Dawn had crested before I walked into the shadow of the first rocky spire. The sun was approaching zenith before I found a place that the child and I could spend the remainder of the day safely. I was glad that I did too. The sky had an ominous color to it that I didn’t care for at all.
“Listen Child – I’m sorry I don’t know your name – but, you … you must understand. I have to rest. I can’t if I’m worried that you will wander away. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
The child looked at me like a curious bird and then nodded and snuggled down and strangely pulled the cloak over us both. I was exhausted and fell asleep almost instantly, not even bothering to first look for the seep. It was not long before I was trapped in a dreamscape.
It was that night again and I was being pulled down the hall to the door. Shadows flickered wildly and a noxious breeze stirred the candles in the sconces on the wall. And when I turned expecting to see my husband, instead I saw a man shape that was so dark within that it seemed to be the one causing the lights to flicker and seem dim. No matter how I fought, just like that night I could not escape. The hand that grasped my arm was so cold that it burned. Closer and closer to that door it dragged me. I knew what it wanted, not the bed but to force me to relive that hideous collect. I knew that if it happened I would wind up mad like I nearly had that night. Then the shadow hand was upon the doorknob and was turning it.
Unlike in my memory a great crash that seemed to shake the Hall and interrupt the sequence of events that had been. The Shadow was furious and tried to pull me harder and faster but the crash came again. Every time the crashing noise came the shadow’s grip on me lessened dnd then there was a crash so loud the walls of the Hall began to fall.
I sat up gasping for air. My grip on the child was tight but she didn’t protest as I whispered, “It’s all right. Whatever it was is gone. It’s all right now.”
I don’t know if I rocked her or myself but she seemed to understand that I needed to and when I finally took hold of myself I looked down and said, “I apologize. I hope I didn’t frighten you.”
She didn’t answer my question but pointed. I looked and there was a horrendous storm heading our direction. Before I could really process what I was seeing the entranceway was blocked and in rushed several small bodies.
“Come Lady. The washing water is coming. We must go higher.”
I wasn’t sure what the boy referred to but he reminded me enough of Jude and Jode that I knew he meant no harm. Especially when he picked up my staff, handed to me and said, “Best move now.” He took my empty hand and guided me out of the hole I’d been hiding in and up a steep and rocky trail.
At that moment I could not have said whether I was still in a dream or awake even if my life depended upon it.