It was sunfaded and distant, the voice in his head. It came through, stirring his senses, pulling him up from somewhere deeper.
“Theo, are you alright?”
Theo gasped, it felt as if he had suddenly been submerged in cold water, all lucidity and nausea and icy wetness at once. It was dark all around him, and he was squinting into the bright light, throwing up a hand in front of his face.
“Sten?” Theo asked. His voice sounded weak, clogged with phlegm.
“Were you sleepwalking? Come on, get over here.” He moved over to Theo, handing him his cloak. Theo looked down, he was barefoot, his nightclothes were soaked through from the rain. He felt oddly distant, not registering how cold and numb his feet were. The heavy warmth of Sten’s cloak on his shoulders seemed to center him more firmly down, made him think about what he was doing, where he was, what was happening.
For a minute he thought he was back at the barracks. It was a quiet Sunday morning and he wasn’t working on shift, everyone else had cleared off and he was sleeping in. He got to wake up naturally, peacefully, without the clang of the bell alarm chiming in his ear.
He focused slightly as a faint, piercing shriek resonated through his ears. Theo squinted, staring up at the ceiling. He wasn’t in the barracks. No, he knew where he was. He sat up, squinting out the window by his bed that spilled sunlight over the room. He heard the shriek again, looked out and saw the edge of a shadow glide across the sky.
The peach’s skin broke as he sliced into it with a paring knife, sticky juice spilling onto his fingers. Theo didn’t look up. He cut away a slice of tender flesh, peeling off the fuzzy skin. “Yeah?” he asked. “Why are they saying that?”
Hodger wasn’t a reliable source. None of the soldiers at their level could be considered reliable sources. It was all gossip mongers down here in the mess hall, recruits who knew their orders and not much else. They could guard the prison and do their jobs well, but when it came to acutal facts, Theo was having trouble getting a proper answer out of anyone.
He had a few good questions too, questions about a particular assignment that he had just received. He had gotten a letter regarding special guard service on the other side of the kingdom that very morning. A six month assignment, a reward for a good job done at his regular service duty. That sort of thing.
Theo knew nothing about the assignment. He knew nothing about the prisoner either. But a witch…
The biggest fear I have with my characters and my writing is that I don’t represent enough or that my writing is offensive and like everytime I try to work on a character that anxiety plagues me so much oh god
i feel u
I usually hate commenting on anything social-justicey related, but I’m going to comment on this because it involves something that I think might be reassuring to hear for anxious writers.