Disappointment was written all over Phyllis’ face as she sat in the dining hall at the breakfast table, her bread lying in front of her, next to it a small pot of spook-mushroom, steaming clouds rose from the bowl as the gas filled parts of the mushroom would in early spring.

No whispers, no voice.

Only so distant that she was not aware of its presence. “Why the long face Phyl?” Gajus leaned over, the smell of spook-mushrooms on his breath. “Slept unwell Gaj.” she replied tearing her thoughts away from the whispering voice that she had not heard in her dreams. Gajus and Phyllis knew each other from childhood, they had grown up in the flock. Went to the citadel together.

Somewhere out there was a young Fungal, bearing both their heritage onwards. Neither knew whether it was a boy or a girl. Originally they had intended to gift the empire with more children, but since she had risen above him in the hierarchy their relationship crumbled. What once had been love cooled down to a distant friendship. “Hearing those voices again?”

“Its only one voice, silently hissing away in whispers!” she smirked, “And not I hadn’t heard it, which is why I slept unwell.”

Gajus nodded, his eyebrows raised.

“You should talk to one of the counselors. Even though it may be just one whispering voice, I doubt its sane.” he winked to slightly annoyed Phyllis.

Yet another reason why they drifted apart, he constantly talked as if she was crazy. Phyllis wasn’t in a talkative mood. But sometimes she longed for the days of old, a week after Crysallis had left she even had him on the rooftop, it had felt almost as if the days of old were returning.

Almost.

“I heard your lecture yesterday.” Gajus changed the topic, common practice for the ashgrey man. Only if his conversation partner was uncomfortable with a topic though.

“What about it?”

Gajus leaned back smirking. “Nothing! I enjoy your lectures, even if they make most of conjurers inferior to you and your apprentices.”

Sighing she broke off a piece of bread, dunked it in the soup and ate. “The old sermon? Yes, I still think there are two different types of conjurers, the weaker being more common, the gifted being a rare breed.” she wrinkled her forehead and smiled gently. “But that is irrelevant. What counts is our commitment to the great fungus.”

Distant whispers from a single voice.

Again Gajus raised his eyebrows, nodding in agreement. The words that left his mouth never reached Phyllis’ mind, she was concentrated on the whispering voice. It was odd to hear it as dominant as she did, since it usually blended with the background, and normally occurred in dreams.

“I am dreadfully sorry Gaj, but I must depart!” she left her half eaten breakfast and hurried to her rooftop garden. Although itvwas accessible to most of the high ranking conjurers in the citadel, and even more so to her superiors, not many people dared to disturb her peace, turning effectively into her rooftop garden.

“Who are you?” the whispering seized not to let her speak. Distraught at her obvious signs of insanity the two Florals exchange a glance of panic, fearing to be further mutilated by Phyllis. Death would be more a reward than a punishment.

Sometimes they envied their sisters on the farms Phyllis had told them about. Being left in worse conditions, and much less care the Florals tbere quickly drifted into a comatose state. “Are you really a figment of my imagination? If not seize whispering.” Silence.

A feeling of confirmation took a hold of her mind. “What do you want, who ever you are?” Blending with the Background she noticed tge whispering voice once again, but much clear as before. “Why do leave me?” Phyllis looked around. She was alone on the rooftop, she couldn’t tell where the cried inquiry came from. Curiously she rushed to the edge of the rooftop garden. On the eastern rooftop garden a few storeys below her, wad an adept.

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