I was not dead, well, still half-dead but still here above ground. I had simply passed out from the overall strain of whatever I was doing which I could not exactly recall so it must have been very intense. For how long I was out for I wasn’t entirely sure but I had awakened to hands shrugging my shoulders with increasing intensity and so crossed my arms over my face to shield myself while shouting, “No! Get away from me, you Haggard Wench!”
Calm, cool hands brought my arms down gently and I ventured to open my eyes to find not the easily excitable (and extraordinarily insane) healing bag-lady but Sophina knelt down before me, peering into my face questionably. It was quite the contrast. Sophina looked so much more outer-worldly majestic than at any other time that I had seen her. It ached to watch her, even for a moment. Black dress, black lipstick, black hair, large black eyes and a white porcelain face from a dolls from a dream that you would not want to ever forget faced me and I somehow knew that she was not here to harm or terrify me, not this time.
‘Dweller.’ She whispered.
I gazed at Sophina as an artist would a fine painting. That she was here seemed nothing short of a miracle and reinforced what Jacob had said about her being my keeper. I still did not truly understand what that entailed but I didn’t have to, not right then. I had never been so close to her and I had just opened my eyes. That in itself was its own reward. The question of why Sophina was here or how she had got here did not seem too important at the time. The fact was that she was here. I felt as though I was staring at heaven, a dark heaven filled with impossibilities to be broken.
I reached out and touched her face. Sophina did not back away, instead her eyes grew with curiosity so I caressed her and she let me, even leaned into my hand. There was such sadness in her there that I did not see before. It was breaking my heart to look at her but would only break it even more to turn away.
(Excerpt from ‘The Dweller’ Chapter 11)