37

Laughter, low and dark and sickly sweet, acted like a wind that slowed his decent but not enough that he knew the inevitable landing wouldn’t kill him. He was falling too fast for anything short of a miracle to stop him in time. He’d have said magickal if magick worked in this place. Wherever this place even was.

He’d been here for ages, trapped in an endless loop of falling and dying. Nothing he did stopped it. Nothing ever really even slowed him down, though gods only knew he’d tried everything he could think of. But now? Well now the rules were changing, apparently. And he didn’t know whether to be scared by that or excited. Because if the rules changed, maybe, just maybe, they would act in his favor finally.

If only I were so fuckin’ lucky. He touched the scars that marred the skin around his left eye and sighed heavily. And I’m anything but lucky. 

That laughter rang out again, so familiar it ached as it bounced around him, as it buffeted his skin like a persistent wind. It was rolling and deep, filled with equal parts elation and darkness. But try as he might he couldn’t place where he knew it. Couldn’t pull up the memory of the last time he’d heard it and why it elicited a grin that made the muscles of his face hurt, that sent adrenaline coursing through him, the kind one only felt when a long awaited fight was sparked off. It was a promise of release, of an uncoiling of muscles, of the sounds of magick in a battle, of the press and give of bodies and lives and death made mortal. And he craved more of it. Not just because it was new, not just because it offset the monotonous repetition of his current existence but because it reminded him so much of what he didn’t have anymore.

It reminded him of home and the he had failed. And just like that the memory came screaming into existence just as he made contact with the ground.

“Rhyshladlyn.”

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