The firelight cast shadows across the chamber’s floors. Alex sat on the tripod, chewing a laurel leaf, waiting for her next visitor. The chamber’s curtain rustled and steps echoed throughout it as the visitor neared. He strode toward her purposefully. He was a handsome man, with a strong nose and sharp blue eyes. She met his eyes and smiled shyly.
“How are you friend? Tell me, why have you come?”
“I’ve come to ask about the power lurking in the west. When will they strike?” She felt her pulse quicken as he spoke. The voice that haunted her dreams and the man it belonged to, stood in front of her.
“Argus?” She asked weakly, her throat suddenly dry.
“Yes Pythia.” He said impatiently, “What of the power in the west?” He said, clenching his fists. He voice was deceivingly calm but Alex saw the faint black shadow of violence coil around him before she gave herself over to the vision that was tugging at her.
Screams of agony filed the air, the dying and the dead lay around her. The sound of metal clashing together drew her attention to the warriors in front of her. The men were caked in dirt and blood, their swords whoosing through the air only to clash together again. She identified the Grecian warrior by his black and yellow armor but she didn’t recognize what country the other man fought for. He screamed at the Grecian warrior as he made a final, killing blow. His red and gold armor shining in the sun as he turned, taking in the fallen warriors. His eyes snapped to hers, an evil smile played on his lips as he approached her slowly. Stalking toward her; trying not to startle his prey. She took a step back, slipping in the blood that soaked the ground beneath her feet. He grabbed her by the throat before she could fall back into the sea of dead bodies. She came out of the vision only to find Argus’s hand tightening around her throat, crushing her. She thrashed violently but he only chuckled.
“Do you think you can fight me Pythia? Tell me what you saw.” She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t say anything as he squeezed her throat even tighter. She slapped at his hands but he didn’t let up. She felt his hands crushing her trachea, felt it collapse in on itself before she began suffocating. He dropped her, leaving her a crumpled mess on the floor. Her body spasmed as it tried to find air, fighting to stay alive. She stared up at his smiling face, her mouth opening and closing, struggling to take a breath. She heard a wet rasping and knew the sound was coming from her. Argos kneeled down and whispered, “Are your lungs burning? Can you feel your body fighting for air?” She tried to hit him but her arm wouldn’t move, “Shh, shh, shhhhhh. Its okay, Pythia. It will be over soon. Did you know your body can’t survive very long without air? Your brain is shutting down as we speak. I can see the light in your eyes fading.” His voice became distorted as she faded in and out of consciousness. Her head fell to the side and then there was nothing left but the deafening silence where her heartbeat should have been.
Alex woke up panting, relieved it had been a dream. The feeling didn’t last though, she looked around confused, the shadows around her were unfamiliar. She struggled to orient herself, trying to find anything familiar. Where am I? She thought frantically, her eyes searching the room. She took a deep breath, steadying her heart, as she realized where she was. I’m safe, she thought. She tried to sleep but could not. Every time she closed her eyes she saw herself flailing around, fighting death.
Isaias’s words echoed through her mind, “What will stop them from coming back and hurting you, taking your things, or raping you?” She had been angry with him, but the nightmare made her reconsider his words. Maybe it wasn’t safe to live alone while Vero’s murderer was on the loose.
© 2017 Ashley Clark