She touched the red leaves, just a brush as light as breath that left them trembling in the reflection from the crystal. They were the only color in the pitch black tent, tiny sparks accentuating the crystal’s glow.
It was all an illusion, of course. The light absorbent black drapes lining the inside of the tent led to an all but invisible gap at the pinnacle, allowing a single shift of light that produced a seemingly innate glow in the crystal directly below it while leaving the rest of the tent in impenetrable darkness.
Including Jet. How long had it been since she had been seen by another human? How long since the shadow ring had claimed her for eternal darkness? The illusion that awed carnival patrons hid her secret that held her forever aloof from the world.
Already knowing what she would see, she cupped her hands around the crystal. The leaves vanished, but no hands were visible. Only empty darkness that threatened to overwhelm the solitary gleam of light. This tent, this single crystal with its trappings, remained her last link with humanity, the last reason for human speech to ever address her.
The flap lifted and an unidentifiable figure slipped inside, their rapid breathing loud in the black hole that was her existence. “You wish to speak to the Shadow?” she whispered from the shelter of the crystal. “What is your deepest desire?”