“You can see me!” My voice was shrill with disbelief. Disbelief that turned quickly to irritation as Solen’s expression returned to its usual stoic mask and raised to stare over the top of my head at the back wall of the lodge.
“I know you can see me Solen!” I walked forward until I was an inch from his chest but still he refused to acknowledge my presence. I jumped up and down trying to break his line of sight but his eyes remained fixed determinedly on their mark.
I seriously considered stamping down hard on his large moccasin clad foot, but I was worried that if I did so I might tumble straight through the floor and I really didn’t want a repeat of my earlier tumble if I could possibly avoid it.
My Father and Kiamo walked through the door then and my focus immediately shifted back to Shari. Like Solen, her expression was carefully blank, but I had known her for far too long to miss the shine of terror in her dark eyes and she looked up at the stern faces of the two men in front of her.
I looked at my father, but instead of the anger which I had expected, I only found a deep sadness in his eyes which made my heart tighten painfully in my chest. When he spoke at last, his voice held the kind of emotional exhaustion that couldn’t be remedied with any amount of sleep.
“Shari, do you have any explanation for your thoughtless actions?”
A spark of the fiery defiance which I had always admired so much returned to her bearing then.
“Thoughtless?! Just because I was unwilling to blindly sacrifice myself to the whim of a Goddess no one has even seen in centuries?!”
She tossed her tangled hair back over her shoulder and glared up at the two men.
“Solen. Baelar. Please bring the accused to face up to the true consequence of her actions.” My father turned and walked over to the doorway at the end of the room.
I knew what lay beyond that door, and my heart went out to Shari.
I understood why she had run, and there wasn’t one drop of blame in my heart toward her for my death. The Amphis had chosen to take my life, not Shari. But I knew, as with my father, Shari wouldn’t see it that way when confronted by my pale, still body lying on that trestle.
As soon as the rest of the group entered the small chamber, Shari’s sobbing wail filled the lodge with its despair. She slumped on the floor sobbing bitterly into her bound hands.
“It’s okay Shar, I’m fine. Really.” I instinctively tried to put a comforting hand on her shoulder but my fingers just passed straight through. She shuddered and sobbed harder.
“If only I could tell you.”
My gaze shot to Solen. He was looking straight at me again an unreadable expression on his face. The second our eyes met his once more darted away and fury filled me.
“How could you!” I glared up at him feeling angry tears well in my eyes. “Isn’t it bad enough that I’ve died, that my spirit is cursed and unable to move on? I’m facing an eternity all alone here, having to watch those I love suffer terrible pain and grief because of me, and to top it off, the one person on this planet who can see me, seems determined to ignore my existence, why? Why by all the Gods did you kiss me if you hate me this much?!” Before my tears had a chance to fall I ran from the room and out into the darkness.