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« on: May 18, 2021, 07:13:02 PM »

Where had it come from? Pella stumbled, knee bruising on a rock hidden beneath the sand. Hissing in pain, she scooped the sheets back into the basket they'd spilled from. Heaving herself to her feet, she swung the basket up behind her, woven reeds crunching against her hip.

The wind whipped her hair around her face, long dark strands clinging to her lips and tangling with her eyelashes. Pella shook them away as she ran back into the house, trying to save her clean laundry from the ripening sky. Rain drops chased her up the walk, pattering against the ground before beating on the roof.

The sky grew darker. The wind tore at the trees and blew sand against the door. Thunder crackled, followed by a steely cold that sent a lance of terror through Pella. "Outside, now!" She cried, just as the sky exploded. The blue-white light turned the black sky purple, and blinded her as she stumbled outside. There was a menacing creak, and then a tree toppled sideways, falling onto the house.

Nora rushed past her, stinking of terror. Pella looked back mournfully before follow the witch. The sand stung and the wind tried to knock her to the ground, but she kept hard on Nora's heels. Waves rose higher, and behind them the world seemed to scream. "The sea, Nora, the sea!" Where were the others? Pella pushed at Nora's back, driving the girl, though she hardly needed the goading.

Nora vanished into the waves, pale flesh quickly replaced by spotted seal skin. Pella followed her in, though her shift took longer. Sleek and dark, she dove down, chasing after Nora's dappled form. The girl was a better swimmer. Her Tiger Eye flashing in the tumultuous waters. A wave caught them, driving Nora down and Pella up as it swooped through the sea.

Pella felt the air leave her as something slammed against her back. Panic driving her as a dark shadow passed between Nora and herself. *Dive, Nora, dive!* She could feel the Darkness calling, and wondered if Nora felt it too as she vanished into deeper waters. Sinking beneath the storm while Pella rose into it. Breaking the surface amid white caps to catch her breath again.

And then down. Down into the water. Pella let the current take her away. Her Purple Dusk reaching outward. For Pella. For Aramis. Even for Emile. Any of them. Only Nora responded. Deep, dark and lost. Pella trailed her for a while. Deeper, ever deeper, into the sea, and the Abyss. But then she had to move onward. She couldn't take the journey with Nora, not with the sea dragging her away. Past crumbling shorelines and out into open waters.