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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 78)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(78) by Anne Bishop
  • “You have to clean it out, all the way to the core,” Witch said urgently. “If you don’t, your dreams will never find fertile ground.”

    “What dreams?”

    “The ones you’re not ready to know. The ones I’ve seen in a tangled web.”

    The pressure in her chest was becoming unbearable, and she wanted to back down, wanted to say she didn’t care what happened to her body. Then she imagined Lucivar trying to explain to Daemonar why Auntie Surreal never woke up after playing with him. “What do I need to do?”

    “Push them out. Let them go. Forgive yourself for what you couldn’t do.”

    Surreal shook her head, not understanding. Her chest muscles clenched again. Pus rose, but not far enough.

    “Tell me their names,” Witch said as she pointed to the black lump.

    “Whose names?”

    “The ones you couldn’t save.”

    Suddenly she knew what the lump and pus had formed around—the feelings of blame, regret, sorrow. “I can’t.”

    “Yes, you can,” Witch insisted. “Tell me their names!”

    A boy defying an order. Wings. Blood spraying the walls and floor. “Kester.”

    Her muscles clenched. Black pus burst out of the lump and soiled her shirt.

    She relaxed her muscles and took a breath. Hell’s fire, that stuff smelled putrid.

    A boy screaming and screaming. A plucked eye rolling off the shelf.

    “Trist,” she cried, bearing down to push out more of the pus. “Ginger.”

    “Not your fault,” Witch said.

    “I should have been stronger, faster, something.”

    “You were injured and then poisoned. You did far more to defend and protect than the enemy had believed possible.” A beat of silence. Then, “Who else didn’t you save?”

    The pressure in her chest kept building and building. Now that the wound was open, the older, harder pus was pushing up. “Marjane, who was my friend Deje’s girl. You remember Marjane.”

    “Yes, I remember Marjane. I remember Rebecca and Myrol, Dannie and Rose. They were just some of the girls who died in Briarwood.”

    More pus burst from the lump as Witch spoke each name.

    “They were dead before you knew they existed,” Witch said. “Yet you carry their names. Who else didn’t you save?”

    “You.” Panting and sobbing, Surreal looked at the dream whose existence had changed so many lives. “I didn’t get to Briarwood in time to save you.”

    “You weren’t in time to save me from the rape, but you got me away from that place, and that saved my life.”

    Black pus continued pushing out of her chest, fouling her clothes and the altar. As an assassin, she had killed a lot of men as payment for girls whose names she never knew. She didn’t carry the weight of those girls because she had settled the debt that was owed for their pain, for their loss.

    More pressure, but this pus was so old, had been in her for so long, it was rough and hard, scraping the skin around the open sore.

    “You’re down to the core,” Witch said. “The last name. Tell me the name of the first girl you didn’t save, the name that has hurt your heart for so many years.”

    She clenched her muscles and pushed. Had to get the core out of her or it would all come back.

    “Tell me.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire