Even gods sleep and even gods dream and Artemis dreams tonight.
She is walking with her brother (in a hospital? why a hospital? she can smell something burningburnt) and they are young and golden. He is teasing her as always, teasing her that he’s a better shot and that he always will be and she snarls at him in play, like puppies in the litter.
I brought you into this world, she says. Don’t make me take you out of it.
He laughs and laughs, but there is something else behind his bright eyes and she wants to ask What’s wrong, what aren’t you telling me? but she doesn’t and she feels it in her chest even now, the regret that will never quite go away or be buried or be healed.
He dares her, in the end, like always, to hit that speck from here-—suddenly they are standing on a balcony, on nothing, and she can see all the wide ocean laid out before them and it makes perfect sense, the way things do in dreams. She draws her bow that wasn’t there a moment ago and in the distance she can hear someone screaming, she can hear herself screaming and she doesn’t understand why, not until she lets the arrow go.
Before it hits home she is screaming, she is runningflyingfalling and she knows it is too late, always too late when she hits the water and swims and swims oh no please no not him not like this--
But it is him and it is like this, as she holds his body up and sees the arrow in his eye and she may never stop screaming.
She wakes still screaming and she can taste salt in her mouth (not her tears, but the seawater, she knows this she knows this) and salt in her hair dried it stiff, like his blood from where she cradled him. She knows in her bones that this place brought the dream to her and she hates it for one blinding moment, she hates, and then all she can do is sob over and over: