Chapter 44: In Which I Wake

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All stars are born in the dark, 

and all darkness dies, 

in the light.

I wake up screaming

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I wake up screaming.

Hands grab me, pinning me down, making me fight against the attacker.

The nameless man.

Back with another.

"It worked! It worked!"

I scream it for him to hear.

For him to realize that I had no more strength in me to stick a needle in another victum.

"No," I'm sobbing now as the hands soften in their hold on me, "It worked, don't bring another, please."

Another sobbing reaches my ear.

Oh.

The hallucinations.

Alto.

"Fayette, it's okay. You're here. You're here. I'm here. You're not at that place anymore."
I sigh as my eyes spin wildly around, trying desperately to seek the source of the voice.

Then I see him.

I gasp.

"Alto."

I laugh then, "Alto!"

He is staring at me in shock as I trace his face.

"Alto I'm so happy to see you again."
He is shaking. I frown and watch as a tear falls from his face.

"Don't cry Alto. It's not real."

He shakes his head and leans closer, pressing his forehead to the bed.

The bed.

Bed?

I still as I take in my surroundings.

"Where are we Alto."

It's a whisper of fear.

What new torture had the nameless man created for me?

"The palace. Breen Palace Fayette. You're home."

I shake my head.

"Not possible."

Alto grabs my hand, the sensation real and warm.

I gasp at the contact.

"It's real Fayette."

I stare at Alto.

It takes me a second to register his words.

But then I'm coughing.

"Fayette?"

I cough and cough, my lungs and throat burning as I try desperately to stop the sound.

But I can't.

And Alto soon sees the red that is splattered on my hands.

"What is this?"

He's clinging to my skin, his eyes showing a new window of horror as I say, "I'm sick."

His eyes close as he takes in a deep breath.

"With what."

I shrug, "What my mother was sick with."

A strangled cry leaves Alto as he opens his eyes, fresh tears surfacing there.

I smile.

He knew my mother's ending.

"Don't cry Alto," I reach up and feel his face again. So real. It felt so real.

"It's not real."

"

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