like a lifetime.

He turned and looked at me as he slung his pack over his shoulder. "Do you know where we're going?"

I nodded, pointing to the east. "I don't know what's out there, but that's where it wants me to go," I said softly. I felt my heart twist at the idea. "It tells me to walk into the setting sun."

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