Sleep Casting

The first thing Aisha noticed when she opened her eyes was that Julia wasn’t next to her. Getting out of bed, she threw on an oversized t-shirt and checked the main room. Sure enough, Julia was bent over her workbench.

“You must be feeling better if you’re already back at it.” She chuckled, but Julia didn’t respond. Whatever she was working on had her full attention.

“Seriously, though, don’t over do it. You need to give your body a chance to recover from that ordeal.” Still, Julia didn’t react.

Apprehension grew in her chest as she approached the work bench. “Julia?” When she looked over her partner’s shoulder, he blood ran cold.

Julia’s hands were busy crushing colored crystals and mixing the resulting powder.

“Julia!” Aisha grabbed Julia’s shoulders and shook her.

Julia turned to face her, but there was a blank look in her eyes. Aisha shook her again, and Julia blinked a few times.

“Oh, Aisha. What’s going on?”

“You tell me.” She gestured at the workbench.

Julia jumped back several steps, knocking over the stool she’d been sitting on. “What? I didn’t do that.”

Aisha moved to stand between Julia and the workbench. “You don’t remember doing this?”

“No. Last thing I recall was falling asleep next to you.”

She had never seen Julia show any fear before now, but now she seemed terrified.

“Back. Get back to bed.” Aisha began gently pushing her to the bedroom. Julia didn’t resist.

Once Julia was again in bed, Aisha gave her a worried look. “Do I have to tie you down?”

“I honestly don’t know what happened.”

“You have no idea why you tried to create another chaos crystal?”

“None whatsoever.”

“Okay. Get some rest. We’ll figure this out after.”

Julia nodded and closed her eyes.

Aisha sat in a chair to watch her. Sleep would be impossible right now anyway. Last night, Julia had told her what she could about her experience with the chaos crystal, but very little of it made any sense. And what she did understand didn’t seem to contain any clues as to why Julia would try to repeat it all.

She thought about trying to find someone who might be able to help, but leaving Julia alone right now could be disastrous. Aisha nervously chewed on the inside of her lip while trying to decide what she should do.

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