, , , , , , , , , , ,

She was inside a child’s nursery. The walls papered a pale yellow, furnished with a bed, a sofa, a toy chest, stuffed animals and a huge ornate chandelier, and there, in a crib, draped with soft white curtains lay a tiny, red faced, howling baby.

“The child cries for it’s mother’s touch, Lady Stormblood.”

She’d been here before.  He would reach down to scoop the tiny creature from it’s crib and hand it to her, smiling, now.  She was dreaming.  She knew it.  This was all too familiar.

“Mommy?”  Eyla stared at her now, and she was not standing in the nursery anymore, but sitting, upright, in her bed.  “I’ll always be your favorite, won’t I, Mommy?”

Squeezing her eyes closed, confused, she shook her head and then actually pinched herself. 

Wake up, Ana. 

She opened her mouth to answer the child, but on opening her eyes again, she found herself standing barefoot in the middle of the forest. The moon shone through the treetops, fragmented, yet still bright as it hit the forest floor around her.  Closing her eyes, she inhaled through her nose, taking in the familiar scent of the place.  She knew exactly where she was.  A bird cried out somewhere in the distance and she startled as she heard the sound of wood breaking behind her at the same time as if she wasn’t alone.

“You lied!” 

Wincing, she pressed her hands to her temples as her ears started ringing, and the very ground beneath her feet began to feel unsteady as if she might pass out.  The voice was filled with so much rage.  She’d heard it before, right before …

“You lied to me, Mommy!  You LIED!”

The words reverberated in her head and Ana cried out in pain as her head began to pound, dropping to her knees, mouthing the word “No” right before everything went black.

When her eyes opened again, she expected to be awake, or at least somewhere else, but all she felt was the cold forest floor beneath her cheek, the smell of the dirt and foliage fresh in her nose and she moved a hand to brush her hair from her face, but another hand was already there, doing it for her. 

“You lied, Mommy.” 

The words were the same, but the voice, different.


She cried out as she sat up, in time to see the shock of long flowing red hair disappear into the thick forest ahead.  

And then blackness, again.