untiedtheknots: (orion)
If it had been a dream of prophecy, she might have talked to her brother about it. It would have meant talking about her dream (and his)-—something they’ve been carefully avoiding these past few weeks. But it wasn’t prophecy, just an old ugly nightmare that had found a way to touch people in the waking world.

So she goes to her cousins.

Phantasos meets her at the mouth of the cave. He smiles a little nervously when he says, "Greetings, cousin, and well met. I—-"

"Let’s cut to the chase, Phan. Please." She hates being short to him—-he’d been run roughshod over long enough by his brothers—-but this isn’t a pleasure visit and she wants to get it over with. "I need to talk to Ikelos."

Phantasos flinches. "Do you really? He’s not in a very good mood..."

She manages a smile. "He never is. But it’s important, Phan."

The youngest of the Oneiroi chews his lower lip for a moment before beckoning and leading her to Ikelos’ part of the cavern. "Be careful," he murmurs, and, after a nervous hug goodbye, he leaves her alone.

Artemis turns and looks into the dark. The dark looks back.

Ikelos, after all, deals in nightmares.

"What do you want, little hunter?" asks a voice like bone scraping over bone.

"Something of yours has slipped its bounds. It’s doing damage in the real world."

Ikelos laughs. It’s not a pleasant sound. "And you want me to put it back on its leash, hm? Just because you asked?"

She clenches her jaw. "I’ll pay, if that’s what you want."

"Would you now? I had not thought you would willingly get so involved in mortal affairs again. Even though it has gone so well for you in the past."

"Talk business, Ikelos," she snaps. "What do you want?"

The darkness smiles. "Just the knowledge that you are willing to give something up to me, which now I have. You travel too slowly, little hunter. The problem you speak of has already been solved; it will not touch that place again."

Artemis frowns. "How do I know you’re telling the truth?"

Ikelos snarls. "If I had wanted to lie, I could have taken what I liked from you and left you in ignorance. Out of my sight, little hunter, or I will tear you apart and damn the consequences."

Artemis takes a nervous step backward.

"GO!"

She runs and doesn’t look back.

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Artemis

May 2016

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