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Echoes Across Time

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It doesn't matter.

I gazed out over the soft ripples of water while shoving my long hair out of my face.

I knew better than to say yes...why didn't I just listen to myself and say no? Am I still trying to please parents that could give a shit less what I do?

Sighing heavily, shaking my head, I feel like I am in the wrong time... that I shouldn't even be here, I feel it... something is fundamentally broken inside me – and God, I am just so fucking tired of it all. If I could go somewhere this shit didn't exist... that would be great.

I didn't have it in me to appreciate the way the moon sent a dazzling silver reflection over the water's surface, or how the stars twinkled brightly in the ebony night's sky. My mind is racing, running, screaming – reaching up with clenched fists and hold my head tightly while my mind replayed the conversation with Seth over and over again - mocking me.

"I cannot live this way... not with you, I'm sorry. I just don't love you Bree, and I can't marry someone I don't love. It's not you - it's me, your great. I know you will find someone new."

It was almost comical how hard he was trying to convince me of how unhappy he was and how fabulous I was. Snorting with that thought, I shook my head.

"Then go Seth," I told him calmly.

God, he looks so relieved when I tell him to go. He grabbed his jacket and the keys to his car from the counter before turning back to look at me with his hand on the doorknob. All of this is done before I could even blink.

"I really am sorry Bree," he said again before closing the door behind him.

I watch the door close and mutter softly, "so am I."

I will endure this new failure... as I have done countless other times before.

What is wrong with me? Why don't I care about this, about him... shouldn't I care? Wiping again at the tears of failure that fell, I take a deep shuddering breath of the warm summer air and stare at the wetness on my hands angrily.

"I can't even cry over a broken heart, no that is what other women do," I mock myself angrily. "Me, I cry over my fucking pride, my failure. Jesus, I'm pathetic," I say aloud bitterly into the darkness. Closing my eyes, digging deep into the dark silence I know will comfort me, I just need to push it back down deep; I am a survivor, I can endure, I remind myself. Pride can be patched, my heart can't. That reminder sobered me and the tears came to a stop.

Finding my dark, welcoming silence that brought me comfort since childhood from enduring a judgemental mother and a demanding father, I mentally embraced it to me. Wrapping myself in the sudden quiet of my mind, I wipe the last of the tears that would ever be shed for this lapse of judgment from my face, straighten my shirt and shove my hair out of my face again before turning away from the view of the moon kissed water I hadn't even looked at.

Closing the French doors that led to the deck behind me, I walk by the blinking answering machine and go straight by it for my liquor cabinet. Pulling out a bottle of Glenfiddich, I measure out about three fingers of the eighteen-year-old scotch into a glass and throw in a couple of ice cubes before taking a healthy swallow. Closing my eyes, I embrace the burn rushing down my throat to warm my belly, reminding me that I was still alive as I press the glass to my forehead. My phone rings – again, and I stare at it as if it is going to jump out and bite me. Ignoring it, I take another drink and stare absently at the wall as the machine finally kicks on.

"Hey, Bree... I uh... I just heard about you and Seth. You should have called me. If you need someone, ya know... to talk to. Well – shit, just call me if you need me... Oh, it's Shanda."

A humorless laugh escapes as I stare at the machine. I will not, 'need' you Shanda, I thought annoyed with the message. Everyone comes out of the woodwork and pretends to be your friend just to get the gossip.

"If you already know then it was probably you, he was fucking. I mean we just broke up today... Shanda. Dumb box," I mutter angrily, glaring towards the phone. The sudden urge to rip the fucking thing out of the wall is strong, and I take another drink.

The machine clicked off, and I set my glass down and move to turn the volume of the machine down and the ringer to the phone off. Picking up my drink again, I walk into the living room and sit in one of the overstuffed armchairs. Gazing around the room, I suddenly realize that there is nothing that reflects even a small history with Seth. Well...I guess that could be considered convenient, I joke with myself morbidly before draining the last of the scotch and set the glass down deciding sleep was in order before choosing to have another drink.

 

The sounds of the birds warning calls in the canopy of pines overhead went a long way to sooth the anger I felt towards myself, even in my dream state.

Move

My mind told me, and so I did. I moved through the forest with a single focus on keeping the calming silence I held so tightly to myself for sanities sake for so long. Moving until I reached the end of the forest, I saw a small flash of green light from the corner of my eye and turned to investigate.

What is that my mind questioned at the site of the small tendril of green smoke. It sat in the mouth of a cave, beckoning me closer like a finger curling towards me, calling to me. I stepped closer to get a better look at it feeling almost compelled to do so, and with the extra step closer, I suddenly smell ozone. Like before the rain comes, one of the first odors you notice as the winds pick up and clouds roll in. The sweet, pungent zing permeates my nostrils and somewhere in my subconscious, I realize that this is a very realistic dream, to realistic, I thought and took a small step back from the green smoke inticing me closer to the mouth of the cave.

The green smoke swirled and thickened around my feet. Hurriedly, I try to step even further back out of its reach and feel the cold touch of the green smoke that rapidly grew to a thick fog, wrap tightly around my legs the more I tried to move. It was no longer some see-through thing, it was corporeal, strong, and wrapping itself around me rapidly. Now the feeling of fight or flight was kicking in and I was panicking, fighting against the restraints.

Wake up!

With a scream of fear, I can feel myself being dragged forward into the cave and I fought even harder. The green fog wrapped around my entire body now, I was hogtied by fog and it dragged me in roughly while I continued to scream in terror. My eyes dart around desperately looking for anything, while my lungs heaved with exertion and fear. I scan the area again and find only blinding darkness.

I don't know why, but I don't think I am still in my dream – so where? Some kind of in-between place? I wrack my brain trying to think of where I am, and why I can't wake up.

 

Mythal listened to her mental comments and folded her arms unable to stop the laughter from escaping. Oh, she is more than ready to return, and will do quite nicely, she thought suddenly pleased with herself.

 

Dark laughter echoed around me, sending streaks of fear through my blood as the sound bounced around the darkness.

"Still ever the clever child I see."

I jolted at the sound of the husky voice.

"You have nothing to fear from me daughter of the people," I hear echoing around me.

"People? What people... I don't know any people. What do you want?" I say aloud while my eyes look for where the voice is coming from. Somehow it is oddly familiar, but I just couldn't place it.

"Oh child, you certainly have people. But it is finally the time that you must return to them. I brought you back so you may help them. Will you do this?"

"Brought me back? To where? What happened?" I ask quickly while my eyes squint at the sudden light. A woman walked towards me through the darkness, the light at her back so I couldn't see her clearly but only her outline.

"Only what needed to be done at the time. Our people were waring with each other, enslaving them to gain power. Most of us became drunk on our own power, and as you well know it corrupts."

My eyes and head follow the woman warily now that I could finally see her, while she walked around me in gilded armor. I quickly notice the sharped tipped, elongated ears and recognize what she is. Why am I dreaming about a sodding elf? Even though I am thinking that there is something very familiar about her.

"How would I know it corrupts? I wouldn't, so why should I help you fix something that has absolutely nothing to do with me?"

Again her husky laughter echoed in the darkness raising gooseflesh on my arms and I rubbed at them briskly.

"There was a time you would never have questioned me, it is good to see you have grown lethal'lan. What was done cannot be undone and he would never have done what needed to be done had you not been taken from him. I am sorry about that. I never meant to keep you away from your own for so long, but it could not be avoided," she offered cryptically. She stopped to gaze into my eyes with her own cat-like yellow ones and stroked my forehead almost affectionately.

What in the hell is this chick talking about? He who? Oh, my God, I am losing my fucking mind.

"I would not know, I do not remember anything you are even talking about."

The mystery woman laughed at me as my eyes stared at her cautiously.

"You have not lost your mind, that I can assure you. Soon, child, everything will become clear to you. I would not send you into this world completely unprepared. I apologize for the pain you must endure reclaiming what I took from you, but it cannot be avoided," she said calmly.

My body stiffened with her words, and suddenly I felt the warmth of something ripple over and through my body. It was agony to have information abruptly thrust into my mind that focus soon changed when I felt other changes burning through me as well. Gripping my stomach and curling into a fetal position it felt as if my whole body was on fire from the inside. Suffering on the ground in pain, I cry out and feel her hand gently caress my cheek.

"You must find a way to help them and him, or they will surely perish, and so will you, dear child."

My eyes slid slowly closed as my body surrendered to the awaiting darkness.