The Pacific Northwest is experiencing a sun epidemic. My sales are sinking, but every indie authors and their mothers are complaining about not selling, so I’m partially relieved. It must be the sun. Unable to control the weather and the publishing market, I blissfully make lemonades by walking mile after mile and writing when I’m not walking—I wish I could do both at the same time. I’ve been also on a baking spree. More on that later.
Around mid-December, one rainy afternoon, I was sitting on the floor, hoping to sense her aura and feeling bereft without her mental presence to soothe my pain. A familiar but unpleasant feeling possessed me. Darkness embraced my mind and I was sucked up into the tunnel before I could react.
I was enraged, but not surprised to see both Areel and Kam at the other end waiting for me. “What did you do?”
Kam waived one hand in the air. “You didn’t give us a choice.”
“And you thought forcing me here would be for the best?” I had never come to feel so close to want to beat anyone. Physical energy built in me and needed to be released. “You thought involving Lex to give you my mental signature would be a good idea?”
“We didn’t know what to do—” Areel stepped forward and I stepped back. “I’m not going to force a Share on you!”
“Wouldn’t you now?” I looked at them and they flinched. “What did you tell Lex?”
“Nothing.” Kam lowered his eyes on the ground.
I shook, fists by my side. “Lex wouldn’t have given you access to my mental signature so that you could summon me here against my will for nothing. What did you tell him?”
“That you needed a vacation, but you were too busy with your mission to be bothered to take a break.” Areel gestured for me to look around.
Only then, I finally took in where we were, and it wasn’t our usual spot. “What are we doing on Karillion?” It was a place we used to go on vacation, a tropical island close to our Academy. Ancient pink sand beaches with perfumed seawater and warm temperatures. I looked down at my feet already buried in the shore. The fine pebbles mixed with the sand and moved at once with the water, rolling back and forth and creating a melodic sound, almost music. I had always though it was the most relaxing place in the universe. Not at the moment. “I am still doing my job. This, what you did, is uncalled for.”
Areel maintained his gaze on me. “We only wanted to help.”
I felt angrier. I didn’t like to feel vulnerable and right then I was devastated. “I wouldn’t stop working on a mission for anything and you know it.”
“That wasn’t our concern.” Kam discarded the cloth around his waist and waded into the water. “Come.”
*Today’s drawing is an inked version of one of the illustrations I made for The Prince’s Day Out. I used Paint.Net as my usual to saturate the colors of the original and I added the ink filter.