I should be studying, but I can’t.

Every time a new page writes itself in the Damned Tome, I eagerly check its author, wishing for another piece of inked happiness. Strangely, any absence of special messages do not disappoint – I simply know that I must have a little more patience, because they will come. It’s almost like this courtship game, something I am very slowly becoming conditioned to. Who would have ever thought that suppression could feel like this?

I turn my attention to alchemy instead. I could not have picked a better time, I need this distraction so I can’t think of the tome. I never did collect the books Alaanas had (not those books that made Ellister want to seek repentance). I can wait until some other time.

The amount of philosophy interwoven into this path has pleasantly surprised me, and I suspect it has made the studying far more interesting that I most likely would have found it. I feel like I’m getting the basics, perhaps in another couple of days I will explore the lab and pray that I do not create any disasters.

(I close my current book and look over at the tome, seeing another handful of pages written. I can feel butterflies in my stomach as my fingers touch the cover, pulling it back. No. More arguing. No personal notes. That is okay. I can draw this out, this pleasant nervousness in my heart.)

I’d been tasked with creating a simple strength potion. I have not forgotten. That was also the same night that my son, Vallaunius, joked about the stamina potion, its meaning lost on Dr. Thorley. Alaan almost got me in trouble. Not his fault, really, I just understood what he was really saying beneath the words, the teasing.

It is late, and I need sleep.

I check the tome one final time. I know there will be an exchange in the morning, perhaps a late message if he’s been unable to sleep. I anticipate them. I dream about them. The girl and I are in the field, walking amongst the tall blades of grass. Periodically, clouds of butterflies made of Light and Shadow lift up into the sky, intermingling with one another until they drift away. The wind blows as his voice whispers my name, stirring even more butterflies within my very core. Everything I touch in this dream world changes, transforms. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It makes me want to sing.


And when I awake the next morning, it’s to the feeling of air pushing against my face, a shadow quickly flitting away into nothingness.