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The Inner Realm

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The Inner Realm

Written By

Wendy Scotti

I toss and turn in my bed. Once again another headache keeping me awake. Pills, what's the use they do nothing. I sigh a deep sigh trying to find a semi-comfortable position. Will I ever sleep? I glance up at the moon just outside my bedroom window hidden amongst the tree branches. Still the same beautiful soft glow that I look upon ever night.

My breathing seems more slowly now as I'm fixed on the moon and all that it seems to give to me, peace and a wandering of what I don't know yet wish to know. My eyes start feeling heavy, yet a nice heaviness non-the less. "Such a moon," I think to myself as I drift off.

A nice warm breeze blows tonight. The forest lit by such a bright soft moon and I stand once again by the water as if I need to be there, waiting for something. I feel warm inside yet a cold dew is at my feet. I turn as if someone or something comes in the dark of night. Yet I see nothing.

A fog starts to roll in and I pull my shawl tightly around me. Not because I am cold but because the fact of it being around me makes me forget I'm alone.

I hear a whisper in the air. Yet when I look around once more nothing is there. Strange feeling. This place seems so familiar to me. I've been here before, but I have not. I know not of such a place.

I stand looking up at the moon it seems to be brighter now; growing brighter I can't look at it any more. I wake with the sunlight shining in through my window. The warmth brushes against my face. I sit up.

I had hoped my headache would be gone. I feel hope at this moment is lost forever. I try to ignore the endless pain that haunts me and go about my day as I normally would.

For a brief moment at lunchtime I sit underneath a shaded tree trying to catch a moment of silence on the air. Birds in the tree above sing and dance amongst the branches and it amuses me for a moment but the sun peeks out from behind a cloud and it catches me in the eye. I turn away quickly from the pain.

I pack up my belongings and hasten myself to finish up the day quickly so that I might leave work on time and settle in for a relaxing night.

As I head for my car I fumble about with my things. Stressed as far as I can be stressed today. I long to escape the noise of that which is around me and find a moments peace. I'm determined to will this migraine away if I must.

I unlock the door to the house; place my belongings on the table to the left shutting the door behind me. As I walk through the house I hang my keys, grab a quick drink and head upstairs. I go into my bedroom pull off my shoes, find my silk shirt and shorts for the night and turn on some soft music.

I take my hair down, as the long curls pulled up off my neck are such a heavy weight now. Releasing it is like watching a bird fly free and for a brief moment I feel some relief.

I start the water in the tub, add some lavender and rose petals. The scent starts to slowly fill the air. I place my drink down on a small table in the bathroom, I then light three candles, one slightly taller than the other two.

I undress letting my clothes fall where they may and slip into the tub laying my head back and closing my eyes.

The soft music soothes my breathing, the fresh scent of lavender and roses slowly start to ease my tension. "Circle round and about. From inside to out. From outside to in. Release the negativity from within."

"Circle round and about. From inside to out. From outside to in. Let the purifying begin." A casting I have done many of times to help ease my migraine and seems to work the best in times when I truly need it.

Minutes went by, half an hour, then hour. I climb out of the tub, pulling the plug. I reach for my towel and slowly pat myself dry. Slipping into my silk pj's, I grab up my clothes putting them in the hamper. I lean over and blow out the candles and pick up my glass and head down stairs. The soft music lingers behind me.

As I pass by the dinning room I listen to the messages on the answering machine. Nothing of importance. I place my glass in the sink. Pull a frozen meal from the freezer and decide this will have to do for tonight. I unwrap the meal as I think what a warm creaming chicken and mash potato meal will do for me tonight.

Edited by Avivid Mind
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I put the meal in the microwave set the timer then head through the house looking directly at the sofa. I lay down pulling a light blanket over me.
I was out cold the minute my head hit the pillow.

As I looked about I could see the baker putting fresh bread out. Wooden shelters opening up in the small market place. People greeting one another as the day had just begun.

There was a slight breeze in the air and the sun was shining brightly amongst the trees. As I walked into the market place children run about playing. Two rushed by me almost knocking into me. A woman apologizes quickly and calls out to the children rushing after them.

Strange they were all dressed so different than what I'm use to. I looked upon myself and realized I wasn’t dressed as I was. But yet it all seems so natural.

What was this place? Who were these people?

They all seemed to look upon me as if they knew me but I had no idea who they were or where I was. I was not afraid. I seemed to be looking for something but I had not a single clue to what it was.

A little girl walked up to me as I was looking about. Her tiny hand grabbed at my shirt and pulled, grabbing my attention I looked down at her and all her pretty curls with her hair pulled back in a ribbon. She handed me some flowers and quickly ran back over to her mother hiding behind her, but yet peeking out to the side to still see me.

I walked over and bent down to talk with her. She was quite shy so I said thank you for my pretty flowers and patted her on the shoulder. The mother was smiling very pleased at what had occurred. I smiled back and said,” You have a beautiful daughter." I then turned to find the pathway I was looking at before the young child caught my attention.

As I headed down the pathway which led into the forest. The marketplace grew quieter and quieter. Now out of sight I had hoped I wouldn't get lost.
Though the forest had plenty of light shining on the pathway I still wasn't sure where I was going and I had been walking for some time now.

I felt a strange feeling come over me. I was happy to be here. And now grew anxious about where I was heading. I was suddenly awakened by a beeping noise. The microwave had gone off, meaning my dinner was done.

The night had come so quickly I put on a few lights in the house as I went to get my dinner. I came back into the living room turning on the TV. Trying to find something to watch while eating. As I switched through the channels I came across the movie," Rose Red ". I quickly turned the channel.

Not that I don't like the movie but, a bit to scary for me to be watching tonight as a storm was passing over tonight and the rain was already hitting on the roof top.

As I ate I found a comedy show to relax with tonight. I could feel my migraine now turning into a dull ache, which was a sign that it would soon pass. That's not to say within the hour but it could or a day or two but none the less a sign I was happy to get.

The next day I woke feeling quite well. The migraine had not gone fully away but it was a feeling I could now work with. As I went about my day at work I found myself thinking about the strange dream I had had. The one with the market place.

I spent a lot of the day wondering just where it was I was going in the dream. It felt like I knew yet I have no idea. That seemed to bother me. Why did the microwave have to beep just at that moment? Non-the less I'll probably never know.

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After work I was to meet up with my friend Sara. Sara and I have been friends since grade school and each week we’d get together to talk about our mundane lives and all that could possibly have happened since we last talked.

We decided to meet at Mahoney's Restaurant as we always have. We've become quite the regulars there. Our waiter, Nicholas asked as he always done if there was anything big on the topic tonight. I laughed, which meant nothing of interest tonight and ordered my drink. He wouldn't be interested in flower colors.

Some time went by and Nicholas came back to take my order as Sara had a habit of running late these days. She was getting married and putting in some extra hours on a story she was working on part of a deal to get her honeymoon time away.

An hour passed. My dinner had already been served and Nicholas had filled my drink for the third time. He asked what was up which was the very question I was beginning to wonder.

It wasn't like Sara not to call. A quick, I'm running late be there soon message wasn't on my cell phone this time. Late for Sara was anywhere from ten minutes to thirty minutes but an hour, not like her at all.

I tried to tell myself that her boss must have kept her longer than usual and that I'd have my dinner and order desert while Sara ate. But as I was finishing up my dinner there had still been no call. I tried to reach her on her cell phone when a voice on the other end I didn't recognize replied," I'm sorry to tell you this miss but your friend has been in an accident."

I could feel my heart beat pounding, time seemed to go so slowly, I was scared and yet knew all at the same time. " Yes, yes I know where it is. I'll be there in a moment." As I hung up the phone I sat looking at the space across the table from me.

Sara sitting there laughing, eating, drinking. Telling me," I must find someone for you. The perfect man is out there somewhere." She felt she was abandoning me in some way. Getting married wanting to start a family. I wasn't looking, my last experience didn't go over very well and I had given up all together on the idea.

Of course it was in the back of my mind, but at this moment it was front and center right there in that seat,” I’ll find you the perfect man."

For the moment time stopped and I pushed my thoughts away. I had hoped that she would walk through the door with some silly excuse as to why she was late but it wasn't going to happen this time. It wasn't going to happen ever again.

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My eyes filled like a dam breaking and I forced them to hold it all in. I took a deep breath as Nicholas neared the table asking, “Well what did she have to say for herself this time?" I looked up at Nicholas and really didn't know what to say. It just blurted out of me as if I didn't say it at all. "Nothing, she's dead."

Did I really say what I just heard myself say? How could I have, how dare I. Nicholas looked at me knowing full well I was in shock myself. He tried to comfort me and I brushed him a side like it couldn't possibly be and I had to go straighten out this mix-up. It had to be someone else.

I stood up from the table telling him, I'd take care of it. I'd see him next week and we'd laugh about this whole stupid mix-up. Nicholas took my arm and told me he'd come with me. I said," No! I'm fine. It's fine. I'll take care of it."

I went rushing out of the restaurant like it was on fire and I couldn't get out fast enough. I pushed open the doors to the outside as if I couldn't breathe. As if the air was so heavy inside that I had to take a deep breath as if I was gasping for my last breath.

I've been going around for weeks just going threw the motions. People call, stop by, everyone wanting to help but I seem to be just going through my days in a fog. A fog I can't seem to find my way out of or was it I didn't want to find my way out of. If I did it would mean Sara would be gone now forever.

I've been out of work, forced more like it. My boss said I was no good to him like this to take a vacation, get away, clear my head. This wasn't the time I needed to get away. This was the time I needed to focus work longer, but instead I’m sleeping in late, not returning calls, not even calls from Nicholas. Sara invited him to the wedding. He might have been our waiter but over the years we've all become good friends.

As I rolled over in bed covering my head with my pillow trying to hide from the bright light shining in from my bedroom window I could hear footsteps coming up the stairway, moving down the hallway to my room and soon at my door.

Nicholas had taken it upon himself to bring me tea and check in on me from time to time. He didn't like that I was sleeping my days away and staying out all hours of the night. Granted I was being a bit reckless in my ways but I didn't want people telling me, “It will get easy as time places" or "hang in there". Here Nicholas was once again being a true friend bringing me tea, “Go away!" and really putting in his best effort to fill the void.

After talking threw the door for a half hour Nicholas gave up today’s quest to lift my spirits
and left the tea out side the door. I stumbled out of bed after hearing him leave and opened the door to grab the tea.

Instead I was grabbed. Nicholas was waiting silently outside my door for me. He lifted me up in his arms, carried me into the shower and turned it on. Soaking my clothes, him and me. He was ranting something about returning to the world of the living while I was ranting at what a fool he was to do such a thing. We both burst out laughing at how silly we looked once we finally climbed out of the shower and grabbed some towels.

We sat on the floor across from one another laughing at just the pure silliness of the whole thing.
Moments later the laughter stopped and we sat just looking at each other all wet and the bathroom a mess. He finished drying himself as well as he could, soaked as well as me and said, “Now that you're up how about some lunch?"

Edited by Avivid Mind
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Nicholas headed home to change, as I got ready for our luncheon. I opened my bedroom window to let the breeze come in and the birds were out on the trees chirping and chancing each other.

Today seemed different. I didn't mind that Nicholas had been such a pest or soaked my bathroom for that matter. He looked so funny all wet. Hair a mess, his long sleeved shirt showed his well-hidden muscles and the tank top that he wore underneath. He was quite good looking. He hid it so well with his well manors and intellectual conversations.
One would never know that he worked out a great deal as he always kept his tanned fit body well hidden under all those clothes.

Nicholas started working right after high school. He was working his way through college. He spent six years on his studies and he wouldn't be a waiter much longer. Why was all this going through my head? I picked up my purse and headed down stairs. My mind didn't seem to want the thought to end.

What was Nicholas going to do? Would he move away if a job offer came up? He enjoys traveling. He's always come back with some fascinating stories for Sara and myself from one of his spur of the moment trips to England, France even Canada. In fact he mentioned he was going to Egypt in a few months.

"Lost in thought?", he said as he came in the door. I of course made up an excuse. " I can't find my keys." Nicholas grinned then pointed to the key rack on the wall. I just smiled and said I didn't remember putting them there.

Lunch was going well. We were talking and even laughed a few times. But, then Nicholas brought up the fact that he would indeed be going to Egypt soon. He was concerned about me and though I tried to assure him that I'd be fine. He didn't seem a bit convinced and frankly neither was I.

However I made up my mind to go back to work next week as my time away was growing to long. Which by the look on his face he was pleased to here. Maybe just maybe I was pulling out of this fog of doom and despire.

After lunch we went for a walk in the park. We talked occasionally but for the most part just enjoyed being out and enjoying each other’s company.

It was around eleven o'clock when I got in that night. I had been at one of a few clubs I could be found in these days and decided to go home early. I threw my jacket over the chair, my keys on the stand and laid down on the sofa. I clicked the television on to watch the news but found myself drifting off to sleep and once again I found myself someplace I hadn't been since before Sara's death.

I felt so at ease there. Everyone smiling and enjoying himself or herself. Children running about playing and there he was looking at me from a distance.

Driaocht! He was standing with his left arm stretched out holding himself up under a tree. Ferns at his feet covering them as if he was floating there.

How did I know this man? How did I know his name? Why was he waiting for me? All these questions running around in my mind and yet I felt as if I knew the answers and wanted to go to him.

Suddenly I became aware of myself asleep, dreaming this place, these people. I wasn't afraid it wasn't a nightmare but yet a place that felt very real, very familiar and I had no desire to leave.

I wanted to be here amongst them. I felt safe and somehow so aware of whom I was. Like I belonged there. I stood looking at Driaocht for what seems like minutes but in fact it was hours.
As if time had stood still. I heard a ringing and was awaken by the phone. It was Jamie Peterson from the office. I was an hour late.

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I rushed up stairs, took a quick shower, dressed and grabbed my bag. I ran down stairs grabbed my keys off the table and headed off to work. I stopped to pick up a bagel and tea then headed on my way.

It was as if the day was going quickly by. I had my morning meeting with my boss. It was obvious he was wondering if I came back to work unfocused after Sara's death. Jamie handed me the reports and we quickly went into the conference room for a meeting. Lunch came and went. Soon I found myself typing away on my laptop when my boss stepped inside the door and said," Go home! Pick up again tomorrow. By the way, good job today at the meeting." He smiled, and then waved a quick get out of here wave and left.

I leaned back into my chair still in thought on my work and decided to keep going. It was 7 o'clock before I finally finished my article.
The office was empty except for a few of us who were trying to finish up. I said my good nights as I headed to the door and decided to stop at Mahoney's Restaurant.

As I walked into Mahoney's I suddenly realized it was going to be different tonight. I'd be eating alone. The restaurant was filled and Nicholas was busy working, he hadn't seen me come in.

I was well seated at my table with a menu in hand before Nicholas saw I was there. He walked over and said, “The usual?" I looked up from my menu and said," Not tonight, give me a minute." Nicholas said all right and headed to another table where a couple was waiting for him to take their orders.

It was strange sitting there without Sara; I pulled out my laptop and started checking my emails when Nicholas came over. He kissed me on the cheek and closed my laptop as he sat down. His shift just ended and he didn't want me working while I was eating. He placed an order as well and we finished up dinner with some casual conversation.

We said good night as he walked me to my car. I open my door and turned to say good night one last time. He took my hands in his, gave me a kiss on the cheek again and said," I'm glad you stopped in tonight. I hope we can do it again."

I smiled and said of course but we both knew he'd be going away soon and I'd be eating alone. I climbed into the car and went to shut the door when I opened it again. Nicholas was headed to his car when I called out. “Nicholas, tell me again why you don't have a girlfriend?" He turned around and yet kept walking. “I wouldn't make a very good long term companion,” he said as he shrugged his shoulder's in an I don't know way.

Then he smiled and said, “I’ve already got a girlfriend.” His answer puzzled me, “Who?" I asked. "Why you of course!" he said jokingly as he smiled.
Then he turned as he reached his car and climbed in.

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It was a little after ten o’clock when I arrived home. I didn't bother to turn on the lights. I walked in locking the door behind me. Put my bag down on the table. Walk toward the kitchen and hung my keys as I passed. I quickly grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator and headed upstairs.

I sat the water bottle down on the stand next to my bed. Took off my shoes and found my way into the bathroom turning on the light. It was a full moon tonight and the light shone into my bedroom leaving me no chance of stumbling around things.

After changing, brushing my teeth and combing out my hair. I headed straight for bed. I settled in knowing exactly where I'd drift off too. The very place I couldn't get out of my mind, the very person I wanted to see, Driaocht. I needed to find out who he was and how I knew him.

I walked out of darkness into a new surrounding. Fog lingered at my feet. As I stepped closer to the land stretched out before me. It was as if I was stepping out of my world and into this one.

I could now feel the grass underneath my feet. A wooded area now stood behind me where there was just moments ago nothing but fog. The flat grassland surrounded a beautiful lake. Though it was all so beautiful it all seemed strange. I felt different about this place then if I did in the market place.

I looked around. There were no people, no animals. I started to walk toward the lake. As I
grew closer and closer a feeling come over me. A feeling of warning, a feeling I shouldn't be there. This all seemed wrong. Why had my dream begun here and not at the market place?

The sun light made the lake shine so beautiful and yet as I neared the edge of the lake...
"What are you doing?" a voiced called out calmly but firmly. I turned to see Driaocht getting down off his horse. He started to walk toward me and asked again, “What are you doing?"

I was a bit puzzled by his question; he seemed concerned as to my being there. Just as I was about to answer He took my hand and started to lead me back to his horse. "We have to go”, he said as he picked me up and placed me on the horse. Just then you could hear thunder approaching from the west. Clouds started to roll in and the sun soon faded.

The storm was approaching quickly; we could see rain starting to fall on the far side of the lake. Driaocht climbed upon the horse. His arms wrapped around me to grab the reins and we quickly headed down the pathway.

As we started to go faster thunder sounded again. I looked back to see the lakeside covered now by pouring rain. I held on tightly to Driaocht as he pushed the horse on. I turned back to look at the storm. It was like a wall of rain falling behind us. Moving closer and closer.

We turned off the pathway and were now racing threw the forest. The storm came out of nowhere. Trees were falling, branches and leafs blowing about. The wind was so strong and the storm was so close. I had no idea where we were going but thought we had no chance of making it to our destination.

As we reached the edge of the forest I could see something in the distance. We raced across the hillside. “We’re not going to make it", I said sure that the storm would be upon us in just moments. I buried my head into Driaochts chest. The hillside seemed to never end then suddenly I could hear the horse now running across the bridge I had seen in the distance and the rain hitting hard behind us
on the bridge.

The horse began to slow down. I could hear the storm above us and as I looked up I was amazed by what I had seen. I loosened my grip on Driaocht knowing we were now safe. But how was that possible? The horse stopped and Driaocht climbed down. I was still looking around in amazement when I felt Driaocht grab hold of my waist and pulled me down off the horse beside him.

A man came and took the horse. I held onto Driaochts hand as he started to lead me toward a castle. A great stone wall stood surrounding us and the rain was beating down against it. But not upon us. "How is this possible I asked"? Not really looking for an answer but just speaking out loud.

I wasn't paying attention that so many people were looking at us as we walked toward the castle doors. I was listening to the storm hitting all around us and then suddenly I saw them. All the people inside the stone wall looking at us. I moved closer to Driaocht and whispered" Why are they looking at us?" Driaocht put his arm around me to assure me that I was safe and said." They haven't seen you in many years”

Edited by Avivid Mind
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We walked through the doorway. I heard the door close. Then I heard footsteps coming up the stairway. Just as I opened my eyes Nicholas opened my bedroom door and said, “Sleeping the day away are we?" He walked over with a bag in his hand and drinks. Nicholas sat down on the bed and said," You promised to help me today. Did you forget?"

"No, I didn't forget. I just haven't been..", I hesitated and then sat up in bed. I looked at Nicholas and asked, “Have you ever had a dream that seemed real? I mean as real as this?" I pointed to us sitting there on the bed and everything around us.

Nicholas sat the bag down on the stand next to the bed. He then grabbed the drinks handing one to me and keeping one for himself. " I have had a few dreams that seemed real but I wouldn't say as real as this. A smell, a sound, a place all real but I think we all know we're still dreaming on some level don't you?" he said as he took and raised his cup to his month for a drink.

I tried to dismiss the feeling I was feeling.
It felt real, my arms tightly around Driaocht, the horse, the rain all just as real as the way he was looking at me now, concerned. "Forget it, it was just a dream, I know I was dreaming, it just felt so real." I then jumped out of bed and handed Nicholas my drink.

" I'll meet you down stairs just give me a minute to shower and find some clothes." Nicholas stood up grabbing the bag of bagels off the stand and headed for the door with everything in hand. He turned around with a grin after drinking once more from his cup of coffee and said," What you’re wearing is good enough for me!" He looked me up and down amused that it didn’t seem to bother me anymore that he had seen me in my night clothes or even would come into my bedroom. I shut the door in his face and headed for the shower.

They had spent the day together getting everything around that Nicholas would soon need for his trip. When it was time to eat they ordered take out and ended the day relaxing on the sofa. They were finishing up the pizza with light conversation lying back with their feet up. Soon, I was a sleep leaning against Nicholas.

He put his arm around her and turned off the lamp beside the sofa and settled in for the night. He brushed his hand across her hair pulling it gently back from her face. She turns toward him on the sofa laying her head on his chest, putting her arm around him. He grinned once again and closed his eyes falling off to sleep with her in his arms.

The next morning when he woke to find her gone a bit of disappointment was written across his face.
He realized a part of him wanted to wake up with her in his arms. He liked the fact that they had grown closer since Sara's death and he had been going over it in his mind for some time now the thought that something might be there between them.

Nicholas however was not a longer-term member of the relationship club. He enjoyed traveling and going on several dates with not the same woman.

He knew he enjoyed meeting someone new and having pleasant conversation over dinner. If the night didn't end there he was fine with that but he was never one for a long-term relationship.

Some how Sara's death had drawn him closer to Autumn. He enjoyed her company and wanted to make her smile, he wanted to see her happy again. Though a friend could do all that. He wanted to do more. He knew this now after he held her in his arms last night.

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This trip was happening at the wrong time in his life a moment when he wanted to change and knew he had only one chance. It would take ease and careful thought for relationships never went well for Autumn as he had heard the stories many a times at the restaurant. She was not eager to fall for the wrong guy again. And she had said on many occasions she was tired of trying.

After work I took Nicholas to the airport. As we waited we talked about how long his flight would take and the changes not only in climate but time as well. We stood up to say goodbyes and I made sure to tell him to send a post card and to be sure to write. If he had a chance call but most important not to worry about me.

I tried to keep it light and up lifting. I hugged him tightly and said, “ Don’t forget to come back.” Then walked away without giving him a chance to say anything.

As I walked away I didn’t look back. I thought it would only make it harder letting him go. I suddenly felt so alone and yet was walking through a crowded airport.

Just then I got a call on my cell phone “ Hello”. “ I just wanted to say thank you.” I turned around to see Nicholas talking to me in the distance as he walked slowing to the line to broad the plane. Then he added, “ Don’t go cheating on me while I’m away. I know six month is quite some time but…” I started laughing, smiling and even crying a few tears and said, “ I don’t think you have to worry about that.” I hung up amazed by his comical remark, wiped the tears from my eyes and thought it’s fine I’ll be fine.

For the most part I was getting by. I even stopped in Mahoney's from time to time too eat. I received my first post card within a week. Nicholas would leave me e-mail messages and often told me he missed me but I just took it as part of his flirting and trying to keep me smiling. I never commented back.

She often wrote him about her strange dreams and it worried Nicholas. Not so much that they were strange but she was talking so much about them.

As the night approached I laid asleep on the sofa. A thunderstorm raged outside the house and I laid dreaming once again. I was walking through the corroders of the castle when I heard voices down belong on the lower level. As I neared the steps I stopped to listen. “When are you going to tell her?” “It’s a matter of time.” “Time is something we are running out of. She needs to know who she is now.”

I tried to hear what they were saying but I only caught bits and pieces when sudden a servant approached me and asked, “ Is everything alright?” The men looked up to see Autumn at the top of the stairways with the servant. I replied, “ Yes, I’m fine thank you. I was just admiring the painting.”

I continued down the steps. Driaocht came over to greet me. We were going on an outing. The day was so beautiful. The sun was shining brightly and there was a warm breeze in the air. As we rode along on the horse I asked where we were going? Then I asked, “ Why does everyone whisper so?”
Driaocht tried to keep the subject on the outing. He told me he was taking me to a place he thought I would enjoy, the market place. I replied, “Yes, I’ve been there before.” As the pathway grew close they climbed down off the horse and walked the rest of the way.

It was a strange feeling. I felt like I had done this a thousand times before. It felt so natural being there with Driaocht. Just then screams and cries were heard coming from the market place and I rushed ahead. Driaocht let go of his horse and ran after her.

Men on horses were terrorizing the people. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Men were lying on the ground with arrows in them. Children and women bloody and bruised. Structures burning, flames all about.

As I stepped into the market place something happened. A glowing soft blue light started from at my footstep and went out all about the market place. As I walked into the market place I looked all around and felt such a great love for these people and some how they were all right. They were all standing happy and healthy, no injuries of any kind. The men on horses backed out of the market place just out of reach of the soft blue light. I looked at them and one man said, “ So it is true, you have come back.” Then the man turned his horse toward Driaocht and said, “Your mother will not be pleased.”

The men on horsed raced away but that was no concern to me. The light slowly faded and the people smiled and cheered. I felt weak all of a sudden. I grew lightheaded and fainted. Driaocht caught me in his arms. I could feel myself falling and then I woke.

“Not now! What’s going on?” I called out as I sat up on the sofa. I could hear the thunderstorm moving away in the distance and see lightening flashing out the windows of the house. My head was pounding from another migraine. I sat there rubbing my forehead for a moment. Then stood to go get my pills when suddenly I clasped to the floor.

I found myself back at the market place in Driaocht arms. A young woman was putting a cool cloth on my forehead. I jumped up out of Driaocht arms. “ I can’t be here.” Driaocht stood up and said, “ It’s okay they’re gone.” I backed away from him feeling a very strange feeling. I knew I wasn’t there in the market place I was in my home clasped on the living room floor. “ I have to wake up, something is wrong, something is very wrong.”

Driaocht tried to calm me, “ You’re alright nothing can hurt you here.” I grabbed a hold of Driaocht’s arms and pleaded with him, “ You have to wake me up, please.” Driaocht looked at me, at all the people then down at the ground. Disappointment filled his eyes and he knew what damage could be done but he could not deny me my request.

He took out his dragger in hand. I looked at him wondering what he was going to do. Driaocht took hold of my arm and looked in my eyes. For the first time I saw his love for me and in a simultaneous act he said as he plunged the dragger in me, “You won’t let yourself die you’ll wake my love.”

I felt such excruciating pain as the dragger ran deep. Driaocht took her in his arms, she woke. The migraine was so excruciating that it took all of my strength to pull myself up onto the sofa. I remember dialing the phone then nothing else I slipped into darkness.

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It was dark and cold. I felt trapped in a deep sea of nothingness. I heard a voice one that I had not heard before but felt to the core of my being I knew, “ You may have found him but you can’t have him.”

Suddenly I felt myself coming around. I opened my eyes and could see I was in the hospital. A nurse was checking my vital signs and said, “ Well it’s good to see you’re awake. I’ll tell the doctor. He’s been wanting to talk with you.

As I listened to all the doctor was saying I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt like I was trapped in a bad dream. I had always had migraines the doctor said that was probably why I didn’t suspect a problem. The doctor explained the tumor would continue to grow and it would most likely kill me.

How is one suppose to react to something like that? Then he looked me in the eyes very serious and said, “ You got lucky this time. You were in a comma briefly. Next time you might not be so lucky.”

I asked, “ I’ve been having these strange dreams...” The doctor said the placement of the tumor could cause me to have such dreams even see things, hear things that aren’t actually there. As I laid in the hospital bed feeling perfectly fine at the moment I wondered how such a dream could seem so real.

I felt his arms around me that was not a dream. I heard them talking to me and I felt that dagger. I felt Driaocht… I didn’t want to…

After a few days went by I wanted to just go home. I was feeling perfectly fine and I had not had a migraine the whole time I was in the hospital. The doctor talked to me once more before I left and I assured him I would have the surgery I just needed time to grasp the situation and all that has happened. Against his better judgment the doctor had my release forms brought into me.

As I settled in my bed I opened up my laptop. Nicholas had left a few e-mails and two messages on my cell phone. I responded with saying I had been working late and just didn’t get a chance to reply right away. How could I tell him something like this? We had just lost Sara earlier this year. How could I tell him I had a tumor?

This made Nicholas concerned and he called that very night after getting the email. We talked for quite some time. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell him. I was still dealing with the shock of it all myself.

Nicholas talked about how great a time he was having. I was determined not to burden him with such news not yet anyway. I needed time to soak it all in. “ I’m really tired Nick can we talk tomorrow?” “Nick? You never call me Nick”, he said. I apologized and said I was really tired which was true. I was feeling very tired now and I just wanted to sleep.

As I hung up the phone I settled into my bed and looked out the window feeling so misplaced. I felt like I had some how lost control of my life. I couldn’t for the life of me remember how it all started.

I took a deep relaxing breath and closed my eyes. There I was lying in bed. I felt an excruciating pain in my side and I remembered the dragger. I sat up in bed finding myself once again in this dream. The pain was starting to go away. I lifted my clothing to see the wound healing before my eyes.

I climbed out of bed and ran out of the room. I called out for Driaocht. I raced down the corridor in my nightclothes calling out for him. Just then he ran up the stairs and around the corner to me trying to settle me down. He grabbed hold of my arms and said, “ It’s all right, I can explain.”

I was lead back to my room to change. Then we walked outside the castle within the great stone walls. “You stabbed me with a dragger how is it I’m healed? How is it all those people are alive? They are alive are they not?”

Driaocht walked me over to a bench, we sat down. “You’re what is known as a seer. They are few and far between. The last seer known of was fifty years before you. We don’t know a lot about your kind but what we do know is you can heal yourself and others. You can control things with your mind. Not just objects but the elements as well.”

As I sat there listening to him I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He continued, “ Remember that day I found you at the lake, the thunderstorm?” “I did that?” I asked shocked. Driaocht replied, “No, that was my mother. What you did was what you saw when we reached the castle. You were protecting this place.” “How?” I asked. I stood up trying to grasp the situation. “ I’m not sure, I’m not even sure how your getting here but you are” Driaocht said.

I looked at Driaocht and said, “ I can’t be here. This isn’t where I live. I live in a place were there are buildings everywhere, where there are things called cars not horses. We don’t get our light from torches but something called the light bulb and these clothes, what are we in the 1800’s?”

I felt so confused. Everything looked and smelt so real. Yet in my mind I tried to tell myself it wasn’t.
Driaocht stood up and took me in his arms and kissed me. I stepped back away from him now feeling even more confused then before.

As sure as I was standing there that felt very real. I turned and walked back to the castle. As I watched everyone around me I knew they were indeed real but in my mind I kept going over the fact that the doctor told me I had a tumor and my dreams were caused by that tumor.

From time to time Driaocht would look upon me walking about trying to give me time to understand this. But I felt something come over me when he would look at me that I would look away. As if that would make me stop feeling it but I didn’t. I felt warm inside and wanted so much to believe that he was real.

As I woke from sleep the warm sun was brightly shining into my bedroom. I felt so filled with emotions I wanted to just fall back off the sleep. I laid there in bed thinking about him, this man in my dreams. I wanted so much to still be there. How was it that I felt so comfortable there? I felt so connected to Driaocht and the people.

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I sat up in bed and thought, is it to late? Is the tumor causing me to? I’m not hallucinating I’m dreaming. But it does seem very real. Just then the phone rang it was Jamie Peterson from the office. She wanted to check on me and find out if there was anything she could do.

I climbed out of bed and walked over to the window. It was such a beautiful day out. I just wanted to enjoy the day. I came slowly back from thought and interrupted Jamie as I heard her ask if Nicholas knew and said, “ No, No I don’t want him to know. I don’t want him to worry. I don’t want him to drop everything and come back early.”

I needed to get in touch with the doctor and set up the surgery date. But today I was going to take for me. I decided to get dressed and head to the park. As I walked around enjoying the fresh air and the sight of the day Nicholas called.

He was concern when he learned I had taken the day off. I knew that was going to be a hard one to explain, as I never missed work. But it wasn’t anything I wanted to explain away I wanted to hear about him, what he was doing and even for a brief moment I wished I were there with him.

I wanted to confide in Nicholas of all that was happening but I knew if I told him he would come back and that scared me even more. I saw no way out of this knowing if I didn’t tell him and if something had gone wrong during the surgery…
Without thinking I said, “ I wish you were here.”

He was just going on and on about how he was enjoying himself and all the pictures he had taken to show me and I blurted it out without thinking. Nicholas replied, “What’s wrong?” I tried to cover it up by saying, “ You know how long distance relationship go.” Nicholas laughed and replied, “ Just a few more months my love.” and then laughed some more.

Something about the way he said it. The tone in his voice. I became lost in thought, he sounded like… Or maybe it was him… “Are you there?” I heard called out on the phone. I replied, “Yes, I just got a bit lost in thought that’s all.” Nicholas asked, “ You’re not cheating on me already are you?”

He tried to lighten the conversation a bit. I replied laughing, “Yes, I’m sorry.” Nicholas insisted on knowing who he was. I told him, “ He’s your height and weight. He has dark hair and brown eyes..” There was a hesitation on the phone then Nicholas asked in a serious tone, “ Are you seeing someone?”

I replied, “No!” Nicholas said, “ It sure sounded like you are. You would tell me if there was someone?” I laughed and replied, “Are you jealous?” Nicholas answered, “And if I was?” The phones filled with silences both wondering what the other would say next. I replied, “ You know what it’s probably really late there, or early, I have to go. We’ll talk again soon, bye.”

I hung up and sat down on the bench near me. It was a strange feeling almost as though I knew and yet didn’t dare to know. Nicholas was very attractive. Had we played some foolish game that neither of us knew we were playing? Or did I consciously play along knowing full well it would bring us to this point. Could our friendship cross that line and survive or would it be another foolish mistake on my part?

I heard him say it. I heard the tone in his voice searching for an answer from me. Suddenly I felt strange inside. I felt like I was drifting in time. It was as if everything was moving in slow motion. I could feel a great darkness approaching me even though I was sitting there in the park seeing the beauty of the day. I pulled myself back from it and picked up my phone to call the doctor.

The date was set; by the end of the week I would have the surgery. I took a deep breath. I knew there was no more time. Everything inside of me was telling me I had to tell Nicholas. I tried reaching him twice that day but he wasn’t answering his phone I left a message telling him I’d call him back.

I reached over and placed the phone on the end table and laid down on the sofa pulling a blanket over me. I felt so tired as if I could sleep forever.
I felt myself drifting off. I could hear my phone ringing yet I didn’t have the strength to answer it. I slipped deeper and deeper until I saw it.

I was standing at the edge of the lake. I felt as though I should wake up yet apart of me wanted to be there. I wanted to see Driaocht again. As I looked out over the water clouds drifted overhead. There was a cool breeze in the air. I could hear a horse coming from behind. Yet I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off the water.

Silent whispers on the wind, I could hear her, “ Walk into the water. Go to it, it calls to you.” “Autumn, Autumn don’t.” he shouted. Just then something came over me I turned toward him. He climbed down off his horse and approached me, I saw her.

There before me just a few feet away she stood looking at me then at Driaocht and said, “ She may love you but you can’t save her. She’ll either die here or there.” I looked upon her. She stood so beautiful. Her long golden hair blew gently in the breeze. It was as if she floated there yet she was standing firmly on the ground, the Triple Goddess.

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Just as quickly and mysteriously as she came she disappeared. I felt a bit unsure why I was there. I turned back toward the lake looked at it and asked, “What is this place?” Driaocht looked at me unsure if he should tell me yet he knew at some point I would remember it, and replied, “It is the Crystal Lake.”

I took a step closer to the water. Driaocht grew with fear in him with my every step. I looked down at the water then slowly knelt down by it. I reached my hand out. Driaocht feared that I was going to touch it he called out, “Don’t!” I looked back at him seeing this place was of great importance to me and turned to look at the water again.

I reached my hand out just inches away from the surface and said, “ Show me that which is forgotten.” In one great ray of light I saw my life there. The importance of the people in the market place. I was raised there hidden out of sight. My abilities even at such a young age could heal those I touched. I saw the first time I came across Driaocht he was laying here at this very lake that might be way I felt drawn to it. I saw us fall in love and I saw him discover that I was a seer. She knew the moment she looked at me, jealousy and rage grew inside the Triple Goddess though she concealed it well.

Driaocht told her he was growing to marry me and she plotted against us. She invited me in and gave me a potion; I fell into a trance like state. I walked into the lake where I was imprisoned in a crystal glass chamber with every breath growing closer to my last.

Driaocht searched for me and when he finally figured out where she had me he raced to save me. I grew weak as the air grew so toxic to me and with all the strength I had left. The chamber filled with a soft blue light of hope. I reached out to him the only way I could.

I went into the deepest part of thy self the Inner Realm and spoke with my last breath, “ Of this time. Of this place. I pledge my love to thee. Let loves strength be stronger than that which lay before me.” Suddenly a burst of energy knocked me off my feet to the ground. Driaocht reached down to help me up and I pulled away from him in angry. “Your mother killed me?” Driaocht tried to explain, “ You’re a seer. She couldn’t risk you abilities growing even stronger.” I shouted at him, “ Or what? She imprisoned me in the cold waters of this place with my every breath growing toxic, is that what she wants now? Does she still feel so threatened by me that she wishes me dead?”

I couldn’t stand the thought of him standing there trying to explain away her darkest wishes. Knowing full well how evil she was and yet he hoped that I would want to stay. I turned and started to walk away. Driaocht called out to me, “ Autumn, Autumn!” He grabbed a hold of my arm pleading for me to not go. I asked, “ Why should I stay?”
He looked me in the eyes and blurted it out as if he wouldn’t get the chance again to say it, “ Because I love you.”

As I woke I heard the words being spoken. As if they had followed me. I felt his presence there even now as if he were sitting there on the sofa next to me. I stood up and went upstairs for the night. I felt him linger on the stairway and then standing at my bedroom window. It was as if he was waiting for an answer.

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The next morning I woke to the phone ringing, it was Nicholas. I could sense Driaocht’s presence take notice. As I talked with Nicholas, Driaocht walked about the room I could feel his energy moving about calming, patiently listening to my every word.

It was hard telling Nicholas about the tumor and even harder telling him I was having the surgery at weeks end. He insisted that he was coming home and I begged him not too. I tried to seem confident and sure that everything would be all right.

I could feel Driaocht sit down on the bed next to me. I didn’t feel him looking at me. It was as if he knew this was hard for me and was there to comfort me. In some strange way it did. His being there was some how very comforting.

A part of me wanted to hear him say it would be all right. In that very moment I could hear his voice and Nicholas both say, “ You’ll be just fine.” I jumped off the bed shocked at what I heard. Driaocht moved about me as he realized in that very moment…

I suddenly felt strange inside. It was as if I was being pulled in two separate directions but yet to the very same thing, him. I grew dizzy and fell to the floor.

I could hear Nicholas calling out to me on the phone. He voice was getting further and further away. Yet Driaocht voice grew clear and close.
He sat there on the ground holding me in his arms as I opened my eyes. The sunlight was shining behind him and he looked as though he were an angel. I knew I wasn’t really there. I was back at my home laying on the floor. Yet I wasn’t afraid or even anxious to get back.

Driaocht asked me if I was all right and I took his hand and said, “How much time do I have?” He answered, “As long as you want.” We stood up and climbed onto his horse. We rode for quite sometime. It seemed different this time. I felt no longing to know. I knew where I was, who I was and that I wanted to be nowhere else but with him.

As we rode his horse through the wooded forest I felt very relaxed as if I had never left. We went into the market place. Everyone greeted me and smiled. They were all so friendly and I felt right at home with them.

The children had been running around the water hole, which was encircled in stone. It set in the middle of the market place and I thought to myself how they would love to be running about in the water. Just as I thought it, the water lifted up twelve feet into the air and shot out like a fountain at the children raining down on them softly.

They laughed and ran about getting wet. The adults laughed and watched the children enjoying the day. As I rode out of the market place the water slowly settled back down into the base. The children called out, “ Goodbye!”

There I was lying in the hospital bed once again sleeping such a deep sleep. My vitals were fine; all I needed was to wait up. Nicholas had gathered up his things after calling for help and was heading out on the next flight he could catch coming back to the states.

Thousands of miles away and there was nothing more he could do. He was anxious to get back holding desperately to hope that she would be fine. It was as if time was fighting against him. Though he tried to remain calm and patient when his flight was delayed three hours due to weather Nicholas insisted on another flight. But nothing was going out.

Once he finally boarded a flight it was nothing but time. He felt like he had made all the wrong choices. Leaving for Egypt, staying when two weeks pasted and he had not heard from Autumn and he had not told her how he felt about her. That worried him the most. He couldn’t bring himself to even thinking of the possibility of loose her. Not after realizing how he felt about her.

As she spent the day with Driaocht, Autumn knew she didn’t belong there and yet had no desire to leave. Time had been cut short on them and she wanted that time back. Some how she was given that chance and she didn’t want to waste a moment of it. They spent every moment together. Driaocht took her in his arms kissing her. Suddenly she felt a strange feeling as though she was being ripped from his arms.

Edited by Avivid Mind
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I could hear Nicholas talking to me. It seemed like he was so far away. Like a whisper and then it started to get louder and louder until I felt a strange pull within me and woke to see him in my hospital room.

Nicholas sat there by my bed. He took my hand and said, “ If you wanted me to come back all you had to do was ask. I think this is going a little bit to far don’t you?” He smiled trying not to show his true feelings. The fears he felt and side.

It was as though I was looking at Driaocht. Different hair color, different eyes yet some how very much the same. His eyes somehow were showing me something I had not seen before. This was something I had not expected. I wanted to say something but didn’t know what to say.

The doctor came in the room and said if they were doing the surgery it would have to be now. I looked at Nicholas and said, “ All right, Just give us a minute.” As the doctor walked out of the room Nicholas sat back down on the bed.

He took my hand and said, “ I know this isn’t the greatest moment to do this to you but I’m in love with you.” I looked at him feeling so tired. Hearing whispers in the distance saying, “ I love you.”
I recognized it as being Driaocht. But then Nicholas said it again and I knew it was him. Nicholas was … they were somehow the same person. They came in and got me for the surgery. His hand slowly slipped from mine and they wheeled me down the hallway.

I felt the wet dew covered grass under my feet. The lake lay before me and the Triple Goddess stood looking at me. I started to walk closer and closer, I felt no fear. She asked, “ Do you really think you’re more powerful then I? “ It angried her that I did not fear her. As I reached the lake I asked, “ Killing me, did it give you what you needed?” She looked at me with a sense of unsure ness about her.

I stepped out onto the water as though I was walking in puddles and she looked shocked. The water glowed of a soft blue light and I said as I turned looking at her, “ This place can’t hurt me now. You can’t hurt me now.” Just then I held out my hand and a tiny drop of water as small as a grain sand had risen to my hand.

“ The strength of all seers. As tiny as this (I showed her the speck of water which glowed a soft blue light of energy.) If you wanted it all you had to do was ask.” Just then the tiny speck of energy flew at the Triple Goddess and went within her.

She fell to the ground feeling death upon her. She reached out to me and I said, “ The strength of all seers is pure love. It will eat away all that is evil in you, pray there is something good inside.” I stood upon the water and watched the Triple Goddess die.

As I started walking off the water Driaocht stood there looking at me. I walked over to him. He looked me in the eyes with such a profound knowledge of knowing and said, “ Our time here is ended. It’s time for you to go now where we begin.”

I opened my eyes finding myself back in the hospital room. The surgery had been over. Nicholas walked over from the window of my room and said, “ You have been cheating on me! Who is Driaocht?” I looked at him and smiled knowing somehow Nicholas was indeed Driaocht and said, “No one important.” I took hold of his hand and Nicholas climbed up on the bed next to me lying down and I said, “ I’m just going to sleep for a bid.”

Nicholas put his arm around her and said, “ I’m not going anywhere.”


Edited by Avivid Mind
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