The third dream, (Talia, p. 17)

She wakes… not at the Inn… not in the Forest, or at the cliff… but in a strange stone chamber.

Sconces on the wall hold torches, giving off a flickering light, but no heat. Her footsteps do not echo, the very air seems deathly still. “Hello?” she calls; her words fail to carry far. She walks the chamber, trying to remember where she had been. There is a door to one side. She stops, listening at the door and hears nothing. She checks the latch, but it is locked. “Hello?” Still nothing.

Further around the chamber there is a hall, leading away. At the end of the hall is another door. She listens, and again hears nothing. This time the latch moves, and she opens the door carefully, peering to the inside. Another series of halls, winding around ahead of her, there is still no sound. Suddenly, a bit of movement catches her eye. Off to her left, a shadow moves… she waits for the shadow to resolve into a figure and realizes the shadow IS the figure. The creature has no substance. Its features are nearly indistinct. She can see more detail in the wall through it, than of the figure itself. It shuffles along, taking no note of her. She steps carefully into the hall, willing that it not see her. At the opposite end, there is another door. This too is locked.

Passing back through the hall, she finds a second door, also locked. An alcove to the side holds a faint glowing, unlike the torches. She moves closer, stopping at the opening. She shivers at a sudden cold and turns. Behind her, the shadow has move closer, apparently still unaware of her presence. The cold increases, and she sees two more, coming closer.

The odd glow behind her forgotten, she races from the hall, into the chamber she awoke in. “There must be another way out” She searches the walls, and senses more shadows gathering. The Door. She had left the door open. She backs away as shadows enter the chamber, they stay to the edges. Soon she is standing in the middle of the room, only then realizing she is on a slightly raised dais. Shadows circle the room, and the torches sputter. “This can’t be happening. This isn’t real!”

…….

She wakes with a start, in the room of the Inn. Covers are tossed aside, and a winter breeze blows in from the unshuttered windows. She holds her head in her hands, will the dreams never end?

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