Saving Verakko: Chapter 16


“Just a little farther.”

Broken words and phrases clanged through her head, trying to settle themselves. Lily attempted to think past the fire burning its way through her veins. Verakko? Was that his voice?

“Stay alive, mivassi.”

Am I dying? She wanted to cry and sweat the burning sensation out of her veins, but there was nothing left. Every part of her felt shriveled and weathered. A bitter taste lingered on her tongue, and acid burned in her throat.

“I need you here with me, Lily. I don’t want to be anywhere you aren’t.”

I’m here.

Stabbing waves of nausea sliced through her belly. Then it all faded to black.

***

“Help her!” A bellow pounded against her ear drums and cut into the soft parts of her brain.

Muffled conversation surfaced around her, but she couldn’t make out much of it. The blistering heat inside had dulled and left her insides brittle. With each breath, it felt like another rib snapped in two until she didn’t want to breathe anymore.

“Stay alive.” The command rang through her mind again, and she held on to it.

Something stabbed into her neck, and she screamed in agony. On the verge of consciousness again, she tried to open her mouth to plead for it to stop but only tasted blood.

***

Cold. It was so cold here. Her whole body shuddered, violent tremors jostling her aching bones. She opened her eyes, but it was like looking through amber. Everything was distorted and tinted an awful orange.

She reached out her hands, pushing past the flare of pain and unrelenting nausea, and felt a cold, solid surface a few inches to her right. She reached to the left and found another surface.

“Verakko,” she tried to call, but it came out as little more than a rasp.

She reached above her and found she was encased on all sides. Her heart began to pound faster and with each beat, shards of glass cut at her insides. Panic took over, and she thrashed through the pain. I’m trapped. Is this a coffin? Why can’t I see?

Burning sobs tore up her throat. The tears building in her eyes felt like acid. Her breathing came in short gasps. Not enough air!

“Verakko!” she screamed as loudly as she could and slammed her hands on the coffin.

A thunderous banging sounded from all around her, along with the groan of metal and the tinkling of shattering glass. He was coming for her, she knew it.

A cool mist gathered around her suddenly, and her limbs fell limp.

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