Kaleigha looked in the direction of the village, hoping for a glimpse of Kahrim. The dying fire gave just enough light to illuminate the forlorn ghosts lurking around them. None of the figures was Kahrim.
“Would you like to hear about the war?” Ilma asked.
Kaleigha shook her head and back away from Ilma.
“Of course not,” Ilma smiled at her. “I imagine it is all in your head anyway.”
“I don’t believe you,” Kaleigha said. She did believe Ilma, but her instincts told her to stall for time. “You are just an old ghost seeking attention.”
“You are not like Kasim,” Ilma’s smile did not waiver. “You do not mean those words. You can sense the world beyond, Fadian. Glimpsed it when you blink. Remember it when your mind is too quiet.”
Kaleigha took a step back. The mention of Fadain made her feel dizzy and strange. She did not feel safe here in the darkness with Ilma. Partially because the woman was right, partially because she dreaded her fate. She searched again for Kahrim, but the dimness revealed nothing.
“It is time to leave this dream, Fadian,” Ilma whispered, sending a tremor through Kaleigha’s being. “I know you can feel the pull of the world that needs you.”
“This is the world that needs me,” Kaleigha moved back in the direction of the village. “The poor grovel in the shadow of the rich and the labor leaders have betrayed us.”
“That is just a thought with fangs,” Ilma said following her. “A dream I had that grew legs and walked away from me.”
“And what happens to your dreams once you wake?” Kaleigha asked. The bright boundary of the village was just up ahead. She stopped and waited for Ilma to catch up.
“It will all dissipate.”