This Mortal Coil: Part One

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
July 20, 1992

Artemis LaFleur stares at the young man standing before him and realizes he’s staring at a ghost.

He’s certain he’s talking to David Bernard, but he’s not sure that the man is actually here. Artigenian should have sensed him—the physical presence of an unknown should have set off all manner of wards laid across the stone, and even in this fragment of time they would function. So Bernard’s presence is not what it appears.

“You’re not really here,” Artemis says. “How are you doing this?”

David shrugs. “I don’t know how to answer that. I really am asleep right now, if that helps.”

“It doesn’t,” Artemis says. “I’m not even sure how to put that in context.”

“That’s not encouraging,” David says. “I was kind of hoping you’d be able to explain it to me. Can you stand?”