The second dream, (Talia, p. 16)

She is running… away from the Inn… away from safety… deeper into the woods.

She can hear the howls of the wolves, and from behind, the crashing through the brush of those in pursuit. She runs now, no burdens to weigh her down, with a bow in hand. “Where did this come from?” It isn’t hers, and yet it seems somehow familiar. She grips it tightly as she races past the trees. She bursts into a clearing and stops suddenly, sending a spray of rocks over the cliff’s edge. There is nowhere to go, the howling grows closer. She notches an arrow and stands ready in the pre-dawn light. Her back to the sheer drop, she waits.

A shadowy figure bursts through the underbrush and an arrow, loosed, finds it’s mark. The wolf goes down with a thud, lying still where it falls. Another and another break out, charging towards her. An arrow is loosed… for every one that falls, two more appear in its place. She is quick to see the futility, but time drags on ever so slowly. She looses another arrow, and across the glade steps the larger wolf. Eyes glowing with the hatred she now knows too well. He stands there… for just a moment… for an eternity… and then the pack descends, surging forward, carrying them all over the precipice. As the cliff edge recedes from view, she sees those eyes staring down at her. She can hear the growling in her mind… “next time… next time…”

Blackness engulfs her and she wakes with a start, screaming. The blankets are tangled around her legs, her nightshirt plastered to her shaking form by a cold sweat. She huddles in the darkness as a lone candle sputters and finally goes out. She will not rest tonight.


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