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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“What in heaven's name is going on here?” she asked. Sayana had been oblivious to
her entrance, but upon hearing her voice the glow from her body diminished, then
disappeared completely. She quickly took the shard off from around her neck and handed
it back to Aiden, looking slightly guilty.
“I was just talking with Aiden,” she stammered.
“There's nothing wrong with that Sayana, you don't need my permission to do
anything,” Nellise assured her. “But what was that light all about?”
“She was testing a possession of mine to see if it had some intrinsic power,” Aiden
volunteered. “I wasn't expecting the light show, but I assume that means something
“You are correct, that glass shard is what I am sensing,” she confirmed. “But I don't
know why! Is there anything else you can tell me about it? Perhaps, where you found it?”
“Not a great deal I'm afraid,” Aiden sighed. “It was a glass sphere about as large as
your head, and it was glowing softly. I picked it up and... I felt very strange for a few
moments. Then I received a mild shock, which prompted me to drop the sphere, which
shattered on the ground.” He no longer told people the whole truth about what had
happened, as he'd been ridiculed too many times in the months afterward. “I've been
spending years trying to find out more about its origins. This shard was taken out of my
hand afterward, and I wear it as a reminder.”
“Nothing else?”
“Just that the sphere had some odd symbols around it, markings not unlike writing,”
Aiden added. “I figured they have some relevance, so I spent much of the last few years
trying to learn more about these sorts of things. Just before we left for Culdeny the other
night, I finally obtained a book that has more information. Not much to go on, but I plan
on pursuing it when I have the time.”
“I would very much like to know more about this,” Sayana said, her voice reflecting
the kind of eagerness that Aiden himself felt, pushing him to learn what had happened to
him on that day in the cave, years ago.
“We can talk more about it on the trip north,” he assured her. “I should go and have
some breakfast before we set out. Uh, was there something you wanted Nel?”
“Oh, I was in the hallway and saw that strange light coming from underneath the
door to your room, so I thought I'd see what was going on.”
“That's quite alright. Were you just sitting out in the hallway?” Aiden asked. The
night's rest had done her good, and there was no sign of injury. She had even purchased
yet another white robe to replace the bloodied and torn one. But there was clearly an
issue weighing on her mind.
“Yes I wanted to speak with you as soon as you arose. I'm afraid I won't be coming
with you when you venture north to Culdeny,” she said with finality. “I will be staying
Chapter Nine
In the time it took Aiden to respond to Nellise's statement, several possible reasons
flashed through his mind, none of the m good.