TITLE: Symphony in Mist
Alverai ran the wild grounds of Soledad with his eyes closed, his gift open wide to the night. The path unfolded in his mind like a melody, the ground a bass anchor beneath his feet. Slender birch leaves trembled in the breeze, a light arpeggio of sound. Alverai heard the living connections of the world as music. With a pluck of melody, he could guide the throw of a stone, correct a misstep, slow a fall.
Gift let him parse the harmonies of a heart, glimpse its shadows and
its longings. And Gift kept him, always, apart.
By day, the Masters claimed him. But when Alverai stole from his cell by night, he surrendered to a different, deeper longing. When he ran, his skin dissolved into the melodies of sky and soil. He let the wind ride through him, clean and clear. Thought fell away. Even loneliness left him, as he slipped into the whole.
A dissonant chord teased the edge of his awareness. Alverai rolled to a halt, pushing his gift out past its usual bounds, tracking the sound. Melody kindled inside him, an unmistakable signature. Alverai spun, shattering the demon’s allure. He sprinted through the trees, feet finding the path by instinct. He thought the Masters had stripped away this nightmare, those seven years they’d cut him off from human affection and trained him to a Watcher’s discipline. But fear pummeled him now, drove him back to the heart of Soledad where eighteen trainee Bladesworn slept unaware.