That night, Jihan dreamt of fire.
The flames licked at his arms, they melted through his skin and into his bones. When Jihan looked up, he saw House Arezo aflame. Above him, the sky was stained with blood. Something fell from the sky. When Jihan held out a small hand in front of him, he caught one of the droplets on his palm. He recoiled as the smell reached his nose.
It was raining blood and it had started to soak into the very earth. With every step Jihan took, he sunk into the bloodstained Arezo grounds. His legs were too short, he could not run fast enough and soon Jihan found himself knee-deep in blood, blood, blood–
A voice called him from the red shadows but no matter where he looked, Jihan saw no-one. He was alone. He was alone with their burning House and a bleeding sky.
He knew that voice.
“Asitari!” Jihan cried out, looking around. “Juda!”
His brother’s voice continued to pierce the silence, but Jihan saw nothing.
He fell to his knees, sobbing. Jihan wiped a hand against his face. It came away with blood.
Jihan jolted awake, clutching at his throat. Hands grabbed at his shoulder. A voice repeated something over and over again. Someone was calling his name.
“Jihan,” when Jihan looked up, he came face to face with Juda. “You’re awake,” his brother murmured, slumping back against the frame of Jihan’s bed. He looked dishevelled, hair in disarray as though he had just woken up. “You were crying in your sleep.”
Jihan swallowed against the roughness in his throat. “I saw Arezo on fire again,” he muttered, looking at the palms of his hands. They were free of bloodstains.
“It was just a nightmare,” Juda said gently as hurried footsteps came up the stairs and Ariyana peeked worriedly through Jihan’s bedroom door. Juda sighed, patting the space next to him. “Just a nightmare.”