Chapter 88

For a split second, Andie stood in stunned silence. Then she turned her attention toward the businessman whose mindscape she’d just been kicked out of. The dream smoke coming off him was gone, there was no re-entering his mind tonight.
Streams of semi-coherent cursing flew out of Andie’s mouth, followed by her hurling her sword down at the ground.
Then, there was silence – broken after several seconds by the businessman. “Nnngh… What…?” He glanced around blearily, his eyes looking right through Andie and Cedric. “…Again? This happens every time I come up here…” He stood up and walked over toward the edge of the building. For at least a solid minute he stared emptily down at the streets below him. Once more, he’d completely lost the will to jump. He felt like such a coward. “…Dammit.”
For a brief moment, Andie swore she could see a flicker of determined red light in the businessman’s eyes. Similar in hue to Dyllan’s Will to Live.
“You know what? Fuck it.” The businessman pulled his phone out from his pocket and started to type in a number. He hesitated, then started the call. As the phone rang, he made his way to the stairs down the building. “Hello? It’s me, Marley. We need to talk.” He spoke with a determined hope.
Andie didn’t hear what happened next, but she could tell that her patient had finally worked up the nerve to try and change his situation – to make his life better.
“…Cedric. We need to find Dyllan.” A fierce calm kept Andie’s tone of voice flat. “Now.” She turned to look her friend in the eyes. “Where do we start looking?”
“Well.” Cedric gestured behind Andie. “That’s where his house is.”
“And you think he might be there?”
“Okay, I can see how what I said was confusing. Let me rephrase.” Cedric cleared his throat, and gestured more emphatically. “That thing that is there behind you? It exists in the same general location that Dyllan’s house does.”
“Thing? What th…” Andie turned to look behind her. There, pluming out from the city below, was a massive storm cloud of black and red dream smoke. It swirled with a slow menace and crackled with vicious lightning. “…ooohhh. That thing. Okay. Oookay. Okay.” Andie took a few steps backward, her voice and facial expression quivering slightly with fear. She shook it off. “Okay!” She took a deep breath, picked up her sword, and exhaled sharply. “OKAY!” Her grip on her weapon tightened, her normal determined expression returning. “LET’S DO THIS!”


A note from the author ninja:

Courage is a virtue, but fearlessness is a vice.

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