Era was stunned. She barely noted the cloak that was wrapped around her.
But then Emi asked her a ridiculous question. Of course she could speak! She talked all the time. Era opened her mouth to say so, but when she did her throat constricted. Her words somehow condensed into a hoarse squeak.
More than anything else, Era's focus was drawn to the empty feeling at her core. She couldn't sense her inner fire. In a voice scratched and strangled from never having been used, Era managed to ask, "What's wrong with me? Where's my fire?"