My head is spinning. I knew that it would be an adventure to come to this island, but I never could have imagined all of what has been happening since I got here. Something strange happened again tonight. I saw him again. I don’t know why it happens or what brings it on, but this was the second time within two days that I’ve seen Kylo Ren in the flesh, even though we are worlds apart. The first time it was like the beginning of a hazy dream. Something felt off but I knew exactly when that jolt of vertigo overtook me that someone was watching me. I turned and looked right at him, as if I had known he would appear there all along. Nothing much happened, but today it was something different. I saw him for a lot longer, and not only that, but we actually talked. I don’t know how he has the gall to talk to me after what he did, but somehow he manages without so much as a flinch in his eye. He kept trying to get through to me, trying to get me to tell him where I am. As if I would reveal my location and the location of Luke Skywalker to him. How is he so calm when he talks to me? It’s unnerving. The stomach is in knots just thinking about it.
I roll over in my bed and watch the bugs crawl over the stones on the inner walls of the hut. They flick their wings and scurry between crevices. What do they feel their purpose is? They seem to know where they want to go, but what of the world do they really know?
Porgs squeak outside, and Chewy is roaring in his slumber. My chest tightens as I think of the others waiting for me with Leia and what is going on out there. I hope Kylo and Snoke haven’t managed to find them. I’m sure they’re all right. They’re in capable hands. Still, I can’t help feel that I’m so far away from making progress with Luke. He’s a stubborn old man these days—nothing like the legend I’ve heard of.
I stare at the mended hole I blasted into my hut that first time I saw Kylo. The keepers of this island did a good job at covering it up, but it still has a scar that I know cannot ever fully go away. I stare at the cracks spreading from the filled hole like spider veins and think about the way it felt when the force brought me to such madness. What powerful things it is capable of. Why Kylo, though? Why do I feel the force so strongly between the two of us? Why is it bringing us together?
Something loud roars outside and makes my heart skid against my chest. I bolt up and reflexively grab for my blaster; my fingers curl around it as I listen for further movement.
I must be overtired, ironically, as I can’t seem to sleep.
I get out of bed and tuck the blaster beneath the hem of my shirt and clip it onto my pants. I open the door and head out into the brisk night.
Clusters of stars beam against the ripples of waves crashing against the base of the cliff. Fresh air licks my skin. I close my eyes and feel the misty breeze of salty wind caress me into a different state—one where I wasn’t worrying that everything was up to me. Where the galaxy wasn’t hanging by a thread and I was there blocking the scissors.
Monsters in the waters below roar and murmur in the curls of the tides.
That must be the noise I heard, I think to myself. I’m used to all sorts of noises, but the unsettling quietness of this strange island has got me on edge.
The wind swirls all around me, twirling around my body and hugging my limbs. My eyes are still closed, but the wind is starting to overtake me now.
The air moves faster—a current against my skin. Something ripples up my body and jumbles my mind. My head buzzes as air pushes against my chest.
My eyes shoot open and my head darts behind me. I fall to the ground and catch my breath. Gathering myself and my bearings, I push my fingers into the earth and catch hold of as many blades of grass as I can. Just as I realize where I have felt this dizzying feeling before, I hear a familiar voice booming in front of me.
“Rey,” he says.
My throat catches on my swallowed breath.
Read the rest of the chapters of ‘The Madness that Binds Us’ here.
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