This is a follow up to Tunnel Vision.
“Maybe we were too late?” Sarika threw her makeshift staff into the woods. “It did take us a while to find this place.”
“The man said she would leave a sign if she arrived before us and had to leave.” Ash gestured at the walls around them. “There’s nothing here.” She shook her head. “Something’s happened to her, I know it.”
Ash closed her eyes, and turned her focus inward, searching. “I don’t know,” she said, finally. “I can’t tell if it’s that, or just basic instinct. But there is something off around here.” She opened her eyes again, walking to the mouth of the tunnel. A cool puff of wind twined around her neck, ruffling the choppy edges of her hair at the back of her neck. She lifted her hand, trailing her fingers through the current of air as it passed by, and frowning when she felt the way it suddenly shifted. Instead of continuing on its path, it turned back, curling around her like a child in need of comfort. “What-?” Behind her, she heard Sarika’s footsteps as she moved closer. Pushing the sound away, Ash concentrated on the quicksilver flashes of emotion the wind buffeted her with. Anger, distress, fear…so much fear. And underneath it all, sorrow. She bowed her head.
Ash looked over her shoulder at Sarika. “We only checked the forest for the living.”
Sarika stared back at her for a moment, face blank. Then she lunged.
Ash didn’t fight as she felt her sister’s fingers dig into her shoulder. The familiar sensation of being pulled through a tunnel of air surrounded her, and then she was stumbling, tripping after Sarika out of an alley and down the stairs of a nearby subway station. As she caught up, she heard her sister muttering under her breath, curses in English spattered throughout their native Hindi.
Bright purple petunias poked up between the cracks in the sidewalk as they passed.